Graveside services for Noah Parker will be held at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 3 at Diamond Head Memorial Park, according to his widow, Ellen Parker.

Noah, a colleague from the Honolulu Advertiser days, died last July 3 at age 80,  possibly from complications due to his Merkel cell carcinoma diagnosis.

He was a product of Kalihi, attending Kalihi Waena Elementary School, Kalakaua Intermediate School, and Farrington High School.

Curiously, newspapering was part of life, from his early years. Unbeknown to many, Noah was a newspaper seller at 8 years old; he would hawk the Honolulu Advertiser on street corners, until he was 12.

In his late teens, he solicited subscriptions for circulation district managers on the Neighbor Islands and eventually became a part-time district manager for several years, until he earned a full-time position.

I met him when I was a reporter-columnist at the Advertiser, when circulation headquarters were still at the News Building at Kapiolani Boulevard and South Street.

He was a cordial, chatty sort, easy to befriend, and it was no surprise he served as district manager for more than 30 years. He eventually was promoted to the role of home delivery circulation for 10 more years, before he retired.

Because he resided in Hawaii Kai, where I also own a home, we had numerous off-hour conversations about the news biz, even following both our retirements.

One bonus for me — with an insider buddy in circulation who knew district managers even after his retirement — I was able to regularly receive a preview of the early-run entertainment section (remember those?) on Saturdays preceding the Sunday inclusion of The Advertiser.

Noah Parker discusses The Advertiser with kids during a school visit.

Frequently, Noah would ask about a local entertainer mentioned in my Show Biz column, and cordially provided extra copies to share with the subjects in the column. There wasn’t a performer he didn’t know.

Susan Lam Sinclair, who met Noah in 1986, was an Advertiser morning dispatcher, working a 3 to 7:30 a.m. shift for the circulation department, at the time he was district manager for Hawaii Kai. After her father died in January 1990, “Noah became my ‘office father’ or godfather, as some people called him,” said Lam Sinclair.

He recruited her to volunteer in his community  projects (“I was Icee Bear one year in the Christmas parade”).

When she relocated to the mainland to enter a training program with the Veterans Administration, he encouraged her to pursue her career goals and advised her, “reach for the sky as high as you can go.”

The friendship continued for 36 years with her annual Hawaii visits, for a meal or two, not knowing that  their April 10 get-together would be their last.

“He was my sounding  board, lent an ear when I need someone to listen and always had a shoulder for me to cry on.  He was a very giving man who often fed the homeless. Noah has touched many lives far and wide.  He will be missed sorely by myself and many others.”

“He was more than just a husband and father,” said wife Ellen. “His generosity towards his family and numerous community endeavors was truly never ending.”

She said Noah always recited this quote, “service to humanity is the best work of life.”. For 25 years, Noah organized the Hawaii Kai Christmas Parade along Lunalilo Home Road, and also started up the Hawaii Kai Mountain Ball League and had a hand in the short-lived Hawaii Kai fireworks display at Maunaloa Bay.

Cha Thompson, longtime buddy of Noah, received regular phone calls from Noah, and they, too, established a keen friendship, with Cha joining Noah in organizing the Hawaii Kai fireworks show. She said of him, “If he were your friend, you could consider yourself a very lucky person. He would always be there if you needed a favor, but he never expected anything in return. He was everybody’s helper and was loved for it.”

She said they had lively discussions of things in the daily paper; “he would read the newspaper and have an opinion that you would either love or hate,” said Cha.

Noah was an orphan, born June 5, 1943, who ultimately met his birth mother when he was in his 20s. Perhaps his status of being parentless gave him the personality and outlook in his life as a teen and ultimately as an adult.

