“Hell’s Kitchen” and “Stereophonic” lead the 2024 Tony Awards with 13 nominations apiece. Both just premiered on Broadway, in a season lean on sure-fire blockbusters and a win might ramp up exposure and popularity.

“Kitchen” features tunes by Alicia Keys, focusing on a region of New York, where success looms outside your  front door or window. The show just opened April 20.

“Stereophonic” is a musical by David Adjmi, about a rock band on the cusp of greatness, with music by Will Butler. It premiered April 19.

The Tonys will be televised live June 16 from the David H. Koch Theatre at Lincoln Center.

“Hells Kitchen” has been nominated for 13 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

The nominations in key categories:

Best Musical

“Hell’s Kitchen”
“The Outsiders”
“Water for Elephants”

Best Play

“Jaja’s African Hair Braiding”
“Mary Jane”
“Mother Play”
“Prayer for the French Republic”

“Stereophonic” is nominated for 13 Tony, Including Best Play.

Best Revival of a Musical

“Gutenberg! The Musical”
“Merrily We Roll Along”
“The Who’s Tommy”
“The Wiz

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical

Brian d’Arcy James, “Days of Wine and Roses”
Brody Grant, “The Outsiders”
Jonathan Groff, “Merrily We Roll Along”
Dorian Harewood, “The Notebook”
Eddie Redmayne, “Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club”

Best Performance by an Actress in a leading role in a Musical

Eden Espinosa, “Lempicka”
Maleah Joi Moon, “Hell’s Kitchen”
Kelli O’Hara, “Days of Wine and Roses”
Maryann Plunkett, “The Notebook”
Gayle Rankin, “Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

William Jackson Harper, “Uncle Vanya”
Leslie Odom, Jr., “Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch”
Liev Schreiber, “Doubt: A Parable.”
Jeremy Strong, “An Enemy of the People”
Michael Stuhlbarg, “Patriots”

Best Performance by an Actress in a leading role in a Play

Betsy Aidem, “Prayer for the French Republic”
Jessica Lange, “Mother Play”
Rachel McAdams, “Mary Jane”
Sarah Paulson, “Appropriate”
Amy Ryan, “Doubt: A Parable”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play

Will Brill, “Eli Gelb, Stereophonic”
Jim Parsons, “Mother Play”
Tom Pecinka, “Stereophonic”
Corey Stoll
, “Appropriate

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Quincy Tyler Bernstine, “Doubt: A Parable”
Juliana Canfield, “Stereophonic”
Celia Keenan-Bolger, “Mother Play”
Sarah Pidgeon, “Stereophonic”
Kara Young, “Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Roger Bart, “Back to the Future: The Musical”
Joshua Boone, “The Outsiders”
Brandon Victor Dixon, “Hell’s Kitchen”
Sky Lakota-Lynch, “The Outsiders”
Daniel Radcliffe, “Merrily We Roll Along”
Steven Skybell, “Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical

Shoshana Bean, “Hell’s Kitchen”
Amber Iman, “Lempicka”
Nikki M. James, “Suffs”
Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer,
 “Monty Python’s Spamalot”
Kecia Lewis, “Hell’s Kitchen”
Lindsay Mendez, “Merrily We Roll Along”
Bebe Neuwirth, “Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club”

Best Direction of a Play

Daniel Aukin, “Stereophonic”
Anne Kauffman, “Mary Jane”
Kenny Leon, “Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch”
Lila Neugebauer, “Appropriate”
Whitney White,  “Jaja’s African Hair Braiding”

Best Direction of a Musical

Maria Friedman, “Merrily We Roll Along”
Michael Greif, “Hell’s Kitchen”
Leigh Silverman, “Suffs”
Jessica Stone, “Water for Elephants”
Danya Taymor, “The Outsiders”

Best Choreography

Camille A. Brown, “Hell’s Kitchen”
Jesse Robb and Shana Carroll, “Water for Elephants”
Rick Kuperman and Jeff Kuperman, “The Outsiders”
Annie-B Parson, “Here Lies Love”
Justin Peck,

Best Book of a Musical

Kristoffer Dias, “Hell’s Kitchen”
Bekah Brunstetter, “The Notebook”
Adam Rapp and Justin Levine, “The Outsiders”
Shaina Taub, “Suffs”
Rick Elice, “Water for Elephants”

Best Original Score (Music and Lyrics), Written for the Theater

Adam Guettel, “Days of Wine and Roses”
David Byrne and Fatboy Slime, “Here Lies Love”
James Revival (Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance) and Justin Levine, “The Outsider”
Will Butler, “Stereophonic”
Shaina Taub, “Suff”s

Best Orchestration

Timo Andres, “Illinoise”
Will Butler and Justin Craig, “Stereophonic”
Justin Levine, Matt Hinkley, Jamestown Revival (Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance), “The Outsiders”
Tom Kitt and Adam Blackstone, “Hell’s Kitchen”
Jonathan Tunick, “Merrily We Roll Along”…

Zeke’s May performances in “Lion King’

As a courtesy to Ezekiel Kekuna, the Kaneohe lad starring as Young Simba in Disney’s “The Lion King” at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway, we offer you his list of performance dates for the month of May.

