Hawaii actor Marc delaCruz was performing as Alexander Hamilton in the Broadway hit, “Hamilton,” nearly two weeks ago. But he only did Act 1 – with reason.

It’s the leading role, originated by the author, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and delaCruz had been understudying the part and even played the role a few times since he joined the company more than four years ago at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway.

On Dec. 19, however, after completing Act 1 as Hamilton, delaCruz  became an unsung hero. Cast member Kyle Scatliffe, normally enacting the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, became ill midway in the show and had to exit the production by Act 2.

Enter, delaCruz. Because he had also understudied Lafayette and Jefferson, plus King George, he was the go-to-guy that evening, winding up playing three different lead roles, saving the day since he was the only one able to take over the dual roles assigned to Scatliffe.

Standbys don’t often have such short notice to live up to the show biz adage, “the show must go on.” Turns out that another ensemble performer, Alexander Ferguson, was the only available actor ready to step into the shoes of Hamilton, normally portrayed by Miguel Cervantes, who was off that evening. And Adam Ali Perez had to cover Ferguson’s ensemble slots.

Such is the dynamics of standbys and swings, who learn different roles just in case of these unexpected switcheroos. It’s not common for such abrupt changes, between acts, but it happens. I experienced similar change of actors this past summer, when the leading actress in “Some Like It Hot,” apparently took ill by intermission, and her standby answered the call. An announcement was made prior to the start of Act 2 that a sub was filling in for the leading lady to complete the show.

DelaCruz earlier made history when he was the first Pinoy from the Big Island to play the “Hamilton” lead as a standby in the original Broadway company.

Another island actor, Joseph Morales, has been the only other Hawaii actor doing the titular role, first as an understudy in the Chicago company, then as a touring Hamilton crisscrossing the nation.

BroadwayWorld spoke with delaCruz  about the nature and impromptu inner-workings of being a standby on Broadway. 

DelaCruz usually receives adequate notice if he’d have to take on a role other than the ones he portrays.  So, he checks his email and phone but, in the past, commonly with a half-hour notice to prep for a fill-in.

“The most challenging part is not always knowing when you’ll be on, but still needing to be ready,” said delaCruz. “Sometimes we know in advance if the onstage actor has a personal day or vacation scheduled, but most of the time we don’t know we’re on until the day of the show. I’ve gone on with less than half hour notice and jumped in mid show a few times.”
He monitors his cell phone and wakes up daily, wondering  “Will I be going on this intense emotional journey today?”

A standby has to stay active, exercise and vocally warm up and sing every day. “I review music on a regular basis and stay up to date with notes given from the show, ” he said, and he must report to work daily, whether he’ll be on or not. “Swings can watch the show and keep up with what’s going on onstage, or I’ll watch parts of the show from the house.”

He has admiration for his fellow cast members and appreciates the opportunities he’s had to learn the intricacies and complexities of the show.

“This job has stretched me further as a performer than I ever thought I could go,” he said.

“Hamilton” has multiple swings and standbys who are ready to roll when needed, so “any one of these covers would have done what happened (on Dec. 19) beautifully. “I just happened to be the one in the hot seat that night,” said delaCruz…

All about Eve

In years or decades past, Waikiki would have had scores of New Year’s Eve attractions, large or small.

This year, the countdown shows are few.

Kimie Miner (pictured) headlines a show 7:30 p.m. tomorrow night (Dec. 31), at the Hilton Hawaiian Village lawn. Mana Music Strings provide the accompaniment.

The Green headlines two performances at 8 and 11 p.m. tomorrow night (Dec. 31)at Blue Note Hawaii, at the Outrigger Waikiki resort. The group also performed last night (Dec. 29) and will be onstage again at 6:30 and 9 p.m. today (Dec. 30). The gig is mostly sold out, so check with Blue Note for availability of loge and bar area seating. …

And that’s Show Biz…


‘Twas the morning of Christmas, and all through the ‘aina

Santa delivered plenty gifts, to his favorite kamaaina.

The coffee was perking, as Santa began snoozing

And even red-nosed Rudolph, had halted his eve-cruising.

A national concert tour, for Iam Tongi, “Idol” winner

And toss in a No. 1 chart hit, to make the wish keener.

For Bright Kid Ezekiel Kekuna (above), Young Simba in “Lion King”

A warm winter sweat shirt, plus a Disney “Lion” ring.

