First, it was the abandoned “Magnum P.I.,” the filmed-in-Hawaii procedural that CBS axed after the season four finale, and belatedly, NBC came to the rescue.

After all, Magnum and Higgins smooched like A Hot Couple at the conclusion of season four, and, simply, there had to be a follow-up.

NBC became the hero,  enabling “Magnum” a season five which started filming Monday, as mentioned in this space earlier.

Of course, it’ll be too late for “Magnum” to  be in this year’s traditional fall return, already underway. So, fans will have to wait till January, 2023, for how the kiss between Magnum (Jay Hernandez) and Higgins (Perdita Weeks) plays out. Still not certain if the show will be on NBC, or sister streaming network Peacock, but you don’t have a negotiating edge when you’re on the skids. When “Magnum” airs, there will be only 10 episodes, half of the usual network parcel…

Then the other day, NBC announced it was picking up another “orphan” left on the church steps: The Golden Globes awards show. The awards program, often a prelude to the more respected Academy Awards, suffered a one-year boycott, because of alleged lack of diversity among the voting roster and internal show reforms. The Globes, a project of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., will air Jan. 10, 2023, on NBC and the sister Peacock streaming network, but because it’s a Tuesday night, it won’t be like the old days before the dismal and deserve shuttering. NBC has a longstanding lock on Sunday Night Football, an NFL staple.

Golden Globe statue

So, the network’s agreement with Dick Clark Productions, won’t be as lucrative because of the weeknight  roll-out. Again, when you’re in the outs, you take what’s offered to get in again…

Raymond Lee

NBC also latched onto the reboot of “Quantum Leap,” a series which starred Scott Bakula from 1989 to 1993. ‘Twas a time-travel fantasy, a hit show for Bakula, who lost his “NCIS: New Orleans” show last year, but though the Peacock sent the script to Bakula, to perhaps jump back into time-travel mode, he turned down the offer.

When he passed,  Raymond Lee, an Asian of South Korean ethnicity,  got the starring role as Dr. Sam Song, a quantum physicist who discovers a way to time-travel, and it’s a coup for an API actor, who said, “This is the role I’ve been waiting for.” He thought he was offered a secondary role but stunned when it was the headliner part.

The show technically is neither a prequel nor a sequel but perhaps a revival. It premiered Monday night and will also time-travel via NBC’s Peacock streaming venue. Not a bad deal. …

Broadway grosses, week ending Sept. 18

The leaders still led, but the sums are a skosh lower than in recent weeks.

So, No. 1 is “The Music Man,” just short of $3 million, at $2.945 million, remains 76 trombones strong and its charismatic leading man Hugh Jackman; No.” 2 is “Hamilton,” with its still powerful shot of $1.908 million, long after creator Lin-Manual Miranda left the building; and No. 3 is “MJ the Musical,” still a thriller (thanks to a Tony and Michael Jackson’s legacy), at $1.724 million.

Here’s the listing, courtesy The Broadway League:

And that’s Show Biz. …


Oh, what a night!

“Jersey Boys,” the musical biography of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, is in the midst of a two-week run at Blaisdell Concert Hall. It opened Sept. 13 and plays through Sept. 25, after being pushed back a couple of years ago because of the pandemic.

I took in last night’s (Sept. 16) performance; it’s still the best-ever jukebox musical because there’s a valid story with revelations, along with a fistful of No. 1 hits that made Valli and his partners a live-wire act for all seasons. And powerhouse renderings of the tunes that shaped the Seasons.

It’s the first time I’ve seen the show since its October 20O5 debut (it ran through 2017), where it was a huge success thanks to the frequent in-person appearances of Valli, early in the run; he’d pop in at the August Wilson Theatre in New York, to the delight of the producers and fans.  Less successful was the film version, which debuted in June 2014, directed by (of all people) Clint Eastwood.

