Nearly three years ago, Jesse Shiroma left Streetlight Cadence and put aside his accordion to begin a new chapter in his career path, becoming a degree candidate in the University of Hawaii’s Library and Information Science program.

He is graduating this fall but this weekend, he rejoins his Streetlight musicians in a one-night reunion at 7 p.m. Friday (Nov. 3) at Blue Note Hawaii.

Even before he graduates, he already has a job. “I count myself incredibly lucky to have fallen into a steady and secure position as an archivist at the Hawaii State Archives where I am helping to lead the build-out of our new Hawaiian Music Collection,” said Shiroma. “This entails the handling, indexing and digitization of over 15,000 individual phonodiscs from three collections, including (the collection of) the legendary Harry B. Soria Jr. of ‘Territorial Airwaves’ fame.”

Long story short, Shiroma said he feels blessed to “still play with music on a regular basis, ha-ha.”

As an archivist, Shiroma is tasked with the broad responsibilities of assisting patrons who may have a range of inquiries with genealogical, land rights, and historical  consideration.

On a more intriguing and cultural note, Shiroma may have left the ranks of the popular recording and busking band, Streetlight Cadence (whose motto in earlier years was, “Will play for Food,” which evolved into a TV series), but has brought his skills and his accordion to the ranks of the four-piece Uchinaanchu band, Yuttai  Kwattai, performing and perpetuating original and traditional Ryukyuan folk music, in the indigenous language of Okinawa.

“We are a four-piece (group) including Brandon Ufugusuku Ing (led vox and guitar), Derek Fujio (sanshin, flute, oboe and saxophone), Noah Kutaka (bass) and myself on accordion,” said Shiroma.

The group has a widening following, with its fresh, contemporary arrangements of Ryukyuan folk tunes, performed in the native tongue at the local Okinawan Festival, bon dances, and private events.

“Our goal is to increase the visibility of our native tongue and inspire Okinawans in Hawaii and elsewhere to embrace their heritage whether through the creative arts or otherwise.”

Shiroma is eager to reunite with his colleagues, who have experienced numerous membership changes in recent months. “If it’s feasible, we’ve definitely entertained the idea of an annual get-together to make a bunch of noise with the entire gang,” he said. In recent months, membership has been steady with three, compared with four, in the recent heyday of Streetlight success.

“I love how the sound of the band never got ‘better’ or ‘worse,’ but rather gracefully changed in texture and tone as members came and went,” he said. “That said, it’s going to be a blast with Jonathan (Franklin), Ben (Chai), Clara (Stegall)  Brian (Webb) Chaz (Umamoto), Maia (Wolfe), Matt (Mariconda), and two Evans (surnames not available) and myself on stage all at once.”

Once an accordionist, always an accordionist, for Shiroma. “Busking is a blast and I still occasionally find myself hitting the streets if I feel the need to bother others with some accordion tunes, ba-ha-ha. That said, I couldn’t be surer that this decision to further my academic career was the right call. The balance it has brought to my life has invigorated my spirit and even encouraged greater creative work in my art!”

He treasures the memories with Streetlight Cadence “and will always wish them well. While I do not foresee myself rejoining for any significant period of time, I hope we continue to find these little sparks of reunion where we can enjoy the love of music and adventure that initially brought us together.”…


Streetlight Cadence

When: 7 p.m. Friday (Nov. 3)

Where: Blue Note Hawaii at the Outrigger Waikiki resort

Tickets: $25 and $35, at or (808) 777-4890


Watch for Zare Anguay’s shaka

Zare Anguay (pictured), a former Bright Kid, is in the midst of his Broadway debut, as a swing actor in Disney’s “Aladdin,” at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Swing actors understudy several ensemble roles, so if you attend a performance, you may not easily spot him in the cast.

But in the final curtain bow, you just might spot Anguay as the audiences shout and cheer.

