Newspaper add, in the 1990s

Imagine seeing Bruno Mars, for $10 ($7.50 for kamaaina). That was the cover charge, in Aug. 1990, when Bruno was Little Elvis in his dad Peter Hernandez’s group, The Love Notes, performing A “Fabulous 50s” show at the Esprit nightclub at the Sheraton Waikiki.

The accompanying newspaper ad is a gem, an early documentation of Bruno’s magic. I saw this show, back in the day, and yep, he had charisma and stage presence then.

Note, too, that Bruno Mars was not yet his show biz name, nor pictured in the ad. We know what ultimately happened, when he grew up and relocated to Los Angeles, to launch a career that hooked an international crowd.

Were you lucky enough to catch this gig by chance?


They are in the midst of filming the second season of Disney+’s “Doogie Kamealoha, M.D>” here, but word is out that Peyton Elizabeth Lee and Milo Manheim will co-star in “Prom Pact,” a rom-com for youths.

Lee, of course, portrays the titular character of  the teen doctor in the island-based family comedy. Manheim plays Nico, a newbie in the “Doogie” family, and the romantic interest of the young doc.  Coincidentally or not, an off-screen Lee-Manheim dating relationship was the buzz online before the second season filming began.

Peyton Elizabeth Lee

In “Prom Pact,”  to be produced and directed by Anya Adams, Lee will play Mandy Yang, a high school senior, and Manheim is cast as her beau, Ben, during prom season of the 1980s.

Milo Manheim

The premise is that the youths are awaiting prom dates, though Yang’s key interest is her anticipated enrollment at Harvard, but she learns she is still on the wait-list of applicants. In the midst of this worrisome issue, she attempts to find a way in, even if it means that she asks for help from the dude she despises, the campus jock all-star, Graham Lansing, to be enacted by Blake Draper, whose father happens to be  Harvard grad and a powerful senator. She signs on as his tutor.

Other cast members include comedian Margaret Cho, as Ms. Chen, a counselor, and David S. Jung, as Lee’s father, Tom. Both have appeared in season one of “Doogie.”…

Filming will be in Vancouver, B.C., and “Prom Pact” will screen on Disney+  in the spring of 2023. …

Bruno Mars

Wanna party with Bruno Mars?

It’s not easy, nor affordable, to secure tickets for a Bruno Mars concert in Las Vegas, one of his prime markets for in-person shows.

So an alternative site, if you’ve got the inclination or loot, might be a super duper vacation splurge in the Bahamas, complete with a Labor Day weekend pool party.

Mars, an island native, will appear in a luxe Pina Colada Pool Party celebration Sept. 1 through 4, at the SLS Baha Mar. The centerpiece will be a Mars performance with his Silk Sonic partner, Anderson .Paak, on Sept. 4

The venue’s website has details. …

And that’s Show Biz. ….


Chris Cuomo, the former CNN news anchor fired nine months ago because of ethics concerns relating to investigations about his older brother Andrew Cuomo, the former New York governor, is returning to the cable news primetime gallery this fall.

But while his new job, on NewsNation, will enable him to return to his craft, it will be minus the lofty gleam of CNN, where he was a popular resource on “Cuomo Primetime,” where his viewership of about 2 million a night at his peak.

Chris Cuomo

NewsNation’s Dan Abrams made the announcement earlier this week.

Though it’s a step much lower than CNN, Cuomo will now have a huge task in reinventing himself, as a reporter-anchor with rich skills. He likely won’t have his brother Andrew on the new venue, since the sexual harassment scandal led to Chris’ suspension, then dismissal, at CNN, where the fallen politico Andrew made frequent appearances in 2019 and 2020.

And with the robust number of Capitol Hill political issues still prevailing amid the ongoing pandemic, there’s enough newsy topics he could explore as he wiggles into the race with resilience…

Crossing Rain, crossing ocean

Fresh from winning the Favorite Entertainers of the Year award at the recent Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in Honolulu, Crossing Rain, Hawaii’s k-pop boy band, will give a concert Aug. 13 at the Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood.

The venue, dating back to the 1970s,  has been a popular site for career-building, with such troupers as Prince, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joe, Smokey Robinson and Temptations concerting there.

Crossing Rain will perform Aug. 13 at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles and Sept. 3 at the Palace Theatre in Hilo.

Band members are Monarch, Asher, Jorden, Haru, Devin and Shotaro, launching in 2021. And with school reopening soon, Crossing Rain – aka XR – will be juggling school work with song-and-dance rehearsals to prep up for their Los Angeles debut.

XR also will give a show at 7 p.m. Sept. 3 at the Palace Theatre in Hilo. For the local gig, tickets are $65 for VIP seating, $45 for general admission, available at . …

Broadway grosses, for week ending July 24

As expected, the hot trio of largest-grosses on Broadway, held on to their steady ranking for the week ending July 24.

The top three: No. 1, “The Music Man,” at $3.016 million; No. 2, “The Lion King,” at $2.434 million; and “Hamilton,” at $.250 mill The figures are courtesy of  the Broadway League:

And that’s Show Biz. …


Kylie Kuioka, 12, former Iolani student, is the voice of Emiko in “Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank,” in theaters now. Thus, she’s in good company: the animated flick features the voices of Samuel L. JacksonRicky GervaisGeorge TakeiMichelle Yeoh.

