Since his splendid May Day concert last May at the Great Lawn of Bishop Museum – staged ‘neath that tented behemoth – Robert Cazimero, pictured below, has been enjoying a merry time, making good his wish and promise to share Lei Day beyond the reef.

Of course, the principal show had all the bells and whistles: the legendary kilohana presence of Cazimero, soprano Nina Keali‘iwahama and Olomana’s Jerry Santos. Cazimero’s Halau Na Kamalei O Lililehua, along with another guest halau, provided the syncopation and seduction of hula auwana and kahiko.

Following Oahu, Big Island audiences were treated to a performance May 13 at Kahilu Theatre, in Waimea, though with an abbreviated cast. It’s a longstanding tradition, to visit the Big Island, since The Brothers Cazimero “owned” May Day, since the era they delivered that May Day spectacle at the Waikiki Shell… where the tradition had its roots.

And this past week, Cazimero traveled to Japan to share that powerful cultural breeze of Hawaiian music, for hula-happy Nippon audiences, tapping soprano Keali‘iwahamana, pictured below right, and his “house band,” the singing, strumming, dancing trio of Keauhou (Zachary Lum, Nicholas Lum, and Jonah Solatorio)  not only to showcase the group’s instrumental and vocal energy, but also the hypnotic hula since the chums also dance with Cazimero’s halau.

The Keauhou presence, and participation in Lei Day, has bolstered the foundation as it now has planted seeds in new markets to set more Hawaiian roots beyond the islands. The Japanese, of course, adore Hawaiiana, and appreciate and eager to grow the “make a lei, wear a lei and give a lei” tradition. And with Zach Lum and his colleagues at the core of the event, the future looks stable and bright, with a growing village of supports eager get this thing glowing.

Every day can lei day any time, any place, but the practice becomes powerful when the mele and marvel are connected to faces and names that translate to trust. …

Hugh Jackman’s ‘Oklahoma!’

Advisory for fans of Hugh Jackman: Before he became a superstar of film and stage, he played Curly in a filmed musical of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” in Australia.

By all accounts, this 1998 vehicle would become a talking point and casting barometer to propel book him toward a musical, on stage or on the big screen.

I first saw him in his Tony Award-winning role where he portrayed Peter Allen in “The Boy From Oz,” his first Broadway musical, but missed him in last year’s “The Music Man” where he enacted Professor Harold Hill.

We’ve all seen and heard him in the last film version of “Les Miserables,” where he was Jean Valjean, and of course, he was the reason “The Greatest Showman” became a blockbuster, the hit film where he played P.T. Barnum.

So back to “Oklahoma!”  The vintage film, with a young Jackman, will make a rare two-day global return, to mark the 80th anniversary of “OK.”  In Honolulu, the screenings will be at 3 p.m. July 16 and at 7 p.m. July 19 at Consolidated’s Kahala Theatre, and Regal’s Dole Cannery and Pearl Highlands Theatres.

Tickets ($17.75 Kahala, $15.70 Regal) are already on sale online. Visit

Earlier this month, President Biden hosted a special screening of the anticipated Disney+ original series, “American Born Chinese,” as part of the largest Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month key event at the White House.

A host of actors of color were on hand. The series, now streaming on Disney+, tracks an immigrant family that includes an American son, at the crossroads of the cultural struggles reflecting real-life issues with storybook fantasies about a new American identity fusing family bonding.

“Nights like these are a reminder of the power of stories,” said the president.Academy Award-winning actor Ke Huy Quan was one of the key participants in the screening; Maui native Destin Daniel Cretton, pictured right, who was executive producer and director of “American Born Chinese,” attended with many other on-camera and off-camera folks, like series stars Ben Wang, Yeo Yann Yann, Chin Han, Daniel Wu,  Jimmy Liu and Sydney Taylor, and creative team members including executive producer and author of the graphic novel Gene Luen Yang series creator and showrunner Kelvin Yu, and executive producers Melvin Mar, Jake Kasdan and Erin O’Malley. Peyton Elizabeth Lee and Alex Aiono, stars of the Disney+’s filmed-in-Hawaii  series, “Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.,“ also attended. …

And that’s Show Biz. …


With the pandemic in its rear view mirror, the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra is looking for harmony and stability in a new four-year contract with the orchestra’s 84 musicians.