Zeke is the midst of a six-month run (interrupted by a recent injury) but is back in the Prideland.

This sked is helpful for island fans, family, and friends to plan trips to The Big Apple to possibly take in a performance in the hit show. If you’re booking tickets for a specific day, check this sked to make certain that Zeke is doing the role, since he’s alternating with another young actor…

Broadway grosses, week ending April 28

Broadway’s box office leaders have maintain their appeal over the past few weeks, with only “The Lion King” at the $2 million-plus level.

The Top 10:

1 – “The Lion King,” $2,196 million.

2—“Wickked,” $1,926 million.

3—“Hamilton,” $1,847 million.

4—“Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club,” $1,701 million.

5—“MJ the Musical,” $1,600 million.

6—“Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” $1,519 million.

7–“Merrily We Roll Along,” $1,464  million.

8—“Aladdin,” $1,439 million.

9–“Moulin Rouge the Musical,” $1,433 million.

10—“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” $1,126 million.

The full list, courtesy the Broadway League:

And that’s Show Biz…


Just asking…

What’s the etiquette, in the middle-seat conundrum in the friendly skies?

It’s been years since I’ve  flown in the middle seat … and the last time, it might’ve been on an inter-island Hawaiian Air flight. Doesn’t matter much, since the journey is short.

On Mainland or global flights, however, when you’re flying for eight to 10 hours, the best coach seat is never the middle one..

There are no written rules on who gets what in the triple seating. Each carrier might have its own version of what’s proper, or what’s logical.

And the debate entails a key issue — who gets the armrests when one has the window view and the other access to the aisle.

The conventional wisdom is this:

 If you have the window seat, you inherit the armrest near the window, and you have the privilege to keep the window open or closed.

If you’re the aisle flier,  you have a skosh more wiggle room for your legs, and you can claim the aisle armrest and the ease to get up at your whim.

If you’re the middle of the row, you’re literally stuck with few options, but clearly, your row mates on either side of you should relinquish both the left and right armrests, since you have no other perks – except, perhaps, to stretch your elbows to your left and right and maybe briefly moving into invisible air space of your row.

Agree or disagree? 

In the past, it was possible to purchases coach seats and upgrade to first class with miles…but that’s an impossibility these days. In my old age, I use mileage for first cabin seats, but when that’s not an option, I shell out for  first class seats to enjoy the space and comfort. With chronic back pain, the cost of being in the first cabin is no longer a luxury, but a necessity.

Another flight question: what’s the protocol for the overhead bins above your seats?

That’s worthy of another discussion…


“Lilo and Stitch,” one of Disney’s enduring cartoon favorites, is transiting to the game board arena. Well, Stitch is, anyway.

Monopoly has added the rascal Stitch and his popular presence, to its growing franchise. A Lilo and Stitch Monopoly already is available.

But folks young and old, kane and wahine, will be able to venture into the realm of Lilo’s frisky buddy Stitch, the blue alien with his own personality.

No specific details have been released about content, regarding specific elements of game cards, or the mini bills of money, but tokens appear to feature Stitch in different color motifs and the game will retain the usual homes and hotels in the business of bartering.

 But assuredly, there will be  the endearing quote from the original animated show, which is being reimagined as a live-action film.

The quote: “Ohana means family, and family means no one is left behind or forgotten.”

Meanwhile, the live-action feature, filmed in Hawaii, is in post-production.

The cast includes Maia Kealoha as Lilo, Sydney Elizabeth Agudong as Nani, Chris Sanders as the voice of Stitch, Zach Galifianakis as Jamba, Courtney B. Vance as Cobra Bubbles, Tia Carrere as Mrs. Kekoa, Amy Hill as a new character Tutu, Kaipo Dudoit,  pictured, as David, and Billy Magnusson as Pleakley.

Jason Scott Lee, pictured, a veteran Hawaii actor who voiced David in an earlier animated role, will make a brief appearance in the live-action film, in an  unnamed role. 

“I got a little, small [part]. They threw me some bones, and I said, ‘Yeah, absolutely! In any capacity,’” Lee said. “I just wanted to be a part of it, so it’s a three-day cameo, and I think it will be fun.”

Lee plays a luau manager, and he gets to appear with the updated David actor (Dudoit) in the process.

Stitch will, of course, be a CG creation, via Dean Fleischer Camp, who will direct the film destined to be a major release on Disney+. Camp was an Oscar nominee for best animation feature for his “Marcel the Shell with  Shoes On” hit…

Tony nominees to be named Tuesday

Nominees for the 2024 Tony Awards will be announced Tuesday (April 30) from New York.

 The awards gala will be held June 13 at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theatre, with CBS televising the event.

