Weather notwithstanding, Loretta Ables Sayre has left the comforts of her Mililani Mauka home and is currently in Michigan rehearsing for a concert version of “Fiddler on the Roof,” under the auspices of the University of Michigan and the Grand Rapids Orchestra.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Feb. 19 and 4 p.m. Feb. 20; then the show moves to Philadelphia, with the Philadelphia Orchestra providing the music.

In an email, she admitted it was “chilly, chilly” in Michigan, unlike sunny, sunny in the islands.

“We are in the beginning of a huge snow storm that is expected to dump between 8 and 15 inches here in Ann Arbor,” she added. “This local girl is freezing. But there’s hardly enough time to worry about it with our rehearsal schedule.”  

Overall, it’s nice work, a reunion with some Broadway colleagues involved in Lincoln Center’s “South Pacific,” where her work as Bloody Mary earned a Tony Awards nomination in 2008.

The “Fiddler” concert assembles a full cast of singers, rendering the theatrical score, minus the lavish costumes and sets. Musically, the beloved tunes will come to life thanks to a cast of singing pros.

The musical will be directed by Sarna Lapine, who most recently conducted Jake Gyllenhaal in “Sunday in the Park With George” on Broadway; Lapine was Bart Sher’s assistant director in “South Pacific,” and she said, “I have been in awe of her work since then.”

Her good friend, Andy Einhorn, is a New York music conductor and director, who was MD for Bette Midler in the recent “Hello, Dolly!” revival, who is conducting the orchestra, and Ables Sayre worked with him with the Cleveland Orchestra prior to the pandemic.

“My Tevye is Tony Award winning Chuck Cooper,” she said. “We have more Broadway and Tony nominated leads in other roles and it is so thrilling to be rehearsing and creating with these absolutely amazing talented people.”

Loretta Ables Sayre

Golde’s signature song, performed with Tevye, is “Do You Love Me?,” which requires skillful timing and nuances, and she renders with others “Sunrise, Sunset” and “Tevye’s Dream.”

Cooper earned a Tony as a Featured Actor in a Musical for 1997’s “The Life.” Ables Sayre was a Tony nominee for Bloody Mary in 2008.

And choreographer Alison Solomon also is part of the creative team.

This is Ables Sayre’s first theatrical project she’s accepted since the beginning of the Covid pandemic.

Over the past year, she adapted to lockdown protocols, cleaning, decorating, baking, cooking – the stuff of the domestic life. Ables Sayre and husband David Sayre cleaned carpets, power-washed sidewalks and driveways, planted edible flowers to decorate her culinary creations.

She sewed slipcovers, curtains and more, and let her hair naturally turn gray.

Under the strictest protocols, she took on assorted acting roles, including “The White Locus,” on HBO Max, “I Know What You Did Last Summer” on Amazon Prime, “Magnum P.I.” on CBS, and “Ke Nui Road,” on HBO Max, masked and socially distancing when not on camera, to assure safety and respect health concerns.

She has other irons in the fire, but cannot divulge, pending approval to go public. …

Calendar cues

Na Leo’s Angela Morales, Nalani Jenkins and Lehua Kalima.

You know the climate’s changing, when traditional gigs — gone during the earlier phases of the pandemic – start reappearing.

So: Na Leo, the trio that often drops the Pilimehana from its name, will resume Mother’s Day concerts beginning this year. Nalani Jenkins, Lehua Kalima and Angela Morales – childhood friends and lifelong musicians — convene at 1 p.m. May 8 at the Hawaii Theatre. Hotel showrooms with buffets were the way to go in the past, and moms loved that format, but a theatrical show is a great way to jumpstart the tradition. Tickets: $35 to $75, at
The Hawaii Theatre Center’s Theatre Education will team put with PAPA (the Pacific Academy of Performing Arts) to stage “Tarzan,” a musical based on the Disney film (and subsequent Broadway production), inspired by Edgar Rice Burrough’s “Tarzan of the Apes,” with book by David Henry Hwang and music by Phil Collins. Playdates: Feb. 18 at 6 p.m., Feb. 19 at 1 and 6 p.m., and Feb. 20 at 1 p.m.  Tickets; $5 and $10, at

Is Zippy’s ready to reopen in Hawaii Kai?

I’ve been patiently waiting and wondering about the imminent reopening of Zippy’s at the Koko Marina Shopping Center. The authorities are mum, the hired hands dispensing take-out orders are anticipating, too, beginning last fall, when rumors started pouring about a November, December, then January return. Nevah happen.

The family restaurant has been a go-to haunt for breakfast, lunch and dinner, particularly for those of us who live in Hawaii and nearby neighborhoods in Kuliouou and Niu Valley. We all have to drive to the Kahala Zippy’s for dine-in, right?

Well, the latest reports finally tout a likely but unverified reopening date, Feb. 15, which is right around the corner. Those trucks and vans, sitting outside the restaurant, have come and gone. Recruiting for wait help has started. A new wrinkle in the Zippy’s in Hawaii Kai rumor: apparently, the chain wants to launch one of those on-tables ordering screens, to scan menus, place orders, and await your meal. Hello? The senior population in East Oahu don’t want to order via a screen gizmo; they want to make choices and exchange aloha with the servers…the old-fashioned way. Can someone in the Zippy’s ‘ohana review and go instead with traditional waitresses and waiters? …

 And that’s Show Biz. …

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