I’ll be seeing my first Broadway shows in the days ahead, when I make my first visit to New York in nearly four years.

The brakes started in late 2019, when the pandemic shut down pretty much everything.

I’ve gained a lot more confidence since, as I adjust to a number of changes.

It’s our first real vacation, so my wife Vi has been a bit uneasy, about the trip. But we need to make the plunge and re-ignite our love for The Big Apple.

It hasn’t been easy.

We’ve traded in 300,000 Hawaiian Air miles for a pair of first-class tickets and heading for JFK.

For the return trip from Newark, N.J., another 330,000 miles were required for United first-class seats.

Hotel searches revealed costly rates in the Theatre District, where we’ve been staying for our annual N.Y. visits in the past. The last time in the summer of 2019, rates at the New York Hilton on Sixth Avenue topped at more than $400 a night; didn’t bother checking this year, because we wanted to get room in the midst of the theater hub. A night at the Marriott, where we were hoping to book, was about than $450. Three other sites were on our list, where tariffs were in the upper $300; we decided to try the Hotel Edison on W. 47th St., a central location, and the tab will be well under $300 per night, for 10 nights. These rates don’t include the excessive N.Y. room taxes. But the hotel has a gym, which I’ll check out.

One tradition hasn’t changed for decades. I always send postcards to family and friends, but stopped buying postcards because they became pricey for the nice ones, but somewhat impersonal. So as a cardmaker, I started making New York note cards by the dozens, and these creations reflect my craft and personality, and become a keepsake (to recipients) of my silly artistry. Yep, made a bunch of notecards, ready for scribbling and then mailing fromThe Big Apple.

But the real change this year has been in the show ticketing process. I’ve been scoping the slate of shows, and finally booked 11 shows — yes, 11 only because there are no shows to book a No. 12 on Monday.

For my 2019 visit, online show reservations meant you could print your own with the usual bar-coding, pronto. Not anymore. Your reservations are sent two-weeks prior of booking dates.

Paper-ticketing still exists, you know, by printing out the QR codes that have finally been sent.

It’s the e-ticketing that was frustrating, with a few reservations directed to Seat Geek, an app that keeps your e-seats, downloaded on your iPhone. Three shows went directly to that site, which means no more souvenir ticket stubs collectibles. The plus: you can’t lose your tickets or forget ‘em at home. The reality: you can’t lose your phone, where some of the admissions are stored. This is the future of ticketing.

Online sales require prompt action; you have to be quick at getting in your data and essential searches for seats, and before you know it, you’re reminded you have  perhaps 10 minutes to rush through the process, otherwise you have to start all over again. Guess who started the process over and over a couple of times. Almost as bad as airline ticket-buying. Sigh…

With one show, I simply couldn’t complete the crush to download to my e-wallet, not Seat Geek, and when I attempted to get those QR codes printed, discovered that these weren’t going to be processable. I called Tele charge and was instructed that the only way I can get access was to bring my receipt with order number to the box office on day of performance, no earlier, to enable the box office to print out my tickets.

Wonder if they’ll be actual tickets, or the one with bar codes.

Since I’ve used a walking cane for stability on foot, during my last two or three Broadway visits, I’ll continue to do that, with an additional element: I’ve rented an electric wheelchair for use whenever a walk might be taxing, and surely on the day I plan to visit a Trader Joe’s store and then wheel on over to the nearest post office, to mail ‘em in priority boxes. It used to be a walk-over, but these on-foot endeavors seem to get longer and wearier than the past.

The wheelchair will be a boon to museum visits, and I won’t need to wait on one floor while my wife views collections in other floors.

Will continue to purchase Metro Cards, to catch the buses and the subways; on some days the wheelchair will sit still in my hotel room. Most subways don’t have elevators so walking up and down those endless stairs will count as some of my exercises..

The point is, New York can still be a prime destination, even for those with some handicaps. You just have to move at your own pace, with your own plans, with your own orientation. Go Slow will be my mantra.

Wish me luck; will have lots to share upon my return…

Meanwhile, here are last week’s Broadway grosses

The after-Tony crush has yet to appear, at least for the week ending June 18.

The reigning shows, in our Lucky 7 list, continue to hold on to the lead, with this year’s winners like “Kimberly Akimbo” not yet connecting with ticket-buyers.

The Broadway League, which provides the numbers, revealed the leaders:

1—“The Lion King,” with $2.349 million.

2—“Hamilton,” with $1.957 million.

3—“Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber on Fleet Street,” $1.935 million.

4—“Funny Girl, $1.609 million.

5—“MJ, the Michael Jackson Musical,” $1.587 million.

6—“Aladdin,” $1.532 million.

7—“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” $1.392 million. …

Here’s the complete list:

And that’s Show Biz. …


Broadway in Hawaii, the group which just concluded its first four-show series of musicals at the Blaisdell Concert Hall, is seeking input on what islanders would like to see in the next slate of shows.

