Robert Cazimero owns December; his recent two-night stand Dec. 9 and 10 at Leeward Community College Theatre, plus his ongoing Full Moon Concert at Chef Chai’s, which began Dec. 13 and concludes with the final performance tonight (Dec. 17), makes him the Santa of yuletide songs.

Gift yourself with reservations; if space remains, take in the finale. You’ll also enjoy chef Chai Chaowasaree’s bountiful meal, and you’ll frolic in Cazimero’s antics, charm, and artistry.

At his keyboard at Chai’s, Cazimero is flying solo, though his customary dancers, Bully and Fern were challenged last night to hula in tight aisles, since diners are plentiful, with servers delivering meals, and a lovely but large Christmas tree (bathed in red) standing majestically amid the crowded space.

Happily, the coziness works and a celebratory posture prevails.

‘Tis the jolly-holly season, and Cazimero, the kumu hula of Halau Na Kamalei o Lililehua, is serenading packed houses in performances that may lack theatrics (think Leeward Community College) but not talent. Cazimero puts as much oomph into his solo serenades as he does when he’s orchestrating daunting, larger hula spectacles with his gents.

Cazimero sings, Bully dances amid crowded aisles.

Take last night. Since he focused on a repertoire of holiday tunes – a huge chunk of island melodies, as well as traditional mainstream classics – there won’t be any songs totally unknown to you.

From “Jolly Holly Christmas,” his opening number, till “Mele Kalikimaka,” his closing tune that turned into an audience sing-along, Cazimero  shared 20 songs over nearly 90 minutes, personalizing each melody to suit his style.

Many vocals seemed to become part of a medley, not necessarily logical, but the mood felt like Cazimero was weaving a lei, with an orchid here, a plumeria there, resulting in satisfaction for the artist and his audience.

Spontaneity was the bottom line. “Winter Wonderland” followed “Holly Jolly,” and “E Kuu Morning Dew” followed “Wonderland,” which was followed by “Hawaiian Santa.”

Then from left field, the pidgin English “What’s a Matter You Last Night” (local seniors will rejoice upon hearing it) popped in, for gentle laughs, with “Christmas in Hawaii” completing this thread.

Any show mixing the Alvin and the Chipmunks hit, “Christmas Don’t Be Late” from way back then and “Drinking Champagne” by Myra English, the local fave when toasting drinks, reflects under-appreciated brilliance. Few ever sing these ditties anymore. So it’s a touch of genius to encounter some forgotten gems.

Cazimero tapped the yuletide library to cherry-pick his choices. His Hawaiian songbook was rich with some obvious titles, including “Christmas in Hawaii”  and “Aloha Kalikimaka,” and his traditional list featured the likes of “White Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and a stunning “Away in a Manger.”

Amid the carefree fun, Cazimero managed to include a precious Hawaiian number, Kahauanu Lake “Pua Lililehua,” written for his kumu hula wife, Maiki Aiu Lake, boasting unparalleled beauty and authenticity. And isn’t Lililehua now part of the name of his halau?

Of course, he may abandon some songs and replace titles as he sees fit, so don’t anticipate the same playlist tonight. Whatever Cazimero programs, you’re bound to find yuletide cheer and goodwill befitting Christmas.


Robert Cazimero’s Full Moon Concert, Christmas Edition

When: 6:30 p.m. today; dinner served from 5:30 p.m.

Where: Chef Chai’s.

Cost: $99, includes show and complete meal.

Reservations: (808) 585-0011 or Open Table at

Broadway grosses, for week ending Dec. 10

Two musicals — “The Lion King” and “Wicked”: continue to be in Broadway’s $2 million club.

The Top 10 shows, for the week ending Dec. 10:

1 –”The Lion King,” $2,408 million.

2—“Wicked,” $2,263 million.

3—”Merrily We Roll Along,” $1,923 million.

4 – “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” $1,845 million.

5–  “Hamilton,” $1,824 million,

6– “MJ The Musical,” $1,722 million.

7—”Aladdin,” $1,542 million.

8 –”Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” $1,463 million.

9 –”Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” $1,413 million.

10—“Back To The Future: The Musical,” $1,338 million.

The complete list, courtesy The Broadway League:

And that’s Show Biz..


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