“The Three Phantoms,” in a two-day visitation at the Hawaii Theatre, is more than three dudes uniting in songs for fellowship and fun.

The show, organized by Broadway vet Craig Schulman, opened last night (Oct. 29) and repeats at 2 p.m. today (Oct. 30).

Schulman, beloved in Hawaii for his two-visit performance as Jean Valjean in  “Les Miserables” back in the day, clearly is the centerpiece of the revue though his colleagues Gary Mauer and Keith Buterbaugh.  are singularly impressive. Together – in solos, duets and trios – The Three Phantoms (yep, they all have headlined as the masked marvel in their careers) put on a panorama of Great White Way tunes you know or have forgotten.

Over a splendid two-hour retrospective of  tunes from Broadway musicals performed by gents, the trio shared 18 songs, in an appealing stroll down memory lane that revived tunes rarely sung today. Schulman, Mauer and Buterbaugh are tenors, able to reach the upper-register notes, but Buterbaugh also has depth as a baritone. And these voices emphatically show that each actor is a leading player in the theatrical spectrum.

Craig Schulman

I loved the segments that featured awesome overtures/instrumentals, no vocals, including “Oklahoma,” rendered by a tireless and expressive six-member local orchestra featuring John Kolivas, bass; Abe Lagrimas Jr., drums; Todd Yukumoto, sax; Rick Broadwell, trumpet; and Monica Chung, synthesizer.

The show’s pianist-conductor Dan Riddle shaped a rhapsodic and awesome “Phantom” montage leading towards a trio delivery of “Music of the Night,” the highly anticipated ballad with shadings expected from a gang who’s been there, done that. This finale had comedic preludes as the guys feigned singing the tune solo during several false starts that were part of the scheme.

So what, among the numbers, were stunning?

Certainly, Schulman’s iconic signature, “Bring Him Home,” from “Les Miz,” rich with emotional wallop, bringing down the house. He is the actor who has played Valjean in 2,500 performances, the most ever by anyone, so yes, he “owns” the tune. A close second among his conquests: “This Is the Moment,” from “Jekyll and Hyde,” with its requisite roller-coaster vocal dynamics. Boy, his pipes are still sizzling-hot

Gary Mauer

Certainly, Mauer’s “Gethsemane” from “Jesus Christ Superstar,” embodied the intensity of the Jesus he played on stage.

Certainly, Buterbaugh is expressive medley from “Sweeney Todd,” a show he’s conquered earlier.

The threesome got good mileage from “They Call the Wind Maria,” from “Paint Your Wagon,” one of the rarely-heard-these-days treats.

Perhaps the “Brotherhood of Man,” from “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” underscored the mantra of The Three Phantoms; rapport comes from togetherness, bonding minds, hearts, and spirits. Consequently, “Standing on the Corner,” also a trio entry from “The Most Happy Fella,” reflected a similar sentiment.

Keith Buterbaugh

 The show’s format was logical: background show title templates were flashed, providing clues on what’s coming. And the tunes from each show must’ve required some curating; like, “Damn Yankees,” one of two encore ditties, focused on “You Gotta Have Heart,” a baseball-oriented tune that spills over into everyday life. Heart and hope matter.

The second encore, “White Sandy Beach of Hawaii,” was joyous surprise and the local-song-choice endeared the audience. The Three Phantoms know how to anchor a show!

Access to the Hawaii Theatre was difficult because downtown crowds gathered by the hundreds for a pre-Halloween street party, which blocked sidewalks and made access to parking garages a challenge. Folks attending today’s final matinee shouldn’t have barriers and blockage; the tricks were outside last night, but treats awaited inside…

And that’s Show Biz. …


Remember when jack-o-lanterns were made from papier-mâché?

You could put a candle inside, so the glow made its eyes and mouth bright.

If you added a flame, you probably needed a stick attached to the lantern’s wire or cord to avoid getting burned.

No, it wasn’t safe.

Some kids used these unlighted pumpkins to collect their treats. Back in the day, you didn’t go for the huge haul to fill shopping bags.

You still can get these papier-mâché creations online; vintage ones can cost anywhere from $50 to $400. It would be a collectible item, if its origins date back, say, five decades.

But most kids nowadays don’t carry a jack-o-lantern, which are largely fashioned from plastic, and require a battery-supported “candle” for the glow.

So the question is, are jack-o-lanterns necessary anymore?

If you have a memory of the lanterns from yesteryear, share your thoughts here.