The Concert Hall will shut down in July, for a long-overdue renovation, but the producers of these events are polling ticket-buyers about possible choices next year, or in two years.

Inside the playbill at the “Cats” show, there is a page dubbed “What show do you want to see?,” along with a QR code to vote.

There’s no guarantee any of the show choices will be picked, but let your voice be heard.

This ad in the “Cats” playbill seeks viewer choices.

Personally, I think if we could have a four-season agenda, I’d pick these:

  • “Les Miserables,” the most popular of all Broadway titles that have been staged here. I can already hear the people sing! Bring it home, again.
  • “Ain’t Too Proud,” a musical bio of The Temptations. Saw this a couple of years ago, and the soundtrack is chock-full of Temps triumphs like “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” and “I Can’t Get Next to You.” The vocals are grand, the choreography sensational. The Temptations are Motown’s longest-running act topping such label mates as Michael Jackson, Diana Ross and the Supremes, and Lionel Richie and the Commodores.
  • “Come From Away,” a sleeper when it first opened in New York, is a gotta-see  musical about the real-life tales and friendship when passengers heading for New York couldn’t land because of the 9/11 tragedy but found comfort and support from the Canadian residents of Gander, Newfoundland.
  • “A Beautiful Noise, the Neil Diamond Musical,” is an audience favorite. Will see this when I visit New York this month, and I can already hear the choruses of “So good, so good, so good” when “Sweet Caroline” is performed. The show had no Tony noms, but diehard Diamond fans are making this one sizzle.

Of the other choices: if you want a current show, “& Juliet” or “Shucked” could fill the bill; they arrived this past season on Broadway.  I’d pass on “Pretty Woman, the Musical,” a disappointing take on the Julia Roberts and Richard Gere film, and isn’t it too soon for a “Wicked” homecoming?  “Kinky Boots” is a howl, no matter how often you see it, but “Beetlejuice”  might work if it had a Halloween run. Enough opinions, already…

Let theSunshine’ in…   

Pat Sajak and Joe Moore, the duo comprising Neil Simon’s “The Sunshine Boys” comedy at the Hawaii Theatre, completed the first of five performances “and I’m happy to report the audiences seem to love the show, a lot of laughs and applause,” said Moore.

Sajak and Moore have generously donated time and their comedic skills to raise funds for the Hawaii Theatre, and the  final six performances start this Wednesday and run through Sunday. Evening performances are at 7 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday. 

The duo, Army buddies from way back when, are the only television “names” I know who have made this a regular “hobby,” rehearsing long-distance. Sajak has been the host of the syndicated (and widely popular) “Wheel of Fortune,” and Moore has been a top-rated news anchor at KHON, the Fox affiliate here.

Tickets are $35 to $75, available  at the box office at 808-528-0506  …

Moore,  the merrier

Bryce Moore, son of Joe Moore, is in “Sunshine,” and calls stage acting a “tricky beast.”

“You get the thrill of being in front of a live audience but also don’t get any ‘second takes.’ It’s straight through, no do-overs.”

This is his first professional theater gig, with only a middle school (Mid-Pacific) credit in a production of “Suessical Jr.,” in which he played the Mayor of Whoville.

He’s watched dad and Sajak before, and dad offered him a role. After viewing the movie adaption of “Sunshine,” he said, “ “there was no way that I was going to say no. I couldn’t, and still can’t think of a higher honor than to share a stage with them.”

Since 2020, he’s also been working in the shadows of dad Joe as a KHON journalist, riding out the pandemic, which shelved “Sunshine” for three years.

His tasks have included “listening to police scanners, answering phone calls from the public and getting everything that aired in our newscasts onto our website.”

As a multimedia journalist, he is “responsible for being the writer, producer, editor, talent and cameraman while I’m out on my stories. I’m constantly approaching strangers with a camera and recording myself in public, so as far as to feeling pressure of being watched… I guess I’m pretty used to it.” …

And that’s Show Biz. …


“CATS,” the Andrew Lloyd Webber hit based on T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book on Practical Cats’” winds up a brief week’s run with two more performances today (June 18) at the Neal Blaisdell Center Concert Hall.

It’s the finale of a four-show “Broadway in Hawaii” series that early included “Beautiful, the Carole King Story,””Hamilton,” and “Jersey Boys.”

This touring company boasts a capable ensemble and actually is a delight. Can’t believe how this “Cats” has nine lives of actors who bring sprightly freshness and hidden gems to the plate, as featured soloists and as en mass ensemble.

For me, the nine elements that make this very entertaining include:

1 – Old Deuteronomy, portrayed by Cameron Shutza, brings a powerful tenor voice, and has a commanding presence in the role of the Cats’ senior mentor. His grandness extends to that body in a costume that looks more like a bear than a cat, and he’s the first Deutoronomy that doesn’t remain on stage during intermission. In very early productions, spectators could get on stage and visit, but the pandemic nixed that inter-action perk. Too bad; he’d be a hero to worship.

