Make a lei. Wear a lei. Give a lei.
For decades, these sentiments have embraced the annual Lei Day tradition.
So get set for May Day/Lei Day.
Three key happenings:
- Robert Cazimero, pictured left, headlines a May Day concert, from 7 to 9 p.m. May 1, at Bishop Museum’s Great Lawn. The evening of Hawaiiana will be rich with talent and robust with folks donning lei. Two Hawaiian music treasures, Nina Keali‘iwahamana and Jerry Santos, are life-long troupers linked with island mele, will perform, keeping the kupuna glory alive. Keauhou, the 17-time Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning trio, represents the next-generation spirit of mele. Cazimero’s Hālau Nā Kamalei o Līlīlehua, will provide the hula, along with Hālau Ka Lehua Tuahine under the direction of kumu hula Ka‘ilihiwa Vaughn Darval. Debbie Nakanelua-Richards and Billy V will co-host. A pre-concert Ho‘omau Market, from 5 to 7 p.m., will offer kau kau and pre-show entertainment. Tickets: $30 to $120, at www.wearalei.org …
- Halau I Ka Wehu, led by kumu Karl Veto Baker, pictured near right, and Michael Casupang, pictured right, will mark its silver (25th) anniversary with a May Day concert at 7 p.m. May 1 at the Tom Moffatt Waikiki Shell. Halau members are selling tickets, priced from $35 to $50 for reserved seating, and $25 for general admission lawn seating. …
- Kalani Pe‘a, pictured left, multi–Grammy and Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner, leads a May Day show from 4 pm. April 30 (yes, a day earlier) at the Hawaii Theatre. On board: Nāpua Greig and Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka, Mākena (the blend of Ho’okena members and Louis “Moon” Kauakahi of Mākaha Sons) with kumu hula Nani Dudoit and Hālau Kaleilehuaikealoonālani), Liam Molet, Miss Aloha Hula Manalani English and kumu hula Leimomi Ho. Mele Apana will be the host. Tickets: $45 to $100, at www.hawaiitheatre.com …
Lei contest at Kapiolani Park
The city’s 95th annual Lei Day Celebration, highlighted by a lei contest, will be held from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. May 1 at Kapiolani Park.
Lei makers – the professionals as well as hobbyists – will create inventive fresh-flower lei to compete in a contest celebrating the facets and foundation of lei-making, utilizing blooms as well as different methods and skills of lei-making.
The city also selected an ensemble of Lei Day queens:
- Leilani Kūpahu-Marino Kahoʻāno, pictured, is Lei Day Queen.
- Melodie Lynn Leinaʻala Naluaʻi Vega is First Princess.
- Charlene Kapualani Kauhane Harano is Princess.
There is no admission to the contest. The event includes Hawaiian entertainment, exhibits and demonstrations.
Late Night musical at UH Lab Theatre
“Oridinary Days,” a musical about friendship, love and loss, will be staged April 28 to 30 at the Earle Ernst Lab Theatre at Kennedy Theatre, on the University of Hawaii campus.
The show is co-directed by Jasmine Haley Anderson and Rebecca Mahar as a part of their MFA Acting thesis project. Written by Adam Gwon, the musical features a cast of four, and illuminates the struggles of people who are affected by trauma, emotionally struggling with self-worth, feeling alone, and seeking to find a friend.
The hope is that the connections and depictions will yield joy, conversation, and comfort, leading to empowerment.
Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Seating is limited and donations will be accepted at the door; however, no one will be turned away for lack of funds…
And that’s Show Biz …