The Sanderson Sisters – that would be Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy – apparently may be singing and heading to Broadway.

The trio, a hit in the 1993 fantasy horror film, currently appear in a streamer, “Hocus Pocus 2,”  airing on Disney+.

Though the crystal ball suggests that the witches are likely to return again in another venue, the Broadway stage sometime soon, you gotta wonder why.

No. 2 is cute and funny, but not the treat audiences will relish. In case you missed No. 1, there’s a prologue about the Sanderson Sisters as teens, so it seemed nearly forever for the “modern” elderly trio to fly in.

Why would “Hocus Pocus” make the Broadway jump? Could be partly because Midler, who used to be the Divine Miss M in earlier times, did great box office when she was Dolly Levi, in the reboot of “Hello, Dolly” two seasons ago. And she loves Halloween, based on the fact that her annual fundraiser called Hulaween is always on her agenda. The play on hula, of course, is to reinforce her Hawaiian roots.

But getting back to “Hocus Pocus, the Musical” – the tune-up apparently has been under wraps, according to David Kirshner, a producer in the franchise. It might have happened earlier, but COVID-19 swooshed it from the front on the stove to the back burner. So the film sequel must’ve been in the works, and beat the stage version to the cauldron.

The plans for the Broadway vehicle were revealed on the Broadway Podcast Network’s “The Art of Kindness.”

Sarah Jessica Parker, Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy in “Hocus Pocus 2.”

Of course, it would be a treat to reunite Midler, Parker and Najimy for one more flight on the broom. All have experience on the Great White Way, and the dealmaker would be if the producers can corral the threesome one more time. The trio delivered a couple of tunes – the best was “One Way or Another” – in “Hocus 2.”

But on Broadway, if there’s no Midler, there’d be no musical.

As for the streaming film: it’s Disney fluff mainly for the kids. The timeline is 2022, compared to the 1990 Salem in the original flick, and overall, it’s lame lunacy.

The revelation about a stage musical was made on Broadway Podcast Network’s “The Art of Kindness,” several days ago.

The stagecraft of giddy witches with spells that can spook, could work, but it’s got to have elements beyond shtick, considering Broadway tariffs. . And the modern times require updated apothecary surprises; No. 2 involves glowing powers, plus a wild, bewitching romp through a Walgreen’s store.

If a cast, composer, choreographer and director can be inked – and able to lure Midler, Parker and Najimy to frolic in a new Salem populated by dancing and prancing townsfolk – the show could evolve into a  Halloween tradition on Broadway …

‘Magnum’ transfer includes two seasons

“Magnum P.I.” currently is filming in Hawaii, under new alphabetical bosses: NBC instead of CBS.

And looks like Jay Hernandez and Perdita Weeks, will have a second season after this one to work out romantic issues.

Perdita Weeks and Jay Hernandez, in “Magnum P.I.”

That’s the outlook. Ten shows this year, ten more next year.

Reasons CBS pulled the plug after season four include a hefty audience base of 8 million viewers in the earlier years, shrinking to 6 million during the fourth year, plus a lack of Emmy nominations and wins (none). Ultimately, contractual conflicts with Universal, which produced the procedural, led to the downfall for the cancellation.

So “Magnum” has 20 episodes to reassess and ramp up the numbers….and hope for louder outcry from fans which helped give the show another chance. …

And that’s Show Biz. …


What does shaka mean? Who originated it? Is there the right way to wave one?

Producer Steve Sue and a team of filmmakers are trying to get the right spin on the widely used hand-and-fingers sign.

Sue, chairman of Bizgenics, a Hawaii-based nonprofit 501CE that specializes in creativity, innovation and supports  entrepreneurs to fulfill dreams, is aiming his cameras in the islands to find the meaning and origins of the shaka sign.

“It’s an interesting story to pursue,” said Sue, a Chinese entrepreneur who studied law but determined he was not going to be a lawyer. A former Californian married to a local girl who now lives in Kaimuki, Sue has toiled as a conceptualist creating theme parks, staging entertainment and corporate theater events, mega-resort casinos and other ventures.

His latest project is a documentary entitled “Shaka, a Story of Aloha,” with a planned mammoth finale Hawaiian luau at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oct. 19, in which three original songs are being composed by Henry Kapono to debut at the shooting.

The documentary will boast a Hollywoodish capstone in the PCC’s Hale Aloha showroom-theater, home of the “Ha” spectacle. And the public is invited to attend and participate and become part of the audience in the taping.

Steve Sue, an entrepreneur, is producing “Shaka, a Story of Aloha.”

“I’ve been interested in the shaka, learning from a friend in the LDS (Latter Day Saints) community, and three years ago, I met with the kupuna there,” said Sue.

Kella Miller, who is 100 per cent Hawaiian, was a resource with a lot of knowledge (of the shaka),” he said.