For LL Cool J (Hanna), an official welcome lei;

He’s joined Lachey’s “NCIS” team, more power for Hawaii Nei.

Another NBC renewal, for the “Magnum  P.I.” crew;

A 12-show order for Hernandez (left) and Weeks will certainly do.

For Jason Momoa, the “Aquaman” hottie;

A chic, stylist haircut would avoid seawater knottie.

For Dwayne Johnson, an island-filmed action flick;

Surely The Rock, can turn over this trick.

For Lahaina wildfire victims, a swift recovery, a new life;

There’s no easy resolution, to replace their grief, strife.

For Gov. Josh Green, patience, to mend Maui’s lingering pain

Well, funds from the Feds, ease the hurt, erase blame.

For Mayor Rick Blangiardi, more funding for services

Keep satellite city halls open, monitor homeless premises.

For Dennis Mahaffay (left), an art gallery show;

His pics and docs are super, they sparkle and glow.

For chef Roy Yamaguchi, another 35 years of success;

May his challenging KCC gig, yield more future chefs, not less.

For Waikiki hotel managers, look around your props;

Not much Hawaiian music? Yep, very scarce; mostly shops.

For Robert Cazimero (right), a cozy lounge with keyboards;

His serenades are splendid, so who’d come? Well, hordes.

Too, Jerry Santos is worthy, of his own venue, nook;

Search around, hoteliers, there’s space, if you just look.

Hawaiiana acts work, ask the Reef’s Kani Ka Pila;

With rotating musicians, and singers – think killah.

For Shari Lynn (left), Jim Howard, more nights of smooth jazz;

Maybe Loretta Ables Sayre, might join the razz-ma-tazz?

And brass at Consolidated, the dominant movie chain.

Reconsider your closures, no shame, no disdain.

Anyone disappointed, with the shrinking Star-Advertiser?

Two sections, little entertainment, not much for an early-riser.

For Bryan (left), Taimane, Herb Jr. and Jake?

Durable ukulele strings, that never will break.

For retired Roy Sakuma, continue teaching young strummers

Complete retirement, would really be bummers.

A “Prayer” that lingers, for Maila and Horace;

Does their annual holiday hit, have angels in the chorus?

More success for Fran Kakugawa (right), who has a new book

Sharing “Pearls” of wisdom, with a poetic  hook.

Remember Larry Fleece, a KGMB writer years ago?

His new novel is “The Get,” get it at Amazon, ho-ho-ho!

For chef Kelvin Ro (left), a new restaurant, maybe?

With farm-to-table yummies, that would be his new “baby”?

For all restaurateurs, glory, With Hale ‘Aina  and ‘Ilima.

More parodies, new gems, for comedian Frank DeLima

For Glenn Medeiros (right), the Saint Louis School president;

A show beyond Hale Koa’s? Well perhaps not, he’s hesitant.

Augie T has learned to juggle, as a council member and comic;

Did Greg Gabaylo teach him, to be nimble and super- sonic?

Periodic returns home, for Greg Zane, Ruthie Ann Miles;

Him to work, her to rest, would surely yield smiles.

For Henry Kapono and Jack Johnson (left), huge houses, packed shows;

And mahalo, hurrah, for their charitable glows.

For John Iervolino, welcome back to the scene;

Your new LP, with blue vinyl. is absolutely keen.

For DHT’s Trevor Tamashiro (right) and MVT’s Kathleen Young

More hot musicals, breezingly danced and sung.

For Amy Hanaiali‘i grapes, for her signature bottled wines;

And for those returning yule gifts, hope there are no long lines.

A grand musical comedy, for prolific Lee Cataluna (left),

Woo Keola Beamer, as the score-writing luna?

With many TV revivals, reboots, why not add a local one?

Methinks “All in the ‘Ohana” would be so much fun.

For Kevin Iwamoto (left) the nostalgia disc king;

His 70s songs are global faves now, so maybe, just once, he’ll sing?

For Jonathan Masaki,, Hawaii News Now traffic guy

A few more aloha shirts, so he doesn’t have to buy.

For Karen Keawehawaii (left), glue gun and glue sticks;

She’s a skillful home crafter, knows all the  DIY tricks.

For Mauian Keali‘I Reichel, who lives in chilly Pi‘iholo

Fleece-lined undies, when he goes holoholo.

For Audy Kimura (right), who adores pooches and kitties;

Since he’s a composer, too, might he write a few ditties?