Comedian Frank DeLima, a somewhat regular parody singer-composer, has been silent in recent months but broke the silence a few days back to share and  release a pain-centric tune entitled “76 Hormones,” based on “76 Trombones” from “The Music Man.”

The achy lyrics, of course, reflect what is true in senior hood. When you age, you tend to hurt a lot in areas you never imagined. DeLima’s delivery is swift and precise, belying his personal bouts with pain. Of course, the song and the musical are performed nightly when Hugh Jackman stars and sings it on Broadway.

Frank DeLima

DeLima shared the Meredith Willson tune with me, and I posted it on my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wayne.harada.5  (The program I use to create this column does not allow video).

But you can download it, at www.frankdelima.com, by making a modest donation to his ongoing Student Enrichment Program, in which he provides valuable life lessons for students in public and private schools statewide.

He’s now trying to get the parody stored in his mind, to premiere a live performance at his Blue Note Hawaii brunch show Dec. 11 at the club within the Outrigger Waikiki resort.

“I kinda know it, because it was done a while back, but I need to memorize it again,” said DeLima. When he performs a parody for  video release, he usually has the lyrics displayed on a iPad or computer for reference, just so you know his process.

David Talisman

On this one, he collaborated with David “Kawika” Talisman, a sometimes lyricist for parody numbers in DeLima’s shows, who suggested DeLima do this parody. He’s now an active private investigator, though once was a singer and composer in his earlier life on the mainland, but his fingerprints are obvious on “76 Hormones.”

Speaking of seniors, DeLima will emcee  the Lanakila Senior Center Thanksgiving Celebration from 9 to 11 a.m. Nov. 16 at the Senior Center. There will be pre-show entertainment from 8 to 9 a.m, featuring Victor’s Kapakahi Group and the Happy Senior Serenaders.

Meanwhile, DeLima will have a mini-performance slot at this year’s Made in Hawaii show, at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at the third floor parking lot above Longs at Ala Moana Center.

Silk Sonic will skip the Grammys

Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, the duo comprising Silk Sonic, won’t be participating in the upcoming Grammy Awards. And they won’t submit their hit album, “An Evening With Silk Sonic,” for awards consideration, set for Feb. 5, 2023 in Los Angeles.

Bruno Mars

Mars recently said in a statement he and .Paak will dodge the Grammys.

Not that they aren’t proud of their album.

“We truly put our all on this record, but Silk Sonic would like to gracefully, humbly, and most importantly, sexually, bow out of submitting our album this year,” said Mars,  “We hope we can celebrate with everyone on a great year of music and partake in the party. Thank you for letting Silk Sonic thrive.”

Earlier this year, Silk Sonic earned Grammy kudos for the first single, “Leave the Door Open,” which earned Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best R&B Performance and Best R&B Song.” The album came later so would have been a prime contender for honors in 2023, but by not submitting the album, it’ll give other acts a chance in the spotlight. …

However, Silk Sonic appears to be an Album of the Year nominee at the Soul Train awards next month in Las Vegas.  No word (yet) of a pull-out. …

 Not one, but  Three Phantoms

Craig Schulman

Just a reminder that “The Three Phantoms” descend upon the Hawaii Theatre stage this week, with shows at 7 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 29) and 2 p.m. Oct. 30 (Saturday). And because it’s Halloween weekend, with folks expected to be donning boo-tiful costumes, the Hawaii Theatre is enabling and welcoming costumed patrons to the shows, too.

Of course, the chief phantom will be Craig Schulman, who has appeared here as Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables” but has played the masked fella elsewhere, with two other phantoms aboard: Keith Buterbaugh and Gary Mauer.

The show will feature the trio in the rich library of gents-sung tunes in a range of Broadway hits, so you’ll likely recognize all the music of the night, some without masks…

And nice supportive gesture for Manoa Valley Theatre to remind its patrons that Schulman will be in town for his own show, but previously did a Manoa Marquee fundraiser for MVT. …

Broadway grosses, week ending  Oct. 23

Lea Michele

It was back to normal, sort of, with “The Music Man” rising up to $3.023 million, for No. 1.

Of course, “Hamilton” continues to be hot, with $2.041 million. And “MJ the Musical” followed at No. 3, with $1.746 million.

With Lea Michele now playing Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl,” that musical had a $1.723 million gross, its best since the show opened, good for No. 4.

“The Lion King,” still dependable, logged a $1.714 million gross, landing at No. 5.

The findings, courtesy The Broadway League:

And that’s Show Biz. …


Surviving members of Kalapana will take the stage at Blue Note Hawaii at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 8 and 9, to remember three of the founding members of the group: DJ Pratt, Malani Bilyeu and Mackey Feary.

