Make a lei. Wear a lei. Give a lei.

For decades, these sentiments have embraced the annual Lei Day tradition.

So get set for May Day/Lei Day.

Three key happenings:

  • Robert Cazimero, pictured left, headlines a May Day concert, from 7 to 9 p.m. May 1, at Bishop Museum’s Great Lawn. The evening of Hawaiiana will be rich with talent and robust with folks donning lei. Two Hawaiian music treasures, Nina Keali‘iwahamana and Jerry Santos, are life-long troupers linked with island mele, will perform, keeping the kupuna glory alive. Keauhou, the 17-time Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning trio, represents the next-generation spirit of mele.  Cazimero’s Hālau Nā Kamalei o Līlīlehua, will provide the hula, along with Hālau Ka Lehua Tuahine under the direction of kumu hula Ka‘ilihiwa Vaughn Darval. Debbie Nakanelua-Richards and Billy V will co-host. A pre-concert Ho‘omau Market, from 5 to 7 p.m., will offer kau kau and pre-show entertainment. Tickets: $30 to $120, at

  • Halau I Ka Wehu, led by kumu Karl Veto Baker, pictured near right, and Michael Casupang, pictured right, will mark its silver (25th) anniversary with a May Day concert at 7 p.m. May 1 at the Tom Moffatt Waikiki Shell. Halau members are selling tickets, priced from $35 to $50 for reserved seating, and $25 for general admission lawn seating. …

  • Kalani Pe‘a, pictured left, multiGrammy and Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner,  leads a May Day show from 4 pm. April 30 (yes, a day earlier) at the Hawaii Theatre. On board: Nāpua Greig and Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka, Mākena (the blend of Ho’okena members and  Louis “Moon” Kauakahi of Mākaha Sons) with kumu hula Nani Dudoit and Hālau Kaleilehuaikealoonālani), Liam Molet, Miss Aloha Hula Manalani English and kumu hula Leimomi Ho. Mele Apana will be the host. Tickets: $45 to $100, at

Lei contest at Kapiolani Park

The city’s 95th annual Lei Day Celebration, highlighted by a lei contest, will be held from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. May 1 at Kapiolani Park.

Lei makers – the professionals as well as hobbyists – will create inventive fresh-flower lei to compete in a contest celebrating the facets and foundation of lei-making, utilizing blooms as well as different methods and skills of lei-making.

The city also selected an ensemble of Lei Day queens:

  • Leilani  Kūpahu-Marino Kahoʻāno, pictured, is Lei Day Queen.
  • Melodie Lynn Leinaʻala Naluaʻi Vega is First Princess.
  • Charlene Kapualani Kauhane Harano is Princess.

There is no admission to the contest. The event includes Hawaiian entertainment, exhibits and demonstrations.

Late Night musical at UH Lab Theatre

“Oridinary Days,” a musical about friendship, love and loss, will be staged April 28 to 30 at the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre at Kennedy Theatre, on the University of Hawaii campus.

The show is co-directed by Jasmine Haley Anderson and Rebecca Mahar as a part of their MFA Acting thesis project. Written  by Adam Gwon, the musical features a cast of four, and illuminates the struggles of people who are affected by trauma, emotionally struggling with self-worth, feeling alone, and seeking to find a friend.

The hope is that the connections and depictions will yield joy, conversation, and comfort, leading to empowerment.

Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Seating is limited and donations will be accepted at the door; however, no one will be turned away for lack of funds…

And that’s Show Biz …


The mystery is confirmed, with the announcement that Chris Sanders — the only voice heard in Disney’s hit TV series and subsequent animated feature films — will continue to provide the words and sounds of Lilo’s sci-fi dog-like pet in the forthcoming “Lilo & Stitch” live-action movie.

Simply put, Stitch will be created by computer graphics, with genetically altered technology earlier embraced in the making of “The Lion King.” Not merely a dude in blue…but one with destructive power.

Thus, Sanders (pictured left)  will provide the voice and words for Lilo’s sci-fi dog-like alien.

As earlier announced, the Big Island’s Maia Kealoha, 6, has been cast as Lilo Pelekai, in her film debut.

