Silence is golden, or so goes the saying, but mum’s not the applicable response here.

So, honesty is the best policy here.

I don’t know how many times I’ve gone to Zippy’s in my lifetime; it’s been a convenience, for a quick meal, a gathering place to meet the gang. I’ve enjoyed the benefits of the Senior Card, from start to finish, and I’ve heard the complaints about how prices have gone up, up, up, and portions smaller, smaller, well I hear you.

But when I visited Zippy’s Kahala for dinner Wednesday night, I spotted Hawaiian Stew as a daily special, which I hadn’t ordered for about year.

So, I placed my order, and went full throttle to make it a complete meal (for more than $10 now) but you get a choice of soup or salad, coffee, tea or soft drink, and dessert – a slice of apple pie to “go.”

When my soup arrived, I stirred it ‘round and ‘round, and ‘round and ‘round again, because something was not right. In the same size bowl Zippy’s uses for a small saimin or won ton min order, there was a lot of cabbage, celery, potatoes, and carrots but an absence of meat. I stirred some more, and voila, there was one measly morsel of meat, baby-sized  and drowning amid the veggies, if I may say so, and I told my wife about the situation. Where’s the beef?!

wwZippy’s Hawaiian Stew; this website photo shows beef.

She knew I wasn’t going to be silent, so I flagged my waitress (a nice soul, who used to work at the now shuttered Koko Marina branch, who’s retiring this year after 48 years of waiting tables) to report the injustice.

She, too, couldn’t believe me – yes, one is a lonely number – and without hesitation, uttered “I’ll bring you more meat.”

She returned, a few minutes later, with a small bowl of meat containing perhaps a half-dozen portion of beef that was ample. But in years past, an order of Hawaiian Stew  would have included five or six hefty chunks of beef. Disclosure: the stew depicted here is from the Zippy’s website, which lists the price as $14.95, and shows four of five beef pieces, each one larger than the portion in my order.

This faux pas should not be a reason to downsize ingredients as Zippy’s continues to let prices soar; everything costs. But being manini with meat is a mistake, just as it would be lamentable if a bowl of won tun min only had a single won tun swimming with a sea of saimin noodles.

If the restaurant can’t bear the cost of beef, relabel it as Vegetable Soup. I’m sure it was an honest error, but the kitchen needs to eyeball what it is serving and stir the soup and make certain all ingredients are there.

I’m not ashamed about bringing up this issue, and perhaps I did it for some of you who have been in a parallel situation and too embarrassed to flag. It’s the principle that matters.

And our waitress earned a 25-pct. tip.


Reyn Halford will portray the dual roles of Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels in the Broadway musical, “Tootsie,” premiering May 31 at the Diamond Head Theatre.

The story by Don McGuire and Larry Gelbart involves a competent actor, who can’t find work, until he disguises himself as an actress. The comedy was a hit film starring Dustin Hoffman, adapted for the stage by Robert Horn (book) and David Yazbek (music and lyrics).

Two ‘Tootsie’ roles for Reyn Halford

The cast also features Chandler Converse as Julie Nichols, Aiko Schick as Sandy Lester, Moku Durant as Jeff Slater, Sam Budd as Max Van Horn, Mary Chesnut Hicks as Rita Marshall, Andrew Simmons as Ron Carlisle, Rick Smith as Stan Fields, Alex Bishop as Stuart, Ixchel Lopez-Duran as Suzie, Issac Liu as Carl, and Marisa Noelle Capalbo, Brandee Doi and Lainey Hicks as the Vocal Trio.

John Rampage is director, Roslyn Catracchia is musical director and Rampage and Celia Chun are choreographers.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 3 p.m. Saturdays and 4 p.m. Sundays through June 16; extended at 7:30 p.m. June 22 and 3 p.m. June 23.

Tickets: $37 to $62; best available seats June 22 and 23, at or (808) 733-0274…

MVT’S ‘Salesman’ extended

Manoa Valley Theatre’s “Death of a Salesman,”  starring Dwight Martin as failing salesman Willy Loman, opens May 23 but has added two extended performances, at 7:30 p.m. June 8 and 3 p.m. June 9,

The show’s scheduled run May 23 through June 2 is expected to be a sellout; hence, the added performances. Tickets: $25 to $48, at or (808) 988-6131…

Broadway grosses, for week ending May 12

 There are two $2 million club members this week; “The Lion King” and “Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club.”  Didn’t take long for “King” to say willkommen to “Cabaret.”

The Top 10:

1—”The Lion King,” $2,114 million.

2—”Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club,” $2,009 million.

3—”Hamilton,” “$1,723 million.

4–“Wicked,” $1,721 million.

5—”MJ the Musical,” $1,609 million.

6—”The Wiz,” $1,567 million.

7–“Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” $1,528 million.

8—”Merrily We Roll Along,”  $1,518 million.

9—”Hell’s Kitchen,” $1,503 million.

10—“Aladdin,” $1,274 million.

The full list, courtesy The Broadway Guild:

And that’s Show Biz…


If you like your meals simple yet satisfying, I have a few suggestions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Of course, you have to explore multi-destinations, to partake of these fun edibles. And no, these meals were spaced over several days, so the truth is, you need to pace the fun, or you’d burst.

For breakfast, I discovered a generous treat only because I ventured into Tanaka Saimin on Nimitz Highway after the noon cut-off for its breakfast specials. This was a Saturday, but also a menu item I never encountered, because of  the day and time: A modified waffle with  chicken special, available till 2 p.m., was a nice surprise.

