Comedian Andy Bumatai on April 30 marked 365 continuous days of his Daily Pidgin LiveBroadcast on www.Twitch.tv/AndyBumatai.

He dispenses chit-chat with music, storytelling, a joke here and there. Suddenly, a few days became weeks, weeks became months, and months became a year.

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Fans frequently  opens snail-mail him gifts on camera. He receives unexpected phone calls from locals who may be from home, and perhaps homesick, like surfer Gerry Lopez calling from Mexico. Folks all over have showered him to mahalos and congrats for the loooooong and unexpected year’s run.

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Andy Bumatai

“I know you’re normally not on Twitch, but mahalo for coming over, making it such a marvelous experience,” he said of crossover viewers/listeners from Facebook and the Twitterverse.

The dandy stand-up comic spends his days sitting in his bedroom-cum-studio to connect and converse and ultimately kid around with his listeners. His style is conversational, his comedy crisp, his timing natural and impeccable, and in real life, it’s a jolly dose of island seasoning to wash away the pandemic blues.

He’s got his own pidgin theme song, and since he’s cruising solo over the internet, he’s his own boss on his own clock.

Asked if he intends to ever return to Blue Note Hawaii, a conventional venue where he’s logged several appearances, he admits, “Probably not. I’m making as much or more working here,” and the convenience of virtual conversations straight from awakening from bed and brushing his teeth, he’s become a self-made sit-down comic. And pidgin has been his powerhouse  vehicle.

Donations to support his work can be made at http:Andy Bumatai.live/tip

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A drive-in concert

“Moonlight Mele,” at 6:30 p.m. May 7 at the Aloha Stadium parking lot, is an evening of Hawaiiana. You drive up in your wheels, and tune via your FM radio.

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Amy Hanaiali’i

No movies, but a lot of mele is on the agenda, with a string of Island favorites celebrating National Nurses Week with a drive-in concert. Since pandemic protocols prevent large crowd gatherings, you watch with your bubble of family and friends, hopefully with all vaccinated for safety.

The performers include Josh Tatofi, Amy Hanaiali’I, Sean Na’auao, Robi Kahakalau, Del Beazley, Jeff Peterson, Ei Nei, Hoku Zuttermeister and Kala’e Camarillo.

Tickets are $75 per vehicle (at www.hawaiithetre.com),  or $100 at the gate. Gates open at 6:30 p.m.

HA.KA. Entertainment Hawaii Stage and Lighting are the presenters.

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And that’s “Show Biz.” …


Bruno Mars sold out all six of his July shows, the same day tickets went on sale Friday.

Mars, who will give Friday and Saturday night performances July 2-3, July 9-10 and July 23-24 at the Park MGM Theatre in Las Vegas, commented Friday: “What can I tell you? That boy is HOT!”

He is the first major attraction to light up the marquees since the pandemic shut down operations in Vegas last March.

There were no immediate plans to add performances.



Broadway theaters could open in May, July or September, depending on protocols of the pandemic: cast and show readiness, social distancing, marketing and vaccinations

On April 30, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an iffy reopening plan, hoping that some smaller shows could open as early as late May, with others sequentially resuming shows in July, though realistically, the major productions would arrive between September through December.

It’s been a while, but eagerness is shadowed by preparedness. With the infrastructure be in place, cast and backstage hands fully vaxxed, and hotels, restaurants and other allied infrastructure resources on the same page?

De Blasio was interviewed by MSNBC on the “Morning Joe”, and immediately, several theater-focused websites wrestled with how and when the lights of Broadway could safely reopen after a devastating shutdown more than a year ago.

CDC precautions would likely be in play – handwashing, face mask wearing, limited seating in the initial stages – to make safety part of the requisites for the relaunch. You can’t reopen and then shut down, if all facets of Broadway biz are not in place.

“We are ready for stores to open, for businesses to open, offices, theaters, full strength,” de Blasio said. Indeed, allied services in the city would be the key factor in the reopening of New York and the Broadway priorities are far worse than, say, restaurants.

Clearly, not all closed shows will reopen, but NewYorkCityTheatre.com said few have announced plans to return:

• “Chicago,” at the Ambassador Theatre, Sept. 13.

• “Company,” at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, firm dates not listed.

• “Jagged Little Pill,” at the Broadhurst Theatre, Sept. 7.

• “Six,” at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, dates TBA.

• “Ain’t Too Proud,” at the Imperial Theatre, Sept. 7.

• “Diana: The Musical,” at the Longacre Theatre, Dec. 1.

• “The Music Man,” at the Winter Garden Theatre, Dec. 20 (with Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster starring).

• Months ago, “Hamilton” had announced a July 4 reopening at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, but has not been confirmed since the De Blasio decision to reopen most of New York.

New York Times theater guide, back in the day,

A few hit shows, which have had solid fan bases, are not yet among those announcing a comeback . These include “The Lion King,” at the Minskoff Theatre, “Wicked” at the Gershwin Theatre, and “The Phantom of the Opera” at the Majestic Theatre. Cameron Macintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber, the one-two punch of “Phantom,” have indicated from London that Broadway will welcome back the production, the longest-running musical ever.

A logical indicator of when any show is opening would be the ticket-selling websites, including Ticketmaster.com and Broadway.org.

Not only are theaters scurrying to reopen; the Broadway League also is planning a very tardy Tony Awards for 2020, despite a dismal season of limited qualifiers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio expects New York to be fully “back,” but Gov. Andrew Cuomo has the final say on whether everything can safely reopen with proper sanitation issues are met. And before theaters can welcome ticket-buyers to book seats, they have to determine what kind of social distancing will work, at what level of capacity – 25 percent, 50 percent, 60 percent, for example – would make sense. For consumers, ticket costs will matter, too, since “retail” seating often carry “premium” status which translates to astronomical costs. For example, orchestra seats for “Hamilton” pre-pandemic were $189, but has spiral up to $5,000 because of demand. These tariffs are not likely at least for most shows, hopefully.