The likely contenders for original plays include “Patriots,” “Stereophonic,” “Mother’s Play,” “Mary Jane,” and “Grey House.”

The roster of original musicals nominees include
“The Notebook,” “Suffs,” “Water for Elephants,” “The Outsiders,” “Back to the Future: The Musical,””Lempicka,” “Illinoise,”  “How to Dance in Ohio,” “Days of Wine and Roses” and “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Play revival candidate include “Doubt: A Parable,” “Uncle Vanya,”
“An Enemy of the Future,” “Purlie Victorious” and “Appropriate.”

Musical revival competitors include “Cabaret at the Kit Klub Club,” “The Wiz,” “Gutenberg!  The Musical,” “Spamalot” and “The Who’s Tommy.”

The American Theatre Wing and Broadway League are sponsors of the Tonys…

‘Forbidden Broadway’ returning this summer.

“Forbidden Broadway: Merrily We Stole a Song,” Gerard Alessandrini’s  beloved poke at Broadway shows and stars, will be a summer-fall attraction on Broadway.”

The show, which traditionally lampoons the attractions and performers then and now, will preview July 15 and open Aug. 5 at the Helen Hayes Theatre. Closing date is Nov. 1.

Alessandrini, pictured, a veteran playwright, is the reigning prince of parody lyrics and reinventions of Broadway fare will target such current shows as “The Notebook,” “Water for Elephants,” “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” “Back to the Future: The Musical,”  and “Merrily We Roll Along,” along with new interpretations of Stephen Sondheim’s “Company,” “Into the Woods” and “Company.”

Over the decades, “Forbidden Broadway” immortalized legendary figures on the Great Way, including “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Misérables” and “Fiddler on the Roof,” and such iconic spoofs of  Carol Channing, Liza Minnelli, Ethel Merman, Julie Andrews, Chita Rivera, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. In fact, the last “Forbidden Broadway” show I saw on Broadway was entirely focused on Miranda and “Hamilton.”

If you’re in the Big Apple when “Forbidden Broadway” is being staged, this is a gotta-see. Always hilarious, often with belly laughs.

And that’s Show Biz… 


It’s aloha – like, in goodbye – for “NCIS: Hawaii.”

The CBS series – which still is rolling out its third season, with Vanessa Lachey as the first woman special-agent-in charge in the “NCIS” franchise —  was canceled today, (April 26), according to The Wrap. The finale will air at 10 p.m. May 6.

The local spin-off was launched in September 2021, toasting Lachey’s Jane Tennant role as the first female boss battling crimes from Pearl Harbor. The show also was the franchise’s first across the pond, so to speak, meaning the aloha state’s own crimes involving military personnel, would be prime time fare, upholding national security while sharing the usual visitor-popular views of the blue Pacific, the verdant mountains and valleys, and the mystic of the islands. Tropical has been an ingredient that fueled tourism for Hawaii, from the Jack Lord and Tom Selleck era.

LL COOL J, with Vanessa Lachey, were “NCIS” crimefighters here,

LL Cool J as Sam Hanna was dispatched this season, from the canceled “NCIS: Los Angeles,” a cool addition to the cast as a recurring guest star, adding fuel and manpower after appearing in the finale of season two. He joined Alex Tarrant as Kai, Noah Mills as Jesse Boone, Yasmine Al-Bustami as Lucy Tara, Jason Antoon as Ernie Malik, Tori Anderson as Kate Whistler, Kian Talan as Alex Tennant.

In recent weeks, the Hawaii cast had been was awaiting the green light, but a renewal was elusive.

Could it be that  “NCIS: Hawaii” overstayed its welcome, though it was the lone procedural filming here, following multi-seasons of reboots of “Magnum P.I.” and “Hawaii Five-0,” with a somewhat repetitive of aerial shots of Kualoa Ranch, the Koolau range, the vibrant coastlines, Waikiki, Chinatown and the North Shore waves?

However, CBS is not short of “NCIS” shows. “NCIS” (the Mark Harmon original) was renewed for its 22nd season, and the newbie, “NCIS: Sydney” also earned a season 2. “NCIS” also has two new hybrids coming up: a prequel “Origins,” examining the youthhood of LeroyJethro Gibbs,  and an anticipated new 10-episode season, still unnamed (on Paramount+), reuniting Michael Weatherly (DiNozzo) and Cote de Pablo (Ziva) .

In TV land, everyone despises the C word. Cancellation is bad news…

And that’s Show Bjz,,,


Just Asking…

When you buy a new shirt or a pair of jeans,  do you wash ‘em  before you wear ‘em?

Most folks don’t but should.

According to experts, it’s wise to send your new clothing, even socks, into the washer and dryer for a spin before donning ‘em.

Manufacturers don’t tell you, but chemicals – including formaldehyde — might be treated on your new apparel. Chemicals can cause skin irritation or respiratory and allergic reactions, but they help keep clothes crisp en route to stores.

So, before you wear, wash!