Hail Kail!

Tony Award-winning director Thomas Kail, pictured below, is best known as the director of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musicals, “Hamilton” and “Into the Heights,” and he’s been tapped to direct Disney’s live-action film-with-music, “Moana.”

The announcement was made earlier this week by Dwayne Johnson, who voiced the demigod Maui in the animated version of “Moana,” and natch, he’s already set to repeat the role. But Johnson will also be a co-producer for the remake with real folks.

Johnson said in a statement, re-imagining of the animated film and his character, Maui, is “deeply personal” to him and his Polynesian culture.

“Our culture is rooted in pride, emotion, expression, storytelling, music and mana,” he said. ‘Moana’ is a once in a lifetime endeavor for us and I’m honored to go shoulder to shoulder with our director Thomas Kail and our entire team.”

“Our ancestors are watching, and the ocean will always have a pulse,” he added.

Auli‘i Cravalho, who was a high school senior at Kamehameha, is too old now to recreate the “Moana” role she created, but she’ll have a minor role in the newbie, and also with co-producer credits. You might recall, Moana was a different brand of a Disney princess with seafaring/voyaging skills and a mind and manner to navigate her own destiny.

Neither a name, nor an image, of the new Moana has been revealed yet; hope she’s someone from our midst, who looks and talks like a local girl, and can sing her heart out. Folks here would be huhu if a non-resident lands in the throne abandoned by the aforementioned Auli‘i.

The original “Moana” film, circa 2016, featured a soundtrack of melodies composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, pictured right, Mark Mancina and Opetaia Foa‘i, embracing lyrics in English, Samoan, Tokelauan and Tuvaluan.

I would assume that the prolific Miranda could be challenged to oversee the soundtrack and then provide some of the original songs; the live-action flick demands it. The silence is deafening…he could not just compose, but sing, and even be in the live-action. Stay tuned…

After all,  he introduced music and appeared in earlier Disney projects. In the “Mary Poppins Returns” sequel, he had a had a featured role, and  for the just-released live-action version of  “The Little Mermaid,” he put pen to music.  He’a Disney do-it-all-er.

Kail is known for directing theatrical productions written and starring his Broadway buddy collaborator of “Hamilton” and “In the Heights,” and yep, he seems to be in the room where it happens in Miranda’s musicals. …


The Hilton Hawaiian Village’s Paradise Lounge, in the hotel’s Rainbow Tower, continues to focus on jazz, delivered by locals. For instance, the Bruce Hamada Trio takes the limelight from 7 to 10 p.m. today (June 2), with singer Shari Lynn and pianist Jim Howard returning from 7 to 10 p.m. tomorrow (June 3).  Seats are not plentiful, so arrive early so you can see the acts, not only hear ‘em.  You can order drinks and pupu, and if you do, you get validated parking. …

Gail Mack and Gordon Kim,  longtime musical partners, will perform from 5 to 8 p.m. July 2 and 9 at Mango Street Grill, 130 Mango St. in Wahiawa. The club was formerly known as Dot’s in Wahiawa. Reservations: (808) 627-5451.…

Tito Berinobis also keeps on chugging, bless him. His summer slate: from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, at Champs on Waialae …  from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursdays, from 8 to 11 p.m. Friday June 9 with Billy Beimes on sax, and from 7 to 11 p.m. June 13, 17 and 24, David Kauahikaua on keyboards and vocals, at the Chart House in Waikiki … and from 6 to 8 p.m. June 4 and 11 and from 7 to 9 p.m. June 30 at Elk’s Club Waikiki.

And that’s Show Biz. …

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