For Mo, Ligaya and Allan, of the Bright Kids team:.

Blessings for perpetuating Ron Bright’s dream.

For Joseph Morales and Marc delaCruz

More “Hamilton” sellouts and stupendous reviews.

For Cha Thompson (left), gently used clothes

To stock her Farrington student “Closet,” to avoid empty-rack woes.

For Ricky and Vicki, good vibes and good health

And why not toss in, a parcel of wealth?

TV ratings numbers for Joe, Keala, and Steph

No one knows anymore, so let Nielsen be the ref.

More followers for Andy Bumatai, via shows on YouTube;

If you don’t watch, you’ll find up on YouBoob.

For Jay Larrin, snow, on the slopes of Mauna Kea;

For Carole Kai more “Hawaii Stars ” airing heah and deah.

For Martin Nievera, a return gig next year;

For the Makaha Sons blessings, from your fans so dear.

For Marlene Sai (left), a request, to revive your Liliuokalani role;

Tough chore, memory challenges, but such food for the soul.

For Martha Seroogy and her Blue Note crew;

Lots of star wattage, would season the brew.

Mahalo to my PT trainers, Josh (now) and Brian (then);

Still working on wellness, will see ya, dunno when.

To you, loyal readers, you Mr. and Ms.;

Mele Kalikimaka, good tidings…

And that’s Christmas Show Biz…


It was a luncheon I’ll never forget. My wife Vi and I hosted Glenn Medeiros and Frank DeLima for a holiday lunch – and gabfest – a few days ago, since neither had seen the other in a coon’s age.

We love these two guys, and their pleasantries on and off stage, so we assembled at Gyotaku Niu Valley, for informal Japanese food.

Oh. What. Fun.

You do recall that Medeiros and DeLima worked together in Waikiki, at the Polynesian Palace, now long gone. Medeiros was a hot crooner with a national hit recording, and DeLima a presiding hottie himself, as the Prince of Portuguese comedy.

Glenn Medeiros and Frank DeLima: Brotherly bond.

Updates and factoids:

Current status: GM, president of Saint Louis School; FDL, on hiatus from his stand-up comedy and school tours of motivational talks via his student enrichment program.

Things I didn’t know: GM still hosts and sings at the Hale Koa’s luau shows four nights a week; FDL recently did a show for local clergy at the Hawaii Prince Hotel, appearing as his fictional Catholic character, Cardinal Vermicelli.

Claim to fame: GM, appeared on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show,” singing his national hit tune, “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You” on national television; FDL, a gig at The Noodle Shop triggered a recording/nightclub career that included hits like “Lucille” and “Waimea Lullaby.”

Little known fact: GM, besides his SL leadership, he’s teaching grad school courses for Chaminade University; FDL, has a dilemma, since his opu has grown, widening his girth so the Velcro  on his sash/belt for his Pope’s outfit needs to be updated.

They share a bond of  brotherhood: GM and FDL share a bond for life; they roar at each other’s jokes; the former recalls specific show moments (“if you make a mistake in a show, and the audience loves it, keep it in”) and FDL is like an older bro. And they are undeniably committed to Catholicism and education; FDL was a seminary student but opted to serve his mission in life as a comedian in his school of hearty laughter…

Restaurant tidbits

It’s again an open and shut restaurant climate in Hawaii Kai. At the Koko Marina Center,  Heavenly is a newbie, next door to the earlier reopened Assaggio. And Fat Boy’s also has reopened its door after renovation.

But down the Kalanianaole Highway corridor, Scratch apparently can’t fight the low tide traffic, and will shut down at the end of the year, at the former Outback locale…

Secret’s out

Robert Cazimero’s two Christmas concerts at the Leeward Community College Theatre featured a dancing dinosaur during the “Me and My Teddy Bear” sequence.

The kumu hula declined to reveal the identity of his halau member doing the frolicking dance moments, so we’ll tell you now, as an aftermath of the secret.

It was Kaipo Dudoit (pictured), son of Horace and Nani Dudoit, who also played the violin in the yule show.

Dudoit indeed is versatile – he sings, too, as all halau members do, too – but he’s also an actor, now awaiting a January production reboot, playing surfer dude David Kawena, in Disney’s live-action “Lilo and Stitch,” which had been halted due to the SAG-AFTRA strike earlier this year and since resolved…

And that’s Show Biz…