The HSO board has ratified the  pact, also overwhelmingly approved by the orchestra’s union, Musicians’ Assn. of Hawaii, Local 677, which assures 18 weeks of performances for the first two years, 19 weeks in the third year, and 21 weeks in the final year. The agreements cover the fiscal years from 2022 through 2026, somewhat rare in the still uncertain pandemic cloud that has stalled growth and security for many orchestras.

Dave Moss

“The heart of the symphony is our musicians and the signing of this multiple-year agreement ensures that they will have opportunities for growth as we continue our mission-driven work for the community,” said Dave Moss, president & CEO of HSO. “In a large way, it ends years of stops and starts for the Hawai‘i Symphony Orchestra throughout the past decade and puts HSO in a place of unprecedented stability, even after we’ve navigated the effects of the pandemic.”

James F. Moffitt

“The four-year agreement is unusual among orchestras at this time. For Hawai‘i, it will allow the HSO management time to recover from the detrimental effects of the pandemic and it gives the musicians job security and growth to look forward to,” said James F. Moffitt, president of the Musicians’ Association of Hawaii, Local 677. “This will also strengthen the organization by giving confidence to patrons, donors and sponsors, encouraging them to continue to contribute generously as they anticipate the expanded programming and financial stability of the HSO.”

“The harmony between musicians, board, administration and community serves as the catalyst behind the credibility and trust that has been established over the past three years, both financially and artistically,” said Paul Kosasa, chairman  of the HSO board of directors..

The  contractual certifications will assure stability for the orchestra, when it launches the upcoming season, beginning Oct. 8, and enables HSO to continue the Halekulani Masterwork Concerts Series, the HapaSymphony Series, Starlight Series and additional special performances ….

‘Doogie’ boyfriends

Alex Aiono

Alex Aiono will return in season two of Disney+’s “Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.,” already in production here. Aiono has been portraying Walter Taumata, the surfer boyfriend of Lahela, the titular character played by Peyton Elizabeth Lee, who is the teen doctor when she’s not in high school. His relationship with Lahela, however, has not been defined since the series this year also cast Milo Manheim in a new recurring role and a likely boyfriend of Lahela.

Aiona also has  been a regular in “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin,” the HBO Max streamer, where he appears as Shawn. His Hawaiian/Polynesian looks are from his Samoan-Maori father and he calls Phoenix, AZ his home. …

Casting couch

Keanu Reeves

Keanu Reeves, a Hawaii native of “The Matrix” and “John Wicks” franchises, will star in his first TV mainstreamer on Hulu,  “Devil in the White City,” based on Erik Larson’s book. The movie explores the life of Daniel Burnham, a visionary architect, who left his mark on the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, supposed the part Reeves will play, opposite a yet-to-be-cast  Dr. H.H. Holmes, considered to be America’s first modern serial killer (200 victims) and the dude behind the “Murder Castle” built in the shadow of the World’s Fair. The film boasts two celeb exec producers, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio

Lady Gaga will add wattage to Joaquin Phoenix’s “Joker 2,” officially to be called “Joker: Folie a Deux,” when she plays Harley Quinn, a tongue-in-cheek handle for sure. In an early posting in June, Variety said the sequel would be a musical, though that distinction has not be mentioned in her casting announcement, but it had a musical teaser, tapping “Cheek to Cheek,” a song legitimizing her  career as a chanteuse-partner of Tony Bennett rather than an oddly-dressed pop-rocker. ..

