Same show, different title.

Fox has secured the rights to “Rescue: HI-Surf,” a straight-to-series drama about the lifeguard culture on Oahu’s North Shore, with Emmy-winning TV veteran John Wells (pictured below) producing for an anticipated 2023-24 debut.

It’s the same series earlier entitled “Ke Nui Road,”  the name of  that short stretch of beachfront road on Oahu, where dangerous but signature surfing meets have been held for decades. For the past year or so, HBO Max was scheduled to produce the show, albeit with a title that would be meaningless for viewers outside of Hawaii.

Mike Kester, who  was associated with “Animal Kingdom,” is riding the new wave of production, serving as writer, executive producer, and showrunner of “Rescue: HI-Surf.”  The show could become a cult favorite, with first-responding lifeguards pegged to recreate the treacherous high waves that challenge both surfers and  rescuers in the waters sometimes called Hawaii’s Seven Mile Miracle.

Wells, a six-time Emmy winner, will direct the first two episodes of “Rescue,’” which will mark his first series in more than a decade. He is well known for earlier directing NBC’s popular medical show, “ER.” “Rescue” will be his first series for Fox.

According to Fox, Kester has been a sometimes island resident. “I’ve lived on the North Shore of Oahu for most of my life, and these are our heroes, the most extraordinary extreme athletes anywhere,” said Kester. …

Miles is lone local Tony nominee

Ruthie Ann Miles (pictured left), a former Honolulan, is the lone local nominated for a 2023 Tony Award. Ceremonies will be held June 11 originating from a new venue, the United Palace theaterDe in New York’s Washington Heights, with CBS carrying it live.
Miles is nominated for Featured Actress in a Musical, for her role as the Beggar Woman in the revival of “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of  Fleet Street.”

She previously earned a Tony in the same category for her portrayal of Lady Thiang in the 2015 revival of “The King and I.”

She is a graduate of Kaimuki High School. …

Bree Kale‘a Peters dies

Sorry to report the death of Bree Kale‘a Peters (pictured below right), also widely remembered as Bree Bumatai, who lost her battle with cancer a few days ago. Little has been said or shared at this point, but Manoa Valley Theatre, her last employer  in Honolulu before she relocated to the Big Island, posted this terse but fitting tribute on its Facebook page:

“The theatre is a ghost light. It never goes out. It burns brightly, illuminating the empty stage long after the actors have gone home.” Today Mānoa Valley Theatre mourns the loss of longtime ‘ohana member Bree Kale’a Peters. She was light. She was laughter. She was love. And we were all better for having known and loved and been inspired by her. Your legacy will live on through every actor and crew member who steps on our stage. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

I met her years ago, and frequently wrote about her accomplishments, from the time she was  known as Karen Brilliande, then later as Karen Bumatai, before she became Bree. She was an active, prolific theatrical light, on stage and off, as an actress, a director, and an over-all theatrical advocate.

She was brave and inspirational, as her Facebook friends and theater colleagues will attest, openly sharing her ups and downs with chemo, and earned support and prayers with her endearing postings. Her last one said she was going into hospice care, anticipating her flight with the angels, always with a gentle breeze of hope. …

Broadway grosses, for week ending April 30

With “The Phantom of the Opera” now in the history books, it’s business as usual on Broadway, and the lion’s roar is at the pinnacle.

The Tony nominations are out, so it’s possible that the newbie shows will start appearing in the weekly summation, provided by The Broadway League. We only list The Lucky 7 each week, and the diehards rule. Only one new musical, “Parade,” managed to find a spot on the Top 10. At No. 10.

Here’s the lineup this week:

1 – “The Lion King,” $2.155 million.

2 – “Hamilton,” $1.809 million.

3 – “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” $1.783 million.

4 – “Wicked,” $1.732 million.

5 – “MJ, the Musical,” $1.619 million.

6 – “Funny Girl,” $1.580 million.

7 – “Aladdin,” $1.461 million.

The full list:

And that’s Show Biz. …

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