Stitch, of “Lilo & Stitch” fame, may not yet be seen in the live-action film because of the ongoing Hollywood writers and actors’ strike, but he’ll soon be varooming in a live-racing series of die-cast cars to be released by Beast Kingdom.

Disney will release six vehicles, date not yet known, to feature Stitch in a new dimension: a car racer.

The Stitch collectible race cars feature various motifs and colors.

In the new toy, Stitch is featured in various poses, in blue, pink, yellow and dark blue cars, and is shown donning yellow sunglasses in one car and eating an ice cream cone in another. A spaceship option also is available, with actual design elements not yet announced.

The cars are $35 apiece, which is more in the adult-collectible range, but if you buy the six-car collection, buyers will have an opportunity to win the  seventh chase car, designated as the Iridescent Ice Cream Sports Car.

Stritch racers will feature pull-back power for racing.

Stitch, a.k.a. Experiment 626, thus will break out as the most popular of the “Lilo & Stitch” ‘ohana, which includes Stitch’s best friend, Lilo, the Elvis-adoring hula-loving Hawaiian girl.

Beast Kingdom is the creator of a range of Disney franchise characters, including “Toy Story,” “Pinocchio,” “Star Wars,” and “Alice in Wonderland.”…

Chefs unite to kokua Maui

Chefs for Hope / Kako‘o Maui, a mammoth food, wine and entertainment fund-raisder benefitting the Maui wildfire victims, will be staged from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 15) at the Neal Blaisdell Center.

Beneficiaries will include the Salvation Army and the Hawaiian Way Fund (Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement).

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for VIP seating guests, 6 p.m. for others.

Three tiers of service will be available:

  • VIP, with table service seating, $5,000 for a table of 10. Reservations at Chef Chai, at (808) 585-0011.
  • Reserved, self-serve seating, $300, or $3,000 for a table of 10. Reservations through the Blaisdell box office.
  • Grazing tickets, $200. Reservations through the Blaisdell box office.

Chef Chai Chaowasaree, pictured above left, and Pacific Rim Concepts LLC, are principal organizers.

Alphabetically, participating restaurants are: Basalt, Bubbly and Bleu, Chef Chai, Da Bald Buy Food Truck, Feast, Fig and Ginger, Fresh Box, Hot Pot Heaven, Jinya Honolulu, Kapa Hale, Kapolei Golf Club, Koko Head Café, KTER4U, Kuhio Ave. Food Hall, La Vie Waikiki, Layers of Flavor, Mariposa, Miro Kaimuki, Nami Kaze Hawaii, Nosh Hawaii, PAI Honolulu, Roy’s, Side Street Inn, The Kahala Hotel and Resort, and Tikis Grill and Bar.

Entertainers include the Honolulu Jazz Quartet, Jake Shimabukuro (pictured right), Robert Cazimero and Tavana; Billy V will emcee.

Beverages will be provided by Hawaiian Soda Co., RNDC and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. …

And that’s Show Biz. …


“Magnum P.I.,” abandoned by CBS and rescued by NBC, just might be the fall season’s luckiest procedural.

First, it has a bunch of completed but not yet viewed episodes – dubbed the second-half of season five – when CBS rushed to cancel the show. NBC became the savior, like the good soul that rescues a abandoned child at the fire station.

This has been a tense, unexpected fall season, since WGA and SAG-AFTRA members decided to go on strike, creating a havoc for series that had to shut down since writers could no longer create valuable new scripts to film and actors joining the picket lines.

Because “Magnum” had half-a-season of episodes in the can, this was a gold mine, good enough for NBC programmers deciding to give the island-filmed, island-shot a solid Thursday night slot since fresh scripted shows were not available.

So on Oct. 4, at 8 p.m., “Magnum” wlll air where one of NBC’s prestigious  franchise “Chicago” episodes called home, since the “Chicago” shows – M.D., Fire and P.D. –are also off the radar, till new scripts are written and readied for production. The “Chicago” camp is not thrilled that one of its slot is going to be taken by “Magnum.”

Perdita Weeks as Higgins, Jay Hernandez as Magnum: Lucky and tardy?

NBC has released a trailer on the resilient “Magnum,” with Jay Hernandez as Thomas Magnum, uttering “Doing what I do is risky,” as he leaps from a rooftop. But with a dramatic new edge, he admits, “When you least expect it, everything can change.”