Look for James Franco to play Fidel Castro in “Alina of Cuba,” an indie flick about Alina Fernandez, daughter  of the Cuban revolution. It’s a true story of her exile from Cuba and also features Natalia Revuetta as the Cuban socialite whose affair with Castro resulted in the birth of Alina. …

Zippy’s Senior Card expiring

If you possess a Senior Card from Zippy’s restaurants in Hawaii, you have until Sunday (Aug. 7) to utilize the card. The program will conclude effective Aug. 8.

A new Zipster program will replace the card, which has been a boon for the elderly with its 10 per cent discount for dine-in or take-out patronage. …

And that’s Show Biz. …


Henry Kapono has clearly become the most prolific and profound island entertainer of his era – and there’s no stopping him.

He is reclaiming his “Home in the Islands” brand, with a star-studded four-hour concert from 6 to 10 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Tom Moffatt Waikiki Shell in Kapiolani Park.

Featuring Henry Kapono & Friends, his show monicker widely promoted during the pandemic for appearances in nightclubs like Blue Note Hawaii and in virtual TV programming, continues to thrive. After all, there’s no more Cecilio & Kapono in his life, a period that produced iconic songs in his repertoire. But plenty of friends.

The show will be the first large-sized concert  in a year, in the newly-named outdoor venue named for the late and great Tom Moffatt, an entrepreneur who also branded his concerts (Tom Moffatt Presents) during his six-decade reign of rock and pop music on radio and in concert venues like the Shell, the Honolulu Stadium, and the Blaisdell Concert Hall and Arena.

Henry Kapono

Kapono, the Grammy-nominated Hawaiiian musician and entrepreneur, is assembling an all-star roster of fellow entertainers who have hungered to properly return to live performing venue: Kalapana, Keola Beamer, Jerry Santos, Amy Hanaiali‘i, Kapena, Ledward Kaapana, The Makaha Sons, Brother Noland and Robi Kahakalau. Inevitably, the list will grow larger in the weeks leading up to the event.

“We’re excited about bringing the community together in healing and fellowship as we celebrate the music soundtrack of growing up in Hawai‘i and how lucky we are to live in our Home in the Islands,” said Henry in a statement. “There’s no better Hawai‘i venue than the outdoor setting of the Waikīkī Shell and no better backdrop than Diamond Head. This concert is to bring us all together to celebrate the challenges we’ve overcome and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience through the joy of music and friendship.”

Tickets went on sale today, with three price levels: $65 for reserved seating, $35 for unreserved lawn seating, and a $150 VIP package that includes reserved seats and early entry via an exclusive VIP entry gate and access to special restrooms and a no-host bar.

For reservations, go to or visit the Blaisdell box office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays or call 768-5252.

The show will be a Tier 5 Outdoor Event, with a 50 per cent venue capacity (social distancing spacing). Details for optional or mandated mask-wearing have not been announced.

The concert is a partial benefit for the Henry Kapono Foundation and $1 for every ticket sale will go to a fund supporting musicians, stagehands, audio engineers, lighting technicians, and backstage crews that were unemployed during the COVID-19 lockdown.

If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember Henry’s annual end-of-summer, beginning-of-fall biggie with then-partner Cecilio Rodriguez (aka Cecilio and Kapono) … at the Waikiki Shell…

Misuse of music?

“The White Lotus,” the filmed-in-Hawaii mini-series on HBO/HBO Max (new episodes air Sundays) was wholly filmed at the Four Seasons resort on Maui.

It also is loaded with Hawaiian tunes, to heighten impact and enhance scenes, in this sudsy soap-opera in our midst.

But episode two, launched Sunday, hit a sour note on two counts:

  • “Ke Kali Nei Au,” the customary Hawaiian wedding tune, was heard over family dinner.
  • “Hawaii Aloha” closed the episode, as a son in the dinner table gathering, walked toward the beach because he couldn’t sleep in the room; the bonus, he got to see likely photoshopped images of whales. The song inspired by a Christian hymn entitled “I Left It All With Jesus,” composed  in the 1840’s by a Pennsylvania singer and composer James McGranahan, with Hawaiian lyrics composed by the Rev. Lorenzo Lyons at the request of King Kamehameha. It’s commonly sung at the end of a concert or gathering, with singers bonded by holding each other’s hands.