Kylie Kuioka

Kylie’s family earlier relocated to New York, where Kylie’s Broadway break came when she was one of the children of the King of Siam, in Lincoln Center’s revival of “The King and I,” several years ago. A Mainland residency opened the door a skosh wider, when seeking roles…

The voices of two more island actors will be featured in “DC League of Super Pets,” opening this week. Among the stars providing the voices – Hawaii-reared Dwayne Johnson  and Keanu Reeves, along with other notables like John Krasinski, Kevin Hart, and Kate McKinnon. …

Jason Momoa

Oh, and add isle native Jason “Aquaman” Momoa, to the voicing pool; his will be the voice for an unnamed heroic lead, in an upcoming film entitled “Minecraft,” based on a popular video game, directed by Jared Hess

Manoa melodies

The Honolulu Jazz Quartet, led by John Kolivas, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 5 at Medici’s at Manoa Marketplace. Doors open at 6 p.m. for dinner.


Other members of the foursome: Tim Tsukiyama on saxophones, Dan Del Negro on piano, and Noel Okimoto on drums. 

The gig will feature tunes from “Straight Ahead,” a recently-released CD, including originals and new arrangements of the 60s and 70s hit,  “Summer Breeze”.

Admission is $75, which includes dinner. Reservations: (808) 351-0901 or or

HJQ also will concertize at 6:30 and 9 p.m.  Sept. 4 at Blue Note Hawaii, at the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel. Tickets: $35 and $25, at (808) 777-4890 or

The Shari Lynn Trio returns to Medici’s, at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 26. Doors open at 6 p.m. for dinner service.

Singer Shari will perform tunes from the Great American Songbook, along with jazz classics and likely will tap numbers from the Broadway spectrum.

Her trio will feature Jim Howard on keyboards and the aforementioned John Kolivas on stand-up bass.

Admission: $75, and includes dinner.

Danielle Tucker

Reservations:   (808) 351-0901 or

Traffic tipster

The voice of  Danielle Tucker is highly recognizable, thanks to her helpful drive-time traffic reports during  morning and afternoon commutes.

Now she’s getting TV exposure, too, as KITV4’s traffic reporter.

But she continues to provide part-time iHeart radio alerts, too. …

And that’s Show Biz. …


Dear “Edwina” cast and crew: you’re a winnah, with so much heart and soul.

“Dear Edwina Jr.” – staged over two weekends, due to the cloud of COVID-19 which shut down performances after one show July 15 – returned with a vengeance, so to speak, at Paliku Theatre, Windward Community College. The remaining three shows (one on Friday night, two on Saturday afternoon) challenged the cast to wear face masks, an action not taken by any other theater cast here.

An ensemble of nearly 50 youngsters, who learned or improved their acting, singing and dancing skills in a summertime I’m A Bright Kid Foundation theater arts sessions, also discovered that the show cannot always go on as scheduled. In this case, the potential threat was the pandemic, which affected some kids and a few adult backstagers. Hence, there were other lessons learned.

The show, about a teen broadcast dispenser of advice for an audience of youths with a bundle of growing-up issues, radically did a turn-around, with the final three performances requiring the kids to don face masks for the safety of all, with only brief instances of unmasked solo singing.

I don’t recall any other local group hitting the stage with full cast masking during the pandemic, so the IABK gang outdid itself with an energetic booster shot of desire and determination, earning a deserved standing ovation at the finale I attended.


The “Edwina” ensemble, before face-masking.

The show, set in Michigan with music by Zina Goldrich and lyrics and book by Marcy Heisler, was a “junior” edition, meaning a curtailed production for a youth or junior cast. Edwina Spoonapple (Cleonice Hamm, splendid and  stunning), solicits letters from youths and shares her growing-up wisdom, like a teen Dear Abby. The formula embraces vibrant musical numbers – song and dance productions, the heartbeat of the show – tackling simple topics as where the silverware is placed in a dinner setting and matters of the heart.

Kids of all ages, looks and sizes converts “Edwina” into an island rainbow of talent, singing, somersaulting, radiating joyous pride, particularly in the “chorus” of line-ups, like a piggy number where many not just singing through their facemasks, but donning piggy wears, snout and tail. Oink!

A sane and simple tune, prior to the final curtain, reflects the IABK pulse:  “Sing Your Own Song” advocates the notion that everyone has a voice and should use it. “Don’t let them take away the music you’re made of,” is a thematic line, which reflects the core of believing in yourself and it’s OK to move to your own drumbeat, a teaching and learning point of the late director-teacher Ron Bright, who inspired this spirit in his quest to share and shape the notion that everyone matters.

Surely, these youths have heard about and learned theories of Mr. B, as he was known, and his fingerprints continue to live through his followers, backstage and onstage. Before each show, there’s a circle of prayer to unify and inspire; at the final curtain bow, all performers point upwards to the heavens to acknowledge the mentor and his impact.

A Bright tradition – a family member almost always exists in a Bright show – continues, with grandson Drew Bright (persistently cute, in voice and in manner) playing Scott Kunkle, a teen with his eyes on Edwina.  

Jade Stice, who directed the show, was a Bright kid growing up, continues to reflect Mr. B’s ways. The adult circle of educators involved include Moku Durant, music director; David Boyd, vocal director; and Alex Durrant, Lisa Herlinger-Thompson, and Annie Yoshida, choreographers; DeAnne Kennedy, set designer; Danielle Mizuta, costume coordinator; Chris Gouveia, lighting designer; Kingsley Kalohelani, sound engineer; and Allan Lau, production manager. Indeed, their collective skills and savvy helped create and shape this genuinely collaborative powerhouse of a kid musical. The staging is akin to a “graduation show.”

The summer program—which attracted youths from all over the islands– was supported in part by a grant from the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation.  “Edwina Jr.” was the first IABK live theatrical endeavor since the pandemic outbreak in 2019. …

And that’s Show Biz. …