Daniel Dae Kim, former co-star of  two island-filmed series, ABC’s “Lost” and CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0,” is this year’s Everywhere Man.

Man, he shows up in a myriad of shows, always delivering solid performances. He’s also produces shows via his 3AD  production company.

There’s a recent mission-to-Mars adventure, “Stranger Aboard,” streaming on Netflix. Kim is one of four actors – the others are Anna Kendrick, Toni Collette and Shamier Anderson – in this a sci-fi outer space thriller written and directed by Joe Penna, about an unexpected stranger on board a flight mission lasting two years. Kim, Kendrick and Collette are the astronauts; Anderson is the mysterious hijacker, initially unconscious, who wants to return home but can’t.

Kim, as an astronaut in “Stranger Aboard,” a sci-fi thriller airing on Netflix.

He’s starring as Cassian Shin, in NBC’s medical series “New Amsterdam,” kicking off a new season Sept. 21.

This past summer, he was heard but not seen, providing the voice of Chief Benja in Disney’s animated  “Raya and the Last Dragon.”

Wearing his producer’s hat, Kim is a producer of ABC’s “The Good Doctor.” He also was on camera when he portrayed Dr. Jackson Han in the series’ second season; the show’s fifth season launches Sept.  27.

Kim also was a medic, Dr. Michael Onitsuka, in “Blast Beat,” a modest project which premiered in the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.  And in an Asian rom-com, “Always Be My Maybe,” he played Brandon Choi.

He’s  completed a number of earlier shows – including playing the King in “The King and I” on Broadway –and also has voiced a couple of video games. Off camera, he also has emerged as a leading voice of supporting diversity in films and TV and is an outspoken voice against Asian hate crimes. …

Aoki: a voice of concern

Better late than never.

While many critics enjoyed the shallow and satiric soap opera of mostly privileged white characters holidaying at an unnamed Hawaii resort in HBO-HBO’Max’s recent mini-series “The White Lotus,”  Guy Aoki, founding president of MANAA, has hurled a missive of dissent to the producers for the lack of Asian/Pacific Islanders in prominent lead roles.

MANAA stands for Media Action Network for Asian Amerians, and Aoki –a Japanese American civil rights activist  for decades and former island resident —  has been a vigilant, powerful critic of movie and TV shows that lack or dismiss diversity in casting.

Guy Aoki

Aoki contends that producer-creator Mike White has treated Asian and Pacific Islanders in Hawaii as invisible servants, just like his white tourist characters, for not tapping locals of Asian and Polynesian descent to reflect the true colors of Hawaii.

“The White Locus,” a six-episode mini-series, premiered on HBO on six successive Sundays, with further streaming via HBO Max. The project was taped at the Four Seasons resort a year ago on Maui, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, with acting cast, crew and techies taking over the  hotel with proper protocols in place, making lemonade out of lemons. That is, by creating an entire “bubble” of film actors and crew, quarantined in facilities open to no one else during the shoot, enabling one production company to work on a project in an uncertain time amid the cloud of COVID-19 which shut down nearly everything else in Hawaii.

By excluding APIs from the project, Aoki contends that White neglected the fact that “APIs make up more than 60 per cent of the population,” and cast white actors and two black/biracial actors in leading roles.

Aoki asserted that “only two members of the hotel staff are APIs with speaking lines.  Lani (Jolene Purdy) appears only in the first episode and is then never seen again. Kai (Kekoa Kekumano), the Hawaiian love interest of Paula, the biracial black tourist (Brittany O’Grady), does not speak until the fourth and fifth episodes.  He also just disappears, even when something significant happens to him in the sixth and last installment of the miniseries.”

Aoki concluded that “Lotus,” set on Maui, “is a hollow attempt at promoting its anti-racist message when actions speak louder than words. Given Hawaii’s painful history of suffering at the hands of colonialism and racism, not featuring API characters more prominently in a show addressing the very subject feels like an added injury to an already hemorrhaging wound.”…

Special deal for unticketed Kahele fans

Kuana Torres Kahele, who opens a multi-show stand tomorrow night (Sept. 9) t at Blue Note Hawaii, has added performances on Sept. 12. Robert Cazimero is his special birthday-gift star.

Kuana Torres Kahele

Showtimes are 6 and 8:30 p.m.; doors open at 4:30 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 and $25.

The appearances mark Kahale’s Sept. 8 birthday and timed to the arrival of his latest CD, “Kahiwa” in which he has re-recorded 18 classics from his 25-year career of performances and recordings. Pre-orders will received autographed copies of the disc.

But here’s the special deal. If you are already vaccinated, and have proof of receiving the shots, but have not yet secured seats for Kahele’s opening night – as well as for the Sept. 12 shows – you could get free tickets. Reserved and lounge seating are eligible; some space remains for the opener; more seats available for the Sept. 12 show.

The offer only applies to new sales. When ordered at www.bluenotehawaii.com, use the code KUANA for no-charge seats; remember, you must have proof of being vaxxed and show that validation as well as a photo ID. The offer cannot be applied to seats already sold.

And that’s “Show Biz.” …

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