“Defining Courage,” an immersive documentary showcasing the emotionally gripping legacy of the Nisei Soldier, will be screened at 7 p.m. March 18 at the Hawaii Theatre.

The wartime movie, from the Emmy-winning team of  Jeff MacIntyre and  David Ono, news anchor from ABC7-Los Angeles News, explores the historic heroics of Americans of Japanese Ancestry (AJAs) – largely from Hawaii —  who served  in the battlefields of Italy, France, Germany and Japan. The documentary also includes narration, new footage and live music, with actress Tamlyn Tomita aboard to introduce the film.

These acclaimed soldiers were from the  100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service, based in Hawaii.

While considered the greatest fighting unit in American military history, sadly, most have never heard their extraordinary story. Their legacy is part of the Hawaiian fabric of life, and their motto, “Go for Broke,” has been part of their story and still resonates among the elders in the islands who remember the soldiers because many enlisted from Hawaiian families.

“Defining Courage” documentary features many AJAs from Hawaii.

While their heroics and courage were applauded, the soldiers also had to fight a different war of prejudice at home,  since the U.S. was battling Japan and their planes were bombing Pearl Harbor.

Tamlyn Tomita

The documentary, will be introduced by Tomita, a California-based actress who co-starred in “Karate Kid 2,” the yesteryear film featuring Pat Morita, who also did the original. Tomita also has been featured in the current sequel entitled “Cobra Kai,” starring Ralph Macchio  who was the child star who played Daniel LaRusso in the pair of Morita films and recurs in the reboot with his own karate dojo. Tomita’s credits also includes “The Joy Luck Club.”

Tomita has done advocacy work for this film, and has earlier described it thusly:  “In a theater in front of a live audience, David (Ono) narrates live to beautiful cinematography, historic film, newly filmed footage, and interviews, with a live orchestra choir and soloists all combining to create an immersive and emotional journey that can only be experienced in person.”

Tickets: $25 to $50,” on sale at www.hawaiitheatre.com or  text (808) 528-0506. …

MVT lands ‘Dear Evan Hansen’

Manoa Valley Theatre has secured the rights to the Tony Award-winning musical, “Dear Evan Hansen,” as part of its 2023-24 season.

To celebrate the Hawaii premiere of “Hansen,” MVT has launched a first-time early-renewal offer to current season subscribers, who can reserve seats for six shows for the price of five, along with a gift of chocolates from Choco Le’a.  Season subscribers need to renew by Feb. 28; the offer has been announced to only subscribers, so you already have this data mailed to you.

“Dear Evan Hansen,” won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical and made Ben Platt a household name, when he won Best Actor in a Musical and the youngest (he was 23) to cop the accolade. He also starred in a movie version of the modern musical, that deals with depression, social anxiety, and social media amid the impact of bullying and high school angst.

The show features with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and a book by Steven Levenson. It currently is touring nationally.

Playdates have not yet been announced. …

And that’s Show Biz. …

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