You’ll need to have sharp eyes because he likely will be in the same Arabic costumes with his fellow actors. So look for the actor, flashing a quick shaka sign. Local performers often do this, as part of their hometime pride. …

Yemun Chung celebration of life Nov. 13

A Celebration of Life for the late Yemun Chung (pictured), best known as the manager of The Krush, will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 at the New Hope Sanctuary at Sand Island. Doors open at 5:45 p.m.

He died at age 78 of an apparent heart attack on Sept. 11 at a Las Vegas hospital.

Chung was a popular talent manager and an entrepreneur extraordinaire. He was engaged in a myriad of projects, including recording production, show promotion, and

Chung and his wife Gloria were former Honolulans who migrated to Las Vegas 13 ½ years ago, to help raise her grandchildren.

Thus, he had to abandon a legacy of celebrity management, recording production, and show production, in an era when managers often had p.r. appeal.

Chung was a reporter and producer in the 1970s at KGO Radio in San Francisco, but ventured to make his mark in Hawaii, rubbing shoulders and elbows with some of Hawaii’s celebrity managers and recording icons beginning in the 1980s and eventually evolved into one of the most active talent-touting managers  himself through the early 2000s.

Following his gig with The Krush, Chung collaborated with such show biz icons as Tom Moffatt and Jack Cione, before relocating to Las Vegas. …

And that’s Show Biz…


“A Robert Cazimero Christmas,” set for 7 p.m. Dec. 9 and 2 p.m. Dec. 10 at Leeward Community Theatre, will be themed “E Ho‘i I Ke Kumu,” which Cazimero describes as a “Return to the Source.”

The shows will bring him “back to the reason for the season,” referring to his halau fundraiser programs last season that were an astounding achievement and a crowd-pleaser. And as The Brothers Cazimero, with his late bro Roland Cazimero, Robert and his entourage always treasure the holiday season with annual staging of mele and hula to celebrate the joyous holiday season.

Clearly, Robert is a revered master of his craft and his career as a singer-musician-composer-kumu hula are unparalleled. His signature Hawaiian music and dance are legendary, as previously demonstrated in Lei Day spectacles and showcases from the prestigious Royal Hawaiian Hotel’s Monarch Room, infrequent gigs at Blue Note Hawaii at the Outrigger Waikiki resort, or the monthly Full Moon Concerts at Chef Chai’s bistro. But no doubt, Cazimero’s twinkle and jingle are especially radiant and luminous during the Christmas season.

As one who commands format and structure, Cazimero said, “I’ve decided the two halves as ‘Christmas Green’ and ‘Christmas White,’” which could refer to color and season, meaning tropical and green and wintery white.

“I’ve finished the script, and the show will be mine,” Cazimero said of ownership and originality, and he’ll corral his usual cast of vocalists, dancers, and musicians.

“My gents of HNKOL (Halau Na Kamalei O Likolehua) will sing, chant, drum, and dance, and I will have three ladies from the RDC (Royal Dance Company), Ka‘ohi Yojo Daniels, Noheahiwahiwa Stibbard and U`ilani T Lum. 

My band members will include Kaipo Hale,  Keala Chock and Richard Heirakuji.  My very special guest will be the lovely Kalena Delima Parrish. I think it’s going to be quite a show,” he boasted…


“A Robert Cazimero Christmas”

What: A celebration of the holidays, in Hawaiian music and dance

When: At 7 p.m. Dec. 9 and 2 p.m. Dec. 10

Where: Leeward Community College Theatre

Tickets: $30 to $55, available at the Leeward box office at (808) 455-0385 or online

“Wille K: Lahaina Son”

”Willie K – Life on Stage 4,” the Emme’s Island Moments show containing the last interviews of the late island star, Willie Kahaiali‘i (pictued), will be revived with updated content and aired on Hawaii News Now as a Thanksgiving week special.