It didn’t occur to me, when the show was new that it took nearly 50 minutes for one of the Four Seasons’ signatures would be sung and performed live. The prelude, to set up the characters and the potential of this yet-to-be-discovered attraction, seemed to stall like a used car. However, when the quartet finally gets all the cylinders going –starting with “Sherry” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry” — the ride was smooth and luxurious.

The Four Seasons, from left: Devon GoffmanEric ChamblissJon Hacker and Matt Faucher .

And let’s be honest: the applause, cheers and hurrahs for these iconic songs, plus the late-in-the-show Valli solo, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” were earnest and genuine. And I was surprised that the enthused and immersed spectators didn’t take up the worship a notch up, by getting up on their feet and gyrating and bouncing to the tempo, like in a rock show.

The key four guys, who were The Four Lovers before they selected and shared the “seasons” with Vivaldi, are Jon Hacker as Valli (sweet and crisp, charming, most effective vocally with his three colleagues),  Eric Chambliss as Bob Gaudio (the business mind of the group),  Devon Coffman as Tommy DeVito (the bad-boy, trouble-making one) , and Matt Faucher as Nick Massi ( who delivers one of the best lines, referring to himself as a Ringo, like in The Beatles). They sing their expected harmonies with repetitive do-wop choreography perhaps mirroring the act’s stage manner; you might say that this sort of musical form is part imitation of the original figures, with the reproduction of the musical arrangements to capture the moment of rock/pop ecstasy.

It works.

Like “Beautiful,” the Carole King musical, “Jersey Boys” knows how to pace with grace; there are ample fully-sung tunes that magnify the magic of their music. Unlike the mediocre Elvis Presley-inspired “All Shook Up,” the Beach Boys tuner “Good Vibrations,” and the Gloria Estefan bio “On Your Feet,” these shows lacked stories with some grit and conflict, so the cut-and-pace, sing-and-dance song performances are difficult to sustain.

Directed by Des McAnuff (also known for directing “The Who’s Tommy” on Broadway) “Jersey” includes the blemishes and the blurs of the Valli tale, exploring a young kid with an unusual falsetto voice, his divorce, a daughter with a drug problem, and in-group challenges like private partnerships and unpaid debts.

The book is by Marshall Brickman and Rick Rice, with music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Bob Crewe.

The score is rich with memorable titles, including “My Eyes Adored You,” “Dawn (Go Away),” “Walk Like a Man,” “Stay,” “Working My Way Back to You,” and “Rag Doll.”   Some of the tunes are not Four Seasons hits, but were composed by Gaudio  (“Who Wears Short Shorts.,” “Cry for Me,” “I Still Care”) or Crewe (“Silhouettes,” “I Go Ape”).

“Jersey Boys” features a traveling orchestra of eight or nine, performing like a rock band early on and segueing into a pop fixture with brass tooters, bass thumps and riffs that sustain, particularly when the four key voices resonate.

Oh, what a night of flashback memories…

And that’s Show Biz. …


Running time: 2 hours, 40 minute, with intermission.

Playdates: varies, through Sept. 25.

Tickets: or Blaisdell box office at (808) 768-5252.

Advisory: Contains expletives, so young children should be alerted; facemasks recommended, but not required, due to the pandemic.


Keauhou, the prolific Hawaiian trio, will host and perform at its “i le‘a” album release launch, from 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday  (Sept. 17) at Moanalua Gardens.

The Na Hoku Hanahano Award-winning trio features Kahanuola Solatorio and brothers Nicholas and Zachary Lum, Kamehameha School graduates primed to preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian mele, inspired by those who have previously nurtured and embraced traditional Hawaiian music.

Had to inquire Keauhou on what the album title means; so Zachary Lum solved the mystery.

Keauhou members, from left: Kahanuola Solatorio, Zackary Lum and Nicholas Lum.

“To answer your question,’ i leʻa’ means ‘for the sake of fun/joy.’ After our first series of albums being heavily themed around a through-composed narrative, we felt it would be appropriate to offer mele for the sake of enjoyment first,” said Lum.