Waffles and chicken, at Tanaka Saimin.

The platter came with four individual Belgium waffles (a circular version) and oodles of popcorn chicken on a tray. Eaten fresh, the waffles were delish; ditto, the chicken. I ate two waffles and perhaps a half-dozen of the crispy chicken bites, including skin, so I had a bundle to brown-bag. Only problem: the waffles don’t get crispy in the microwave but were too bulky to fit into the toaster. But it was another breakfast meal, so no complaints.

The cobb salad, at Kona Brewing Company.

For lunch, try the cobb salad at Kona Brewing Company. I had it at the Hawaii Kai branch, and it was a visual feast – the bed of lettuce boasted sliced avocado, boiled eggs, bacon, cherry tomatoes, and goat cheese – begging for a photo op, so I got out my iPhone and started shooting. I would have had to be rolled out if I consumed the entire serving, so I ate half, with the remainder rescued as a side-salad for dinner.

The Shaghai Fried Udon, at Panya.

For dinner, this is a repeat – it had been quite a while since I had Panya’s Shanghai Fried Udon, a wok-seared medley of udon noodles, cabbage, and chicken tidbits, in a love sauce. If it looks like a whole lot, it is, and I have yet to gulp down every bit of this noodle dish since it became of my regular choices at Panya. Besides, a nuke in the micro refreshes the dish without overcooking, for a dinner hana hou, and who doesn’t an encore?

Roy’s deluxe bread pudding.

Dessert, you wonder? On a recent sunset visit to Roy’s in Hawaii Kai, for an all pupu dinner (instead of entrees)  for the four of us, the fare ranged from multi orders of assorted sushi, edamame, grilled Brussel sprouts, a double order of escargot, beef ribs and an item or two I can’t remember, there’s hardly room for dessert. Well, not this crowd. Scoops of vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce and Kona coffee ice cream were chilled delights, but in my corner, I opted for Roy’s gourmet bread pudding, a confection not like most others, surrounded with fresh fruit and accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Amid all the nibbles and drinks, half my bread pudding came home with me, maintaining my customary tradition to have something in the fridge for tomorrow…


Kevin McCollum, Hawaii’s Tony-winning Broadway producer, is at it again. His latest production is “The Notebook”– now playing at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre — and it’s nominated for three awards this year.

McCollum and Kurt Deutsch are the lead producers of the new show, based on the popular novel, and co-directed by Michael Greif (“Dear Evan Hansen,” “Next to Normal,” “Rent”) and Schele Williams (“The Wiz,” “Aida.”)

Kevin McCollum

While a 2024 “Best New Musical” nomination eluded “The Notebook,” the show earned three noms, for Best Book of a Musical, Leading Actor in a Musical (Dorean Harewood) and Leading Actress in a Musical (Maryann Plunkett).

A number of high profile names – a few expected, several not expected — also are among this season’s producers:

Angelina Jolie
  •  Angelina Jolie (“The Outsiders.”)
  • Hillary Clinton (“Suffs.”)
  • Eddie Redmayne (“Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club.”)
  • Steven Spielberg (“Water for Elephants.”)
  • Leslie Odom Jr., Alan Alda, Samuel Jackson, Phylicia Rashad (Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch.”)

The Tony Awards will be held June 16, originating from the David H. Koch Theatre at Lincoln Center, and televised on CBS…

A heavenly reunion of Rap and Kawika

Rap Reiplinger

Leesa Clark Stone, widow of comedian Rap Reiplinger, posted a sweet anecdote on my Facebook page, following the death May 2 of David “Kawika” Talisman.

“I sent Rap’s bible to Kawika and we talked a lot about spirituality in recent years after I interviewed him for Rap’s bio,” Stone wrote. “One day Kawika called me to say his cancer had taken a turn for the worse and said, ‘I guess I’ll see Rap before you.’ I’m so happy Kawika was baptized by Kahu (Ken) Makuakane and I know he and Rap are having a great reunion now. I’m also happy he is no longer in pain.”

Can you imagine how zany but productive a Rap/Kawika brainstorming reunion would be? Perhaps a routine about the bible, too?…

Services for Al Waterson, the prolific veteran of Hawaii’s entertainment community who died April 21, will be held June 1 at Sts. Peter and Paul Church at 800 Kaheka St.  Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m., services from 11 a.m. to noon, Catholic Mass from noon to 1 p.m. and fellowship and refreshments from 1 to 2:15 p.m. …

Hawaii Theatre offers kupuna freebie

“Bird of Paradise” poster

Hawaii Theatre is launching a new monthly film series for kupuna, “Rise & Shine,” with a free screening of “Bird of Paradise,” a 1951 flick partly filmed in Hawaii. A nostalgic gem!

But it’s coming up quickly: at 10 a.m. Tuesday (May 14) and reserved tickets are necessary for admission.

The film stars Debra Paget, Louis Jordan and Jeff Chandler, marque favorites in their time,  and I remember seeing it as a youngster at the now-gone Liliha Theatre.

The series is being presented by the Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation, in partnership with the Hawaii Theatre, providing Hawaii’s elder community a place to see an oldie in safe environs. A hosted coffee hour is included, and while there is no charge, donations – give what you can – will be accepted to cover costs of hosting the movie.

Doors open at 8:30 a.m. for the 10 a.m. screening.

If you have kupuna in your household, order seats for them, and order seats for yourself, too, and make it an unusual outing.

Tickets can be reserved at

And that’s Show Biz…