Both placements of familiar melodies in this “Lotus” episode provided awkward feelings. Clearly, the show lacked a Hawaiian music consultant; otherwise, these strange misuse of our island tunes might have been prevented. …

And that’s “Show Biz” …


Since his earlier-announced six shows in July sold out in a day, Bruno Mars has added four more performances at the Park MGM in Las Vegas.

Tickets are on sale, and likely will be snapped up pronto, for new play dates July 30 and 31 and Aug. 13 and 14.

In-between these four shows, Mars will trek to the MGM National Harbor in National Harbor, Maryland, for shows Aug. 6 and 7.

Bruno Mars

With coronavirus protocols lowering and vaccinations increasing across many states, it wouldn’t be surprising if still more concerts are added. Mars, like other mainstream performers, have been idle and awaiting the return of “normal” in the entertainment spectrum.

During the pandemic, Mars has not released a new solo recording but his collaboration with Anderson .Paak in the group Silk Sonic produced a No. 1 hit, “Leave the Door Open,” keeping his name and voice on radio and online postings. and other websites are selling tickets. …

‘NCIS’ director talks filming

Larry Teng

Larry Teng, who is directing the first episode of CBS’ “NCIS: Hawai‘i,” is beginning to talk about the franchise’s first spin-off away from the continental U.S.A.

Teng, no stranger to the islands since he previously directed multiple episodes of the now-retired “Hawaii Five-0” reboot, is inclined to ensure Hawaii and its residents are properly represented in the new venture, now filming in Honolulu.

“It’s a love letter to Hawaii, too, you know, and I gotta make sure we protect that,” he was quoted at

“It’s one of the things we stress about every day,” he added.

Bottom line: he knows he carries the burden to get right. Not just shaping the newbie NCIS so it has a decent life span in prime time, but he pleases not offends the local folks. …

And that’s “Show Biz.” …



It’s Willie K Month on Maui, and surely, the rest of the state will participate.

Debbie Kahaiali‘i, widow of the beloved musician-entertainer Willie K, and the singer’s Ohana Kahaiali‘I and Maui Tribe Productions, will celebrate the month of June as “Willie K Month.”

From June 1 to 30, daily tributes, recollections and perhaps some music will be heard and seen at Willie K’s Facebook page.

Willie K

Willie died last May 18 at age 59, following a bout with lung cancer. He was one of Hawaii’s most versatile entertainers, capable of delivering anything from Hawaiian to rock, from opera to blues, from country to standards from the stage. He played the ukulele but switched to guitar, depending on the genre of his music.

“Willie K Month” proclamation is signed at Maui Mayor Michael Victorino’s office.

Because of his popularity and usually avoidance of sharing his musical stylings to a Waikiki audience, he ultimately became the face and leading figure as a resident act at Blue Note Hawaii, the club at the Outrigger Waikiki resort, and established himself as the showroom’s most popular attraction. He regularly traveled to Honolulu from his Maui base, and ultimately sharing the news of his failing health until he became too ill to continue.

Mayor Michael Victorino made the Willie K Month proclamation to kick off the festivities. And the Ohana shared the moment of the signing at the mayor’s county office.

For details, visit  Facebook: @OfficialWillieK and the website at …

‘I and You’ at TAG

“I and You,” a play by Lauren Gunderson, will be staged July 8 to 11 and July 15 to 18 at TAG(The Actors’ Group), at the Brad Powell Theatre on the premises of Dole Cannery in Iwilei.

Directed by Bro. Gary Morris, the show features a cast of two: Natalie Maria Figuracion Borsky  as Caroline and Manuel Diaz as Anthony. Described as an ode to youth, life, love and human connection.

Anthony arrives to homebound classmate Caroline’s door, with a beat-up copy of Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” and they engage in the mysteries of the homework poetry by unlocking the nature of their lives.

For tickets, visit

And that’s “Show Biz.” …