The cast will include Sydney Agudong, 22,(pictured left), as Nani, Lilo’s sister. It’s also her big screen debut, though she has minor TV credits.

And Kahiai Machado (pictured left) will portray David Kawena, Lilo’s surfer friend, which was originally voiced by Jason Scott Lee in the original TV series. In this outing, David will emerge as Nani’s love interest.

Zach Galifianakis has been mentioned to portray Wendy Pleakly, a quirky Galactic Federation agent. Further, Billy Magnussen has been listed to be in the cast, though the role is unknown.

The new film will continue the exploits of Lilo and Stitch, extending their bond while still residing in Hawaii, and plagued by government agents and social workers, according to online reports.

The Dean Fleischer Camp is directing; the group has a background in comedy and is known for its “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On.” The screenplay was written by Chris Kekaniokalani Bright and the production is being overseen by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich.

Though a release date is not yet firm, it’s likely to be on Disney+’s 2024 agenda. …

Tam among actors in ‘Earth Day’ concert

Jason Tam, Hawaii actor (“A Chorus Line,” “Jesus Christ Superstar”) will be among the participants in the second annual “Broadway Celebrates Earth Day” concert on Saturday (April 22) at Times Square.

The Broadway Green Alliance, in partnership with the Times Square Alliance, are co-hosting.

The event will be staged from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Broadway, between 45th and 46th Streets. If you happen to be New York, local boy Tam (pictured right) will appear in the morning program.

 Seth Rudestsky and James Wesley will host the concert. …

Broadway grosses, for week ending April 16

So “The Phantom of the Opera,” which closed April 16 after a 35 year run, left the building (the Majestic Theatre), taking along $3.739 million in its adieu.

The tally might’ve reached $4 million, because the finale included a lot of comps and likely a star-studded crowd eager to see the chandelier crash for the final time.

Here are the top seven shows, for the week ending April 16, with figures provided by The Broadway League:

1 — “The Phantom of the Opera,” $3.739 million.

2 — “The Lion King,” $2.825 million.

3 — “Wicked,” $2.251 million.

4– “Hamilton,” $2.040 million.

5 — “Sweeney Todd,” $1.789 million.

6 — “Funny Girl,” $1.762 million.

7 — “Aladdin,” $1.761 million. …

Here’s the complete list:

And that’s Show Biz. …


Kudos and maile leis aplenty to Kumu Hula Tracie Farias and partner in Kumu-ship husband Keawe Lopes, (pictured below) for steering their Kaneohe-based Ka La ‘Onohi Mai o Ha‘eha‘e halau  to the pinnacle of huladom at Saturday’s 60th anniversary of the Merrie Monarch Festival finale at the Edith Kanaka‘ole  Stadium in Hilo.

Victory was just a  slender edge (one point) over the second place finisher, William Kahakuleilehua Haunu‘u  “Sonny” Ching’s and Lopaka Igarta-De Vera’s Halau Na Mamo Pu‘uanahulu.

A yellow ginger lei, too, for Agnes Renee Leilhiwahiwaikapolionamakua Thronas Brown, who was named Miss Aloha Hula, representing the Farias-Lopes halau.

Ka La ‘Onohi Mai o Ha‘eha‘e also placed first in wahine kahiko, fourth in wahine ‘auana and third in kane kahiko….

Had to ask entertainer Karen Keawehawaii (pictured), who is mom to Tracie and mother-in-law to Keawe, when she learned about the family-related halau’s Merrie Monarch Festival, since she was on a work-related trip to Las Vegas, with a Perry & The Posse group of travelers.

She was alone, in her California Hotel room, ”crying happy tears,” said Keawehawaii. “But I was not alone,” clearly referring to the presence of her late husband, Jackie Farias. …

Local girl wins ‘Wheel’ fortune

Malia Dunaway, (pictured), a former Honolulan now a sophomore at Villanova University, was a “Wheel of Fortune” winner in the show that aired here April 7.

She was part of a spring break week of contestants on the syndicated TV game show, and though she missed solving the show-ending puzzle of $40,000 – the answer was HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR — she nonetheless picked up $25,850 in prize money….