All his friends know he was a most resourceful soul with the zesty spirit to serve anyone anytime, particular in a moment of need; if you asked him “where is the best place to find such-and-such, he’d tell you he knows someone who has such-and-such, and would deliver the item a day or two later. That’s one of the traits I’ll never forget. …

Noah is survived by his wife of 60 years, daughter Denise Parker Hignight, son Dennis Parker and fiancee Tricia Ezawa, and Dappy Parker, constant companion and family dog. …

And that’s Show Biz. …


It’s a Rodgers & Hammerstein II weekend for the I’m A Bright Kid Foundation and Paliku Theatre at Windward Community College.

IABK is staging “An Evening of Rodgers and Hammerstein Classics,” at 7:30 p.m. Friday (Sept. 29) and Saturday (Sept. 30) with a 4 p.m. matinee Sunday (Oct. 1).

The program will showcase memorable melodies from the Big 5 of the R&H catalogue: “The King & I” (1951),“South Pacific” (1949) “Oklahoma” (1943),“Carousel” (1945) and “The Sound of Music” (1959).

The shows, and select titles from each, are some of the all-time favorites of the late Ron Bright, pictured left, the inspiration for the I’m A Bright Kid Foundation and its mission to perpetuate and preserve Mr. B’s legacy.

Clearly, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II “invented” the Broadway musical we’ve come to know and applaud. The duo’s fingerprints are evident, if you’ve been a fan over the decades.

This column is intended to shed some light and perhaps share some flashpoints in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s legacy. Note: some personal reflection appears here, along with data from Wikipedia.

Rodgers & Hammerstein, in a commemorative postage stamp.

The duo’s first stage musical, “Oklahoma!,” set the template for future shows to come; the show this year marked its incredible 80th anniversary. The songs were composed with specific needs, with every aspect of the play—from the lyrics to the choreography, from the staging to the costuming — integrating key theatrical elements to propel the storytelling. Prior “musicals” featured actors who could sing but not necessarily dance, featured on tunes placed and paced without the innovative storytelling element.

R&H’s legacy include these elements:

  • An overture, a sweeping panorama of the songs to come, prior to the show’s opening scene.
  • A dream sequence, not in every show but launched in “Oklahoma!,” which featured a ballet-type dance moment with integral links to the storyline.
  • Recordings of the entire score, providing a soundtrack for fans to listen at home. The first cast recording was for “Oklahoma!,” with  Decca Records issuing a keepsake that revolutionized the recording industry that provided a bundle of 78 rpm discs that sold for $5 back in the day, with “singles” (also on 78 rpm discs) retailing for 50 cents.

Some questions answered:

  • Did Rodgers & Hammerstein write shows for film?  (“State Fair”)  And television (“Cinderella”).
  • Has the duo won major awards? (Lots: 42 Tony Awards, 15 Academy Awards, two Pulitzer Prizes, two Grammy Awards and two Emmy Awards.)


“An Evening of Rodgers and Hammerstein Classics”

A musical revue of Rodgers and Hammerstein evergreens, from “King & I,” “South Pacific,” “Oklahoma!,” “Carousel” and “Sound of Music,” reflecting the favorite titles of the late Ron Bright.

Where: Paliku Theatre, Windward Community College

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday (Sept. 29) and Saturday (Sept. 30) and 4 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 1)

Tickets: Premium, $32; adult, $27; seniors 65+, students up to 13, military, $22’ children 6-12, $17; free, toddlers 2 to 5; babies under 2 not allowed; reservations at

Broadway grosses, week ending Sept. 24

With the closure of several shows over the past few weeks, the grosses on the Great White Way are somewhat static – oldies are goldies, with one exception – the arrival of “Merrily We Roll Along,” making its debut on the charts:

The week’s Top 10:

1 – “The Lion King,” $1.911 million.

2 –“Hamilton,” $1.744 million.’

3 – “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” $1.530 million.

4 – “MJ, the Musical,” $1.379 million.

5 – “Wicked,” $1.321 million.

6 –“Merrily, We Roll Along,” $1.304 million.

7 – “Aladdin,” $1.166 million.

8 – “Moulin Rouge,” $1.093 million.

9 – “Back to the Future, the Musical,” $1.036 million.