Surely, in these commonly turbulent times, there’s always room for more joyful, fun mele.

A roster of Hawaiiana faves also will be featured, including Robert Cazimero, Hoku Zuttermeister, the Ha‘eaha‘e Girls, Ka La ‘Onohi Mai o Ha‘eha‘e and Pi‘ikea Lopes (the reigning Miss Aloha Hula 2022 from the Merrie Moarch Festival).

Mele Apana, Lina Girl and Davey D will share emcee duties.

Kau kau will be available for purchase; lawn seating mats and chairs may be brought.


The ‘Magnum’ buzz

Still no official announcements on when “Magnum P.I.” will assemble here to begin production on season five, but the buzz is that the cast is already assembling (and maybe hugging each other) to prep for the beginning of season five under the auspices of NBC instead of CBS.

Amy Hill

Met Amy Hill, who plays Tutu on the series, and when I asked her “when,” she quickly said “soon.” No other details. This happened last weekend at Manoa Valley Theatre’s “Cabaret.”

The season will include only 10 episodes and writers have been quietly completing scripts for the moment when someone yells “action,” to begin filming. Supposedly, on Monday.

Clearly, “Magnum” likely won’t be in its Friday slot nor will it be airing this season. Details are yet to come. Hope it lands a network slot, meaning NBC, instead of its streaming Peacock network.

And surely, since season four ended with that smackeroo between Magnum (Jay Hernandez)  and  Higgins (Perdita Weeks), the storyline should begin there and proceed to a formal “couple” status. So Magnum should bring out the ring. . …

Broadway grosses, week ending Sept. 11

Something’s amiss, in this week’s roster of Broadway show grosses, provided by the Broadway League. Simply, there’s at least one omission — numbers for Hugh Jackman’s “The Music Man” are missing. It’s been the No. 1 for weeks now.

So peruse, if you’re interest in the sums provided:

And that’s Show Biz …


Does the world need another “Pinocchio” revival?

Methinks not. Let’s face it: Disney’s classic animated feature, treasured by old and young alike, suffices. It’s the beloved version everyone adores and knows. Older generations, for sure, and the current younger folks.

Yet there’s a new 2022 version, a peculiar mashup with live actors and animated figures, with Tom Hanks, of all people, as Geppetto, the elderly clockmaker of tick-tocking clocks. He is sad and lonely in his cottage after the loss of his son.

So he pursues a project – a wooden son?

The revival begins with good intentions and motives, and even includes  — why not? – the cartoon film’s anthem, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” the signature of the Disney franchise and theme parks. But why not? Familiarity sells.

“Pinocchio,” directed by Robert Zemeckis, betrays the concept and intentions of the tale of a clockmaker creating, and giving life (without the strings), to a wooden a puppet doll. This Pinocchio goes to school, where he is bullied and maligned, and even goes to a theme park (not a Disney complex), where he becomes emotionally bruised. Reason: he has no conscience and is poised to be someone who seeks to be famous, a journey that thrusts him into a Pleasure Island of threatening horrors.

Tom Hanks, as Geppetto, who creates a wooden puppet boy, in the newest “Pinocchio.”

The bottom line: Pinocchio wants to be real and in fairy tales, that’s a logical wish. Your nose shouldn’t get long if you have this wish; it’s an acceptable goal, after all. As for Hanks, bewigged and bewildered, he visually fills the bill. But the story is the problem.

The script, by director Zemeckis and co-writer Chris Weitz, is quite a mess with a mission gone astray. It should be family-friendly, but it is often frightening; it should be terrific, but it is terrifying in spots. Not a version or vision for the very young,

Cynthia Erivo

Jiminy Cricket is aboard,  in animation, and voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt,  and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth, voiced Pinocchio. Cynthia Erivo, appearing as the Blue Fairy, renders the famous “Wish” ditty in live action, so this is a fantasy within a fantasy, and her version is stunning—she has the wand that will make the wooden boy/toy “real.” Her presence is a good intro/promo when she co-stars in the planned film version of  “Wicked.”