And speaking of “Wheel:” Pat Sajak, longtime “Wheel” host and lifelong pal of  newsman Joe Moore, will finally be joining forces to star in Neil Simon’s comedy, “The Sunshine Boys,” at the Hawaii Theatre. Playdates are June 15 to 25.

Sajak did a splendid pitch for the production, mentioning his Army buddy, who is the veteran KHON2 news anchor. Because a Hawaiian scenic was displayed at the ending of the show, Sajak suggested to his mammoth syndicated audience to get away from the sunshine and beaches of Honolulu, and come attend the play. Priceless promo that brought a smile to Moore. It’s been a while since the duo committed to do the play, which was postponed thrice because of the pandemic. …

And that’s Show Biz. …


A historic moment: “The Phantom of the Opera” closed tonight (April 16) at the Majestic Theatre. How’s this for a cast photo to mark the milestone? It’s Broadway’s longest-running musical…until the next biggie arrives. RIP, though who knows, a revival might be in the distant future.


A Belgian waffle store, La Liegeoise, has opened at the Koko Marina Shopping Center in Hawaii Kai, in the former Sophie’s Pizza slot a stone’s throw from Zippy’s take-out space.

The concept is a holdable waffle with options for toppings of your choice.

I chose a basic cinnamon sugar topping, sprinkled over a waffle that had a crispy exterior and a tad sticky interior, making it a chewable pastry toasted like a conventional thick Belgian waffle but with a slightly moist inside.

The basic waffle is $7, with a $1 charge for your choice of a topping such as Nutella, peanut butter, strawberry jam and whipped cream, or not-so-common options like Oreo, Fruit Loops, M&Ms and salted butter caramel.

The various toppings kinda makes La Liegeoise’s waffle trying to play catch up with the trendy doughnuts. So far, no bacon topping. Nor maple syrup.

Some considerations: if you’re holding and eating the waffle, you might want a topping that won’t topple. If you eat the waffle flat, you could still use your fingers and munch as you would a slice of toast. Or use utensils like you would a normal waffle.

But here’s the rub: the quicker you eat it (it’ll be warm), the better; if you’re buying for dessert after dinner, it won’t be fresh (it’ll be cold).

Best option: eat in-store, since there are a few tables. You can splurge and buy before or after a movie, make it your breakfast, or your snack after shopping instead of shave ice.

My opinion: It’s a middling newcomer with an uphill battle to compete with fancy doughnuts and malasadas, where patrons order up a dozen. Don’t think these waffles will have too many take-out orders of 12. …

Services set for John Michael White

A memorial service for the late John Michael White will be held at 2 p.m. May 18 at Central Union Church, 1660 S. Beretania St.

White died March 31 at age 81.

White, pictured, was known for his support of a range of community organizations, including Boys Bunch Hawaii, of which he was a founding member, the Hawaii Polo Club and the polo community, and Make a Wish Foundation.

I knew him best as avid theater patron, where he always shared his manao with a handshake and beaming smile, at productions at Diamond Head Theatre and Manoa Valley Theatre.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to John’s favorite causes.

Survivors include a son, Jeffrey Michael White, and a daughter, Tracey White McCarthy, and several grandchildren. …

Make Longs a part of your day, again

Well, you can make Longs a part of your day again, when Kumu Kahua revives the Lee Cataluna comedy, “Folks You Meet at Longs,” May 25  to June 25…

The show, which was a hit when it originally premiered in 2003, is a glimpse of folks who frequent the aisles of the drug store where just about everyone shops. There are monologues and interaction, just like any day at a Longs. Not surprisingly, CVS Longs and HMSA are among the partners in sponsoring this run.

The acting ensemble features Alysia-Leila Kepaʻa, Brandon Hagio, Cori Matsuda,  Darryl Soriano, Dawn Gohara, Jason Kanda, Jonathan Reyn,  Judy Lucina, and Thoren Lagaʻali Black.

Alvin Chan, who is directing the revival, said , “It’s an honor to work on a piece that I consider to be part of Hawaii’s theater canon.”

For ticket information, call  (808) 5364441 orvisit

And that’s Show Biz. …