10 – “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” $936,561.

Here’s the complete list, courtesy The Broadway Guild:

And that’s Show Biz. …


With Halloween about a month away, I’ve been doing new lapel pins for the 2023 bewitching season.

Production started earlier this month, in-between at-home PT sessions, as I continue a rehab process after spending two weeks in the hospital in August. That said, the numbers may be fewer this year though the effort is in earnest.

A handful of pins are one-of-a-kind. The usual images of pumpkins, black cats, ghouls, witches and more returning.

Still in the midst of finishing a few more batches…but everything is “boo-tiful.”


Manoa Valley Theatre’s revival of “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” is stunning and seductive with a syncopation of elements that give it its specific pulse.

This becomes obvious, in the early moments of the production, when musical director Joe Pacheco’s nine-piece orchestra starts the rhythmic tones from an angular huddle on stage left, quickly joined by the splendid ensemble appearing in synch and unity of movements of James Wright’s expressive choreography on “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd,” a charismatic and expressive intro to theatrics to come.

Director Stephanie Conching has the skills of a maestro, moving her actors like notes in an aria, yielding visual soloists and ensemble choruses that clearly lighten and brighten this dark, sinister work by Stephen Sondheim (music and lyrics) and Hugh Wheeler (book), from an adaptation by Christopher Bond.

I’ve seen perhaps six or seven “Sweeney” productions over the decades, and each has its own  personality and pizzazz.

I recall the original, directed by Harold Prince, with Len Cariou as Todd and Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Lovett, in a mammoth staging with even a catwalk, and the less-is-more version when Patti LuPone sang and played the tuba. And yes, I took in the latest Broadway revival in July directed by  Thomas Kail, with Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford (with voices from heaven).

But worry not this one is as good as it gets. This cast is remarkable, rich in depth and definition, creating vivid characterizations.

Sally Swanson is Mrs. Lovett, Kyle Malis is Sweeney Todd.

Kyle Malis, with shiny bald pate, is a Todd with a huge baritone voice and is cut-throat spooky with a blade. Not to worry; no blood splashes since the red stuff are fabric which flows whenever there’s a victim in the barber’s chair.

Sally Swanson, as Mrs. Lovett, has a huge personality and projects power and assurance. But her bakery to peddle her meat pies made from victims of Todd’s barber shop upstairs, is mostly a tray and table with a meat grinder downstairs. She is a co-conspirator in the crimes.

Kenna Shafter is Johanna, Miguel Cadoy III is Anthony.

Miguel Cadoy III, as Anthony, the suitor infatuated with Johanna, possesses the show’s most romantic voice, singing “Johanna,” one of the repeating tunes in the score; Johanna, played by Kenna Shafter, is the daughter of Todd, has a sweet demeanor demonstrated on “Kiss Me,” a duet with Cadoy, as they plan to run away together.

Kimo Kaona, as Judge Turpin, is corrupt  as they come – manipulating and menacing as a dishonest father, lording over Johanna as his prisoner.

Buffy Kahalepuna-Wong, left, as the mysterious Beggar Woman, has threatening entrances and exits, so she brings bold presence to the crowd, an oracle not to be dismissed. And she possesses a secret identity.

Rocco Bechirian, as Tobias, renders an unexpected beaut of a tune, “Not While I’m Around” with Swanson.

Mira Fey’s set design is a two-level wonderment, with three staircases (the ork’s nestled ‘neath one) and barely enough space for Todd’s new barber chair, with the seat dropping corpses to the first floor. At MVT, real estate is limited, and Fey manages to compact doorways and corridors with efficiency, allowing a spacious central dance floor, if you will, for the large ensemble.

Costume designer Amber Lehua Baker showcases vintage styles to suit a range of body types, and Lisa Ponce de Leon’s hair and makeup live up to her usual magic. Willie Sabel’s scenic contributions are eye appealing.