Playdates are 9 p.m. Nov. 19 on KHNL, 9 p.m. Nov. 20 and 7 p.m. Nov. 25. Emme Producer-host Emme Tomimgbang Burns has retitled the show, “Willie K: Lahaina Son,” with a new focus on Willie’s Lahaina roots, in light of the August wildfires that destroyed his Maui hometown. Willie’s siblings and extended family lost their homes, and almost their lives, fleeing from the disastrous blazes.

“Willie has been gone for five years, which is difficult to believe,” said Tomimbang Burns. “But he’s been on my mind since the fires. He would be heartbroken over the loss of life and belongings, but he would be the first to stage a concert or fundraiser to help those who need it most. Maybe we need be reminded of Willie’s beautiful fighting spirit at this time to encourage us all to keep going.”…

Broadway grosses for week ending Oct. 22

“Merrily We Roll Along” has rolled up to second place, in last week’s Broadway grosses. The Stephen Sondheim musical stars Daniel Radcliff (pictured), Jonathan Groff, and Lindsay Mendez.

The Top 10:

1 — “The Lion King,” $2,063 million.

2 –-“ Merrily We Roll Along,” $1,820 million.

3 –“Wicked,” $1,809 million.”

4 — “ Hamilton,” $1,801 million.

5 –“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” $1,710 million.

6 –“ MJ The Musical,” $1,577 million.

7 — “Aladdin,” $1,279 million.
8 –“Back to the Future: The Musical,” $1,257 million.

9 –“Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” $1,252 million.

10 –“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” $,194 million.

The full list of last week’s grosses, courtesy The Broadway League:

And that’s Show Biz. …


Kip Wilborn has announced his retirement as executive director at Manoa Valley Theatre, effective Nov. 6.

He will be succeeded by Kathleen Young, who has three decades of experience in New York and Hawaii. She has been serving as MVT’s director of development under Wilborn’s leadership.

Wilborn exits MVT on the heels of a successful box office hit, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” which closed earlier this month as the theater group’s first production of the 2023-24 season.

Wilborn, pictured, is a seasoned performer-director, who was on the MVT board since 2012, taking over the reins in 2019, following the retirement of Dwight Martin. With the COVID 19 pandemic shutting down production on all theatrical fronts, Wilborn faced the financial challenges by pivoting to online programming and secured federal grants to stay afloat, maintaining staff employment, launching diversified programming, creating online digital and streaming content, and expanded collaborative partnerships, with the diversity still in place today. He worked with a nationally recognized arts marketing group to revamp their strategies for audience development and donor building strategies.

Thus, the MVT website is Honolulu’s liveliest, with a string of audience-friendly activities like open mic nights for comedians and singers, screening of films like “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and “Mission Monday” observances to support the performing arts.

“Kip Wilborn took on an almost impossible task and showed the world how to overcome and achieve,” said  Dave Kennedy, board chair. “The theatre is the beneficiary of his efforts, dedication, and leadership. Kip leaves a deep and broad legacy, and the theatre will benefit from his achievements for generations to come.”

Another board member indicated that one of the reasons Wilborn was retiring was personal — to tend to familial care and wellness needs.

Wilborn possesses a powerful baritone voice and has a stream of operatic credits here and abroad, and in local theater, he is remembered for his portrayal of Jean Valjean in the Ron Bright-directed “Les Miserables” musical.

Young, pictured, has made significant contributions to prestigious institutions like Blue Man Production and Playwrights Horizons in New York City. Since 2011, she’s been a community-oriented leader in Hawaii’s non-profit sector, with prior roles at Susan G Komen Hawaii and Honolulu Theatre for Youth. She is noted for her dedication to enrich her community through volunteer work and event curation.

Seems like MVT will be ready for the change…

An early Christmas

Christmas arrives early for romantic pianist  Jim Brickman, who has his share of diehard Hawaii fans. Chrissy Metz, from NBC’s “This Is Us,” will be a guest star on “A Joyful Christmas,” a a Facebook Life concert Thursday (Oct. 26) at 8 p.m. ET (2 p.m. Hawaii time) as part of his 50-city Christmas agenda.