So, if you’re planning a visit in the months ahead, you need to strategize. Do you make reservations for shows you want to see, with the assurance that the dates are secure? Do you make airline and hotel reservations, so you have a fixed date to fly and sleep? While airlines — and logically hotels are on the same airwaves – might waive rebooking fees now, you may want to be confirm if penalties will prevail if your plans change.


By Wayne Harada

Vanessa Lachey, Yasmine Al-Bustami and Jason Antoon will be the lead actors in the new island-based “NCIS: Hawai’i,” CBS announced today.

Lachey will portray Jane Tennant, the first female Special Agent in Charge of NCIS Pearl Harbor, overseeing crimes involving military personnel and national security issues in Hawai’i.

Al-Bustami will play portray Lucy, a junior member of Tennant’s NCIS team, ready to face a myriad of situations, challenging the walls of bureaucracy and chasing suspects in paradise.

Antoon’s character Ernie is NCIS’s cyber intelligence specialist, eager to tap his knowledge of technology, history and literature, ready to trace anonymous IP addresses or social media clues.

To adhere to sensitive Hawaiian ways, CBS will add an ‘okina to Hawai’i in its official “NCIS: Hawai’i” logo, which has not been evident in early uses of the brand name. But The Eye Network declined to cast a Hawaii actor for the secondary agent roles, which makes the original Jack Lord “Five-O” the only island-filmed procedural to hire islanders in recurring roles – remember Kam Fong Chun, Zulu, and Al Harrington in the pivotal crew of investigators who actually lived in Hawai’i? This was a missed opportunity.

PHOTO: Vannesa Lachey, Yasmine Al-Bustami, Jason Antoon

The circle of creators of the now shutdown “NCIS: New Orleans” will head the production team, including showrunner and executive producer Christopher Silber and colleague Jan Nash, with Matt Bosack from the “SEAL Team” series aboard.

Lachy as Tennant is making history as the first female honcho in the NCIS brand, and in a male-dominated profession. The Tennant character is a mother with kids, so she has to juggle her domestic responsibilities with her rigorous work.

Larry Teng, who has an overall deal with CBS, will direct the opening show and will serve as executive producer as well.

“Hawaii Five-O” viewers may recall seeing Lachey on an earlier episode and her recent TV work includes “Call Me Kat” on Fox, “Beverly Hills 90210” on CBS and “Truth Be Told” on NBC.The fourth in the NCIS family of shows dodged rumors of Michael Weatherly and Cote de Pablo, previously on the Mark Harmon-starring mothership show, “NCIS,” about possibly returning to the Hawai’i ‘ohana.


4Julia McKenna Blessing, Pat Kraemer and 2 others1 ShareLikeCommentShare


Vive la difference.

Or not .

So last night’s Oscars were a departure from anything ever staged before. Plenty of diversity, not much of same-same, virtually no entertainment in the process of announcing the winners. The party started with lots of anticipation. It ended with a thud.

Now Monday Morning Quarterbacks are pondering the lowest-ever ratings. Nomadland became Nowatchland. The numbers are in: 9.8 million viewers, and a 1.9 rating among the priority adults 18-49 age bracket, a dramatic decline from last year’s 23.64 million and 5.3 in the demographics. The figures reflect a 58 per cent drop of viewers, 64 per cent in demos. But the Academy Awards are not alone. All awards events have lost viewers in these pandemic times. The Grammys dropped 51 per cent, the Golden Globes 62 per cent and the Screen Actors Guild 52 per cent.

Are viewers fatigued with the genre? The Oscars used to be the centrifugal force of awards ceremonies, with entertainment segments in-between envelope-opening, and a tradition for Hollywood’s best to strut their stuff.

This year’s telecast broke many of the roles. No red carpet (did I see blue?). OK, some chit-chatting from Union Station’s exteriors, with the enough gowns and tuxes to dazzle.The best song contenders were via videos displayed outside of the main telecast.The on camera boasted a coterie of nominees, heavy on the dark side of filmmaking: hair ad makeup, cinematographers, screenwriters, etc.

No emcee; Regina King, a nominee, opened the evening and announced a few winners. The site – a tiered, circular venue with a teeny stage – included a few nominees like Glenn Close, Viola Davis, Frances McDormand and Daniel Kahuuya – but minus heavy hitter names (not nominated this year) from the recent past, like Leonardo di Caprio, Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, Michael Douglas, and, well, you get the idea.

The size of the room – looked like a filled restaurant – mandated only nominees and presenters filling the seats. No limit on acceptance speeches – a few went on and on – from many worthy tech winners, whose names and faces were not widely known to home viewers.

Some highlights:

–Youn Yu-Jung, first Korean to win an acting award (best supporting actress) and a delightful acceptance speech, clutching her Oscar and telling her two boys mama was coming home with a statue.

— Frances McDormand and her out-of-the-box, never-mind-the-fashions presence and perkiness; ‘twas her third Oscar, for best actress (“Nomadland”).

–The unexpected upset of Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) upsetting Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) and the former acknowledging the latter in his acceptance speech.

— Best Director winner Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland”) and her pigtail ‘do, an Oscar first?

After tossing away the usual parade of winners, normally leading up to the final Best Picture presentation, the producers anticipated the aforementioned Boseman to win Best Actor, so obviously delayed the actor nod to follow Best Picture. The surprise created an embarrassing and sour finish. Some traditions should prevail.