MVT Goes Ticket-less

Starting this season, with “Sweeney Todd, the Demon

Barber of Fleet Street,” there’s no longer a physical ticket

If you have reservations, just provide your name

and ID like a driver’s license. and attendants will verify

your seat numbers.


Janine Myers’ lighting design and Hanale Ka‘anapu’s sound design are fitting for the needs, with two levels of consideration.

“Sweeney” is a box office hit, but here’s a tip: three more performances have just been added Oct. 6, 7 and 8. …

And that’s Show Biz. …

Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

A musical by Stephen Sondheim, with book by Hugh Wheeler, from an adaptation by Christopher Bond

Where: Manoa Valley Theatre

When: Remaining shows, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22 and 29,  3 and 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23 and 30, and  3 p.m. Sept. 24; extension shows at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6 and 7, and 3 p.m. Oct. 8.

Tickets: $25 to $45, available at or (808) 988-6131.


Just when you thought that “NCIS: Hawai‘i’” was the last in the tireless franchise on CBS, along comes “NCIS: Sydney,” debuting Nov. 10  in Aussieland and Nov. 13 in the U.S. both on CBS and on Paramount+, the network’s streaming channel.

The Sydney project’s first season will be comprised of eight episodes

Did we really need another spinoff, while the flagship original (21 seasons and counting) and the last newbie, “NCIS: Hawai‘i” (this would be its third season) are sidelined and off-air because of the devastating Hollywood writers-actors strike?

Seems  the labor issues in America don’t affect the first international spinoff of “NCIS,” with Down Under actors and producers involved in the venture, taking advantage of one of the most popular trademark shows in the galaxy of procedurals.

Mavournee Hazel, William McInnes, Tuuli Narkle, Todd Lasance, Olivia Swann, and Sean Sagar on the set of ‘NCIS: Sydney.’

According to online resources, the Sydney “NCIS” cast will star Olivia Swann (DC’s “Legends of Tomorrow”) as NCIS Special Agent Michelle Mackey; Todd Lasance (“Spartacus: War of the Damned” ) as her 2IC AFP counterpart, Sergeant Jim “JD” Dempsey; Sean Sagar (“The Covenant”) as NCIS Special Agent DeShawn Jackson; and Tuuli Narkle (“Mystery Road: Origin”) as AFP liaison officer.

‘NCIS’” is one of the most popular series in the world and we’re thrilled to expand this franchise with a uniquely Australian twist,” said Amy Reisenbach, president of CBS Entertainment, in a statement to Entertainment Weekly.

“With the addition of  “‘NCIS: Sydney,’” our studio and network footprint continues to grow in this fascinating world that has been a proven winner with viewers on both linear and streaming platforms. Featuring the stunning backdrop of Australia, the new series will incorporate the high-stakes intrigue, humor and camaraderie that have kept fans captivated by the NCIS teams for over two decades.”

Crime has no borders, so the  franchise is going global, launching the fifth “NCIS” team and the first with international roots. The catalogue includes “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “NCIS: New Orleans” and “NCIS: Hawai‘i” and only the flagship show starring the original Special Agent Mark Harmon (not very visisble in the recent episodes) and the newest, starring Vanessa Lachey (the first woman Special Agent, anchored in Honolulu), still airing in the U.S., though disrupted by the Hollywood strike. …

Broadway grosses, week ending Sept. 10

Let the lion roar again.

“The Lion King” again rules over Broadway, topping the Great White Way’s Top 10 list.

Here are the leaders:

  • “The Lion King,” $1.850 million.
  • “Hamilton,” $1.746 million.
  • “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” $1.593 million.”
  • “MJ. the Musical,” $1.515 million.
  • “Wicked,” $1.487 million.
  • “Aladdin.” $1.219 million.
  • “Moulin Rouge,” $1.204 million.
  • “Back to the Future: The Musical,” $1.079 million.
  • “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” $1.056 million.
  • “A Beautiful Noise: the Neil Diamond Musical,” $1.008 million.

The full list, courtesy The Broadway League:

And that’s Show Biz. …