Honolulu is not part of his winter tour.

Details at

A BRAVE night

One of Hawaii’s premier local bands, B.E.T. and a hot boy band Crossing Rain, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 28) at the Joseph Rider Farrington Auditorium on the Farrington campus.

The event is a fundraiser for Brave Hawaii, an organization combatting bullying, and is timed to the observation of National Anti-Bullying Month, in October.

Tickets: $30 VIP (includes meet-and-greet), $25 for lower level seating and $15 for upper level seating.

Comedian Augie T is a presenter and also will perform.

B.R.A.V.E., created by Mahealani Sims-Tulba (Augie’s daughter), stands for “Be Respectful and Value Everyone.”


Broadway grosses, for week ending Oct. 15

Not surprisingly, the long-running musicals dominate the Top 10. Only two new musicals from the fall season, “Merrily We Roll Along” and “Back to the Future: The Musical,” are among the charted leaders; and only one hit from last season, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” has earned a coveted slot.

The Top 10:

  • “The Lion King,” $2,090 million.
  • “Hamilton,” $1.931 million.
  • “Wicked,” $1,906 million.
  • “Sweeney Todd,” $1,739 million.
  • “Merrily We Roll Along,” 1,706 million.
  • MJ: the Musical,” $1,622 million.
  • “Aladdin,” $1,348 million.
  • “Moulin Rouge: the Musical,” $1,307 million.
  • “Back to the Future,” $1,240 million.
  • “Harry Pottter and the Cursed Child,” $1,198 million.

The full list, courtesy the Broadway League:

And that’s Show Biz. …


Taylor Swift’s unparalleled concert film, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” has raised the bar for filmed musical concerts.

The spectacle was filmed over three nights last August at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA, and it’s not surprising that it Swiftly grossed $93 million in its opening screenings last weekend. It’s still in theaters, and is set for a 13-week run (with screenings only Thursdays through Sundays).  If you’re a diehard fan, you’ve already seen it and screeched nirvana squeals, throughout its 2 hour-45 minute playout.

I’ve not been a Swiftie fan, but admit I’ve admired, from afar, her business tactics. At 33, she is the master of her craft with skills in collating tales that define her as a composer.  I was curious to experience her glory on the movie screens, and have no regrets in buying tickets to the “Eras Tour.”

And in retrospect, “Eras Tour” was a revelation, demonstrating the singer’s acumen in packaging and showcasing her music, and it was a risk to launch such a behemoth endeavor, when audiences have mostly dodged the movie theaters this year.  The last biggies on screen were summer’s “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer,” likely the big guns in next year’s Academy Awards.

“Eras Tour” is not the kind of flick that picks up Oscars. It could be deemed a documentary, but specifically, it’s a unique theatrical concert film.

Clearly,  Swift is not a one-hit wonder, but instead a one-woman wonderment, delivering and curating her menu with 44 songs, many boasting admirable storylines, lifestyle vignettes, happy love and breakup blues, with original lyrics and melodies all penned by the singer herself.

The songs derive from nine of her 10 albums, themed with titles that reflect her moods and her succinct notions. She immerses herself in the moment, curating her tunes to elevate her storytelling.

Directed by Sam Wrench, “Eras Tour” is an experiment of sorts. It also is a damn good commercial for Swift’s successful tour — a sanitized showcase of the first leg of her global jaunt — which amassed $4.1 billion and unhinged Ticketmaster when tickets first went on sale. Her tour will continue in the summer of 2024 – a long wait — but with a $19.89 ticket price to see “Eras,” Swift is going to collect a lot more change. Most attendees, in the first go-round of the film, are likely folks who didn’t buy tickets to the live concert, because simply, they couldn’t — the demand was larger than the supply. The film documents, happily, what happened in the concert, so she’s double-dipping with the theater concert. Because of her deal in staging the film, the film producers (natch, she’s one of ‘em)  and her partner family  — thanks to a SAG strike agreement —  supposedly will get 56 per cent of the grosses, without picketing. Ka-ching!