The participating musicians likely will include Gaylord Holomalia and Kenji Sano, who have had longstanding stints with the original band, and others who have had tenure with Kalapana could emerge, too, including  Kirk Thompson, Alvin Fejarang, Randy Aloya, and Michael Paulo.

However, the Blue Note website does not identify who will be taking the stage, and efforts to secure a roster of vocalists and musicians so far have not been successful.

Clearly, most of Kalapana’s hit songs – still getting some airplay on local radio – featured the voices of Feary and Bilyeu.

The original Kalapana, from left: Kirk Thompson, Mackey Feary, Malani Bilyer and DJ Pratt.

 Kalapana was bestowed the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011; recipients then included Bilyeu, Feary (posthumously), Pratt, Thompson, Fejarang, Paulo and Aloya.

Feary, who had drug addiction issues, died Feb. 20, 1999, at age 43. He apparently took his own life while imprisoned, leading to a tragic end. His legacy includes such classic musical moments as   “Nightbird,” “Juliet,” “Moon and Stars,” and “The Hurt.”

Bilyeu died of a heart attack on Dec. 27, 2018, on Kauai. He was 69. His Kalapana compositions included “(For You) I’d Chase a Rainbow,” “You Make It Hard,” “ Naturally,”  “Girl” and “Many Classic Moments.”

Pratt was found unresponsive in his home on Sept. 7, 2021. He was 67. Pratt earned two Na Hoku Hanohano Awards for his work as a member of Kalapana. He earned three more for his skills as a recording studio engineer.

Tickets: $45 and $35, at www.bluenotehawaii.com or  (808) 777-4890.

HA-lloween for adults

Hawaii ArtSpace, a new theatrical production company, will be holding its first fundraiser from 5 to 9 p.m.  Sunday (Oct. 23) at The B Side HNL, (1200 Ala Moana Blvd., the former Ryan’s location) at Ward Center.

There’s a holiday-themed show as well as a sweepstake and costumes are encouraged but not required.

Candi Shell

Drag Queen extraordinaire, Candi Shell, will emcee a program featuring  opera singer Lea Woods Almanza, as Elvira, Queen of Darkness. HA-lloween themed songs, suitable for the bewitching season, will be re-imagined:  “Moon Over Bourbon Street,” “Werewolves of London,” Who Ya Gonna Call, “ “Time Warp,”  “One Way or Another“ and “I Put A Spell on You.”

Theatrical talent you might recognize will include, Jody  Bill, Nick Amador, Aiko Schick, Jarren Amian, Starr Kalahiki, David Heulitt, Stacy Pulmano, and Tito Berinobis.

Seasonal characters like Frankenstein, Beetlejuice, The Sanderson Sisters and Frankfurter will make appearances.

And you could win a trinket box by Edgar Berebi, dinner for two at The Chart House, an abalone shell ring, and two tickets to the Elton John concert at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles (excluding air fare and housing).

There will be heavy pupu and a cash bar.

Proceeds will support future Hawaii ArtSpace productions.

 Tickets: $40, at hawaiiartspace.org 

All proceeds go towards future Hawaii ArtSpace productions, …

Broadway grosses, week ending Oct. 16

“The Music Man” was shy of the $3 million level, but it’s still No. 1 on the Broadway grosses list, collecting $2.925 million.

No. 2, as usual, was “Hamilton,” which logged. $2.051 million.

No. 3 was “The Lion King,” with $1.815 million, roaring back to the top three tier.

The list is courtesy The Broadway League:

And that’s Show Biz. …


Let’s talk cars: What brand of car was the very first you owned or drove?

And how many cars have you owned or driven since?

I remember my  first vehicle, after obtaining a license, was my family’s Dodge.

The first car I bought, after getting married, was a Ford. A second Ford followed.

Then I switched to a Mazda, my third vehicle.

I discovered the Nissan brand, so had a Pathfinder SUV for a spell. — the height of an SUV gave you a better view of the traffic,

Then I moved up to the Infiniti brand, getting an Infiniti SUV, even if gasoline prices were high. ‘Twas all about the height and view again.

Returned to a sedan, switching to a sleek Infiniti G35, then acquired my dream car, the Infiniti Q50, and recently upgraded to a “loaded” Q50, a previously-owned model (my first “used” car.

So the count of “owned” cars:  Eight over a little more than five decades.

Reason for sticking to Infiniti: Dependability and value (kept two models for more than 100,000 miles) and service (never had issues, always had a loaner when servicing).

What’s your history on wheels?