More recently, Sue went back to the PCC/LDS campus, started probing the legend of the shaka, with many logical origins, depending on the community.

“Anthology studies indicate 91 per cent of people don’t know where the shaka came from  and 7 per cent were curious about its origins.”

And region had a lot to do about the varying notions of where the shaka sign originated.

“There was a story  Hamana Kalili late in the 1800s, who lost three of his digits (between the thumb and the pinky finger), and a member of the Mormon people said it’s true. But there was a tale about a security guy on the train in Kahuku and how he lost his fingers,” said Sue.

“We talked to the Lippy Espinda family, and they say Lippy (a former operator of a service station at the entry of Waikiki and a veteran used car dealer) invented it,” said Sue.

While Joyce Fasi, widow of the former Mayor Frank Fasi, acknowledges Espinda, she said her husband made the shaka part of his brand as he campaigned on the streets of Honolulu.

The stories reflected a lot of aloha and fellowship, with variations galore.

Molokai folks give credit to leprosy residents of Kalaupapa, who lost digits.

The Portuguese paniolo of yesteryear considered the shaka as a drinking symbol.

Former surfer Fred Hemmings said dudes in the waves of Hawaii should not be forgotten in the popularity of the shaka, since surfers waved the sign as a symbol of the sport.

In Kahuku, there’s belief that the shaka was brought here by Japanese who worked at the sugar mill, because in Japan, there was Shakyamuni (with the y) who was known in short as the Shaka (without the y) buddha.

Early media personalities on TV, like Kini Popo (the late Carl Hebenstreit) utilized the shaka in his greeting.

The shaka also was flashed, albeit in a secretive manner, by a character on “NCIS: Hawai’i,” in last night’s episode on CBS, exposing the sign to a network TV audience.

And, of course, TV station KHON continues to end its newscasts with folks in all walks of life shaking and sharing the shaka – with film crews regularly shooting footage in a range of situations, from schools to malls, from hospitals to sporting events – to reflect both appreciation and friendship in a “TV moment” for the shaka-ers.

The simple flashing of a hand with three middle fingers facing to the nobs with thumb and pinky in the “up” position communicates without words.

The common shaka sign — three fingers down, between the thumb and the pinky finger.

But there’s really no right or wrong with doing the shaka. One can do a right-handed one or a left-handed version.

“The value of the shaka is connection,” said Sue. “It’s a feeling like you’ll be safe.”

Generally, the shaka should be simple, “without the elbow and body shaking.”

Sue recalled a memorable personal experience with the shaka. “It was the mid-1980s, and I was in Waialae – at Hunakai and Waialae – where a kid was selling newspapers in the median  and he threw me a major shaka,” Sue said.

The shaka can mean aloha, howzit, mahalo, all right, hang loose, a lot more.  And traditionally, it is flashed without words — though “shaka, brah” is sometimes the way to go.

The shaka is not being ignored in academia these days. “Some schools are teaching that beyond the aloha spirit, it’s important to recognize the shaka values, too.”

Kamehameha Schools is supporting and partially funding the “Shaka” film. Other partners  are Kapono Inc. and Sight & Sound Productions.

Sue is working on the eventual inclusion of the proper “shaka” sign amid the gallery of emoji icons widely utilized in e-messages.

The film also has ties with Project Shaka, which is a non-profit that provides free shaka stickers, with a motto, “Share a Shaka, Live Aloha.”

Remedy Spa Hawaii, a newcomer in the premium spa experiences in Waikiki, is a Japan business which is supporting the film because of Japan ties with the spirt of the shaka and the spirit of aloha.

Further, PBS here is interested in airing the film, with a possible reach to headquarters for wider screening on the PBS network.

Sue said he’s exploring the film festivals market, too, to launch the final product, being directed by Hawaii’s Alex Bocchieri, whose previous films include “Go For Broke” (2018), “No More Aloha” (2013) and “Flat” (2011).

“We’re stoked, with what we’ve captured so far and can’t wait to share the power of ‘Shaka’ to the world,” said Sue.

The $375,000 budget for the documentary –  already raised –was for a film envisioned as a 30-minute short. But the doc has  expanded to a 90 minute feature —  with $125,000 more sought by completion in 2023. A rough cut is expected by January 2023.

The final “shoot” at the Polynesian Cultural Center  will resemble a red-carpeted  opening night premiere event, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 19 – deliberately on a Wednesday, which is a dark night for the Laie venue – and space for 200 people is available.

Tickets are $225 (premium) and $175 (general) and will include a luau meal and a “Shaka” swag bag, plus photo ops  in front of a media wall. Those attending must sign a consent document to possibly appear in the crowd shots, part of a customary film-industry release  agreement.

Tickets are available at Eventbrite: shakacon2022.eventbrite.com

And that’s Show Biz. …