Swift is dressed to thrill. Her costumes run the gamut, from short shorts to pants outfits, from flowing gowns to oversized capes; if Swift’s not visible, she’s changing outfits, but much of the fashion plate changes happen before your eyes. When a jacket is removed, it reveals a short outfit; when a floor-length coat is removed, it reveals formal wear. And with her model-inspired lanky legs and fashion-savvy demeanor, she is never mundane or dull in dress, radiating a rainbow of hues including white, purple, gold, silver, orange, red, blue and more, with twinkling rhinestones, beads and sequins to embrace her bright and glittery galaxy of style.

And here’s the thing; if you’ve previously attended a concert on a football field, you get the gratuitous video that shows the performer on so-so-sized screens. In “Eras,” it’s a whole new era – you see Swift in actual size, with larger-than-life images dwarfing her and enabling spectators to truly see her greatness and glory. No lawn seat or upper-level stadium seating can match the enlargement element of this production.

A splendid corps of back-up singers and dancers, who provide not just harmonic pleasures for the ears, help fill out that long walkway and incredible varied platforms.

A small but effective live band – no, not a full orchestra, but a manageable unit — keeps the beat and tempo going.

The live visuals include the mixed crowd, defining her broad audience base, from screeching fanatics singing along, word for word (yep, they know all of Swift’s music by heart) but also flashing collectible wrist bracelets that clearly identify ‘em as Swifties. But this superstar also attracts gay men, who can challenge and keep pace with the young ones.

Swift is tireless and effusive, in every tune she delivers; unlike some unnamed women superstars of the past who lip-synched some tunes, notably on songs with rigorous choreography,  she is a work horse who doesn’t rely on Teleprompter monitors  to depict lyrics. She is the real deal, at the peak of her career, and second to none in the competitive pop circus.

She is all over the map — in the Kansas City Chiefs box because of a supposed relationship with a football hero, in a TV commercial boosting “Eras” during NFL primetime, hosting Beyonce at her “Eras” film launch, and even had time to chime in at the launch of  the return of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”

Swift is not afraid of the cameras, so she sings straight into the lens, making viewers feel like she’s conferring with them. The cameras also regularly scan the crowds, and show diehard fans —  female and male – singing and dancing along. Everyone has a good time, including the theater fan, whose seat is prime whether the movie house is filled to the max or not; there’s no stress and strain of being in the nosebleed seats in the SoFi or in the last row on the field, where discomfort includes a mass of fellow fans and a long trek to the bathroom for relief.  The movie? No strain to be part of the game, and you have the liberty to applaud or get on your feet to dance.

I can understand her reason to earmark her themes – “Fearless,” “Enchanted,” “Red,.” “1989,” “Lover,” “Folklore” —  her version of catagorising –but I certainly could live without these subtitles.

I still wonder how her staging can be so fluid and organic, when Swift plays on a grand piano with moss-like greens on the precious instrument; the moss also is part of her tribute to nature in her house set with that green stuff on the roof.

But worry not, her playlist revives 44 titles and the ones I like best include “Anti-Hero,” “We Ae Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “Shake It Off,” “Betty,” “You Belong to Me,”  “Love Story” and “Bad Blood.” Create your own besties at your screening.

I marvel at one special moment, when Swift is on the walkway heading for the stage, then leaps off the stage into what appears to be water, but clearly not. It’s an illusion that one might expect at a David Copperfield magic spectacle.

You know Swift has star power when the concession stand offers large soda drinks and that huge bucket of  popcorn, branded with her image.

Surely, there will be a DVD version of “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,’” possibly a director’s cut with 45 minutes of footage trimmed from the original film.  …

And that’s Show Biz. …