Old Deutoronomy, rear, awaiting the cat transiting to the Heviside layer.

2 – Gus, the theater cat, full name Asparagus, is hugely likeable. As I’ve personally aged, I can  associate with John Ankier Bow, who has presence and character and he dons show’s best costume, an eye-catcher that looks highly fashionable befitting a theater legend. He looks and says Show Biz.

3 – The resident Grizabella, Tayler Harris, starts slowly and deliberately and becomes the centerpiece of the show’s signature hit, “Memory.” No doubt, she earns the privilege to ascend to the Heaviside Layer, up, up, up, away. In this version, however, she boards a gigantic tire with Deuteronomy, but is shuttled to heaven in a newbie transit.

4 – Magical Mister Mistoffelees, played by Ibn Snell, is the magical cat with the brightest, lit-up costume in multiple hues, and besides a soaring voice, he can twirl and swirl in dance. His magical tricks are new and awesome.

5 —  Mungojerrie and Rumpleteaser are the winsome twosome, enacted by Brian Craig Nelson and Taryn Smithson, respectively, doubling the pleasure of teamwork.

6 –Rum Tum Tugger, the rock ‘n’ roll cat, makes Hank Santos one of the most active, energetic cats with motion and commotion. Happily, his hairy costume has been retained, and he makes good use of his tail.

7 – Who can’t joyously chug along with the railroad cat, Skimbleshanks, depicted by Reagan Davidson? That locomotive scene, with locomotive and choo-choo wheels, is one of the show’s highlights.

8 – Though he’s mostly not seen, but repeatedly heard, Macavity as shaped by Dominique Fortunato, has his wiry coif, and elusive mysteriousness that continues to haunt.

The “Cats” company, in full costumed regalia, is the cat’s meow.

9  — The Jellicle Ball, in Act 1, sets the tone for the evening, with classic choreography which has defined the show for decades. “The Naming of Cats,” by the company, is true poetry-in-motion, and Trevor Nunn’s original direction, and coupled with Gillian Lynn’s original choreography are preserved with updates for future generations who want to see and hear the cat’s meow. …

And that’s Show Biz. …



A musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on T. S. Eliott’s “Old Possum’s Book on Practical Cats”

Where: Blaisdell Concert Hall

When: 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. today, closing performance

Tickets: Sold out


And that’s Show Biz. …



A musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on T. S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book on Practical Cats”

Where: Blaisdell Concert Hall

When: 1:30 and 6:30 p.m. today, closing performance

Tickets: Sold out



Today’s food observation will make locals giggle.

It still baffles me that even the Food Network’s Iron Chefs continue to mispronounce the favored Japanese bread crumbs.

It’s Panko, pronounced “pahn-ko,” not “PAN-koe,” as many cooks still are not onto it.

With Japanese cuisine no longer a regional thing, it’s surprising that many who use Panko still mispronounce it.

Panko is part of the universal dialogue these days, alongside bento, dashi, musubi, uni and furikake. Sushi became part of the vocab years ago, like its favored hot sister, wasabi.

So why is Panko still not rightfully recognized?

Two other maligned non-food Japanese terms will not likely gain proper respect anytime soon: karaoke and hara-kiri.

For the record, it’s ka-ra-o-ke and ha-ra-ki-ri, not karryokey and harrykerry.

Got that, for those still not in the know?


Just asking…

Is it just me or are you noticing the frequency of new signage on our highways and byways.

I’m talking about newish and plentiful signs that warn drivers to be cautious and keep foot on brakes.

And it’s a matter of gradations:

  • HUMP. Sort of like a warning that there will be a large bump on the road.
  • BUMP. OK, perhaps this is a signal that there will be an uppity element, maybe less so that a hump
  • DIP. Hmmm, like a slight discrepancy on the paving of the word. Not as worrisome or wobbly like a bump or a hump.
  • UNEVEN SURFACE (OR ROAD). Golly, that’s applicable to all the freeways and side streets that are worn out and awaiting fixing.

I believe you see all of the above east-bound on the H-1, from the Makiki area to the University Avenue.

The stretch of Kalanianaole Hwy., from Waimanalo heading to Kaneohe, has its share of  hump-bumpy warnings. There are some HUMP warnings painted on the road, near the school zones, and you need to chill unless you’ve got a sturdy truck.

On the other side of the island, Kamehameha Highway from Aiea east-bound to Pearl Harbor boast a few on-road hump warnings, too. Sedans and SVUs need to heed these little mounds.

The worst of these humps/ bumps might be at the Hilton Hawaiian Village resort, whose entrance and exit have the highest humps or bumps, and speeding would be manic. Methinks the small mountains of tar should be ID’d for what it is: Hilton Hills. After the first ascent over the first hill, you need to keep your seat belts on, put foot on the brakes, and Go. Slow. Otherise, you’ll ruin your tires or chassis.