But be warned: Whether you like or dislike revivals, be informed that Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion version of “Pinocchio,” will debut Oct. 15 at the BFI London Film Festival, then destined to have a theatrical premiere in November, followed by a Netflix kickoff Dec. 9. Online previews suggest a dark, perhaps grotesque, rendering is ahead. 

Too many, too often? …

And that’s Show Biz. …


If ever there was an evergreen musical with just about everything, it just might be Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes,” now playing through Sept. 25 at Diamond Head Theatre.


  • Tap dancing , Act 1: You could leave at intermission, when the title tune gets a spirited boost,  as energetic tappers click their shoes and sing and dance their hearts out, as if this was the finale. You’d get your money’s worth and feel fulfilled.
  • Tap-dancing, Act 2: The closing tapper, which brings down the curtain, also is rich with voices and shoes tapping, and yep, might trigger your animated trek to your car. Disclosure: there’s another awesome show-stopper  (won’t reveal it) when you’ll momentarily feel like you’re seeing “42nd Street” and “A Chorus Line.”
  • Career-best performances, from the romantic leads: Jody Bill, as nightclub singer Reno Sweeney, has the pipes and verve and vocalize with skill, and is a knock-out dancer, as well. Andrew Sakaguchi, as stowaway Billy Crocker, is a triple-threat, singer, actor and dancer with batteries that don’t need recharging. He certainly, and deservedly, carries the flag as an API trouper  and a poster boy for blind casting that works.
  • The rich and everlasting score by Porter still connects:  his words and music  are part of the DNA of the Great American Songbook.

All aboard, for DHT’s “Anything Goes,” sailing through Sept. 25. Cast images not available.
  • Splendid direction and choreographyJohn Rampage, who is the unseen skipper of the SS American, the setting for this shipboard, steers through one of his favorite musicals of all time, in what will be the final production in the “old,” soon to be retired Ruger Theatre, which also has been a playhouse earlier known as the Honolulu Community Theatre, and now Diamond Head Theatre; with additional kudos to Caryn Yee, whose tap choreography is a joy to experience (for performers and spectators), with solo, couple, and ensemble units joyfully tapping, tap-tap-tap.
  • Glorious, colorful and costumes: Karen G. Wolfe has outdone herself with a mountain of wardrobe styles and hues, brightening the needs of scenes involving a diverse lot, from sailors to captains, from angels to devils, from clerics to whomever. Her creations could proudly fill a boutique.
  • Appealing depth in the secondary roles: Mathew Pedersen, as Moonface Martin; Akiko Schick, as Evangeline Harcourt, mother of Christine Kluvo’s Hope Harcourt; Ahnya Chang, as Erma.
  • Stage and lighting design: Dawn Oshima’s shipboard set, complete with occasional suites, are inventive yet essential, to address the multi-moods of  the time-tested rom-com treasure.

Further, there’s support and efficiency in the other realms of staging a huge musical; like hair and make up by Aiko Schick, and orchestral melodics helmed by Jenny Shiroma, who also is keyboardist, with four colleagues who sound like a band double its size.

 Ensemble excellence prevails – the  cast of 30 is huge – so their unity and output reflect dedication and generosity, from the show leads to the gallery ensemble folks, who perform with a feeling of genuine team pride. It’s also a thrill to remember young actors making progress and living the joy of theater. I point out the likes off Shane Nishimura, who is part of the ensemble principally as a singing-dancing sailor, but I remember him as a youngster portraying Gavroche in a “Les Miserables” in the past.

Performance schedule: 7:30 p.m.  Thursdays through Saturdays, at 3 p.m. Saturdays and at 4 p.m. Sundays (no Saturday matinee Sept. 10), through Sept. 25.

Tickets: $25-$35, available at or (808) 733-0274.

And that’s Show Biz. …