That’s when Perdita Weeks, as his sweetheart-partner Juliet Higgins, tells him, “Thomas…I’m late.” Don’t think she means “tardy for a dinner,” so late, in adultspeak, probably means she’s hapai, missing her period.

The coy, playful dialogue could mean a little Magnum might be on the way, though this can’t be played out since episodes are already filmed and unless “Magnum” earns new life and more show orders, viewers won’t see the baby’s birth.

In addition to Hernandez and Weeks, “Magnum” also stars Zachary Knighton as Orville “Rick” Wright, Amy Hill as Teuila “Kumu” Tuileta, Tim Kang as Gordon Katsumoto, and Stephen Hill as Theodore “T.C” Calvin.

 All previous four season episodes pf “Magnum” are now airing only via Freevee, as part of Amazon Prime’s free-streaming service. …

Only a new development would give birth to more “Magnum” marvels. …

HTY world-premiering‘The Royal School’

“The Royal School” will make its world premiere at 7 p.m. today (Sept. 8) at the Honolulu Theatre for Youth’s Tenney Theatre.

The historic play brings to life a time and place where Hawai‘i’s ali‘I attended the Royal School, an elementary school still operating in Honolulu today.

Hawaiian leaders such as Kamehameha IV, Kamehameha V, Bernice Pauahi Bishop, Queen Lili`uokalani, Queen Emma, and King Kalakaua were together as children at Ke Kula Keiki Ali`i, the Royal School. 

The boarding school was established in 1839 by Kamehameha III for the education of ali`i children, all of whom could be called upon to lead the Nation of Hawaiʻi.

Goods and Cataluna’s play recalls the time when Royal School students often looked to each other for friendship and support to establish aa balance between the Hawai‘i of their ancestors and the changes of global influences, technology and political upheaval being brought to the islands.

The staging is modern with historic material, alongside original songs composed in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, as well as English/Hawaiian rap and mele

The production is designed for children 8 years old and up and will appeal to high school students and adults.

Catalulna, co-creator of the piece, said,“The creative team on this project worked to keep the story from the point of view of the royal children — some of whom entered the boarding school when they were 4 years old — rather than from the perspective of their missionary teachers or from the distant gaze of historians. In this play, the childhood voices of Hawaii’s kings and queens transcend time and speak to the children of today, the future leaders of Hawai’i.”

“The Royal School” cast includes Alysia Kepaʻa, Moses Goods, Damani Jones Timson, Annie Lokomaikaiʻi Lipscomb, and Kaonohiokalaealohilohinei Muller

HTY commissioned the new songs by co-creator Goods, music by Mattea Mazzella, and dramaturgy by Ryan I. Kahaʻiolelo Sueoka.

Eric Johnson, HTY artistic director, is directing an ensemble of HTY newcomers, including Alysia Kepaʻa, Kaonohiokalaealohilohinei Muller, and Damani Jones Timson performing with veteran company members, Moses Goods and Annie Lokomaikaʻi Lipscomb.

Jonathan Clarke Sypert is choreographer, Chesley Cannon and Eric West are set and props designer, Iris Kim is costume designer, Mattea Mazzella is sound designer, Chesley Cannon is lighting designer, and Kalani Pokipala is DJ consultant and musician.

After the premiere, performances will be at 4 p.m.Sept.16, 2 p.m. Oct. 1 and 4 p.m. Oct. 7.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.htyweb.org or by calling the box office at (808) 839-9885 ext. 720. HTY Members receive tickets for shows as part of their membership. …

Funny Girl’ exits with $2.137 million gross

“Funny Girl” and its leading lady, Lea Michele (as Fanny Brice), have left the building but not before posting a $2.137 million gross, topping the Broadway charts for the week ending Sept. 3. Nope, it did not rain on her parade.

Last week’s leaders, provided by The Broadway League:

1 – “Funny Girl,” $2.137 million.

2 – “The Lion King,” $2.077 million.

3 – “Hamilton,” $1.895 million.

4 – “Wicked,” $1.697 million.

5 – “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” $1.674 million.

6 – “MJ, the Musical,” $1.591 million.

7 – “Aladdin,” $1.362 million.

8 – “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” $1.316 million.

9 –“Moulin Rouge,” $1.262 million.

10 – “Back to the Future: The Musical,” $1.234 million

And that’s Show Biz…


The first clue: There was no Nadine Kam restaurant review this morning – she wrote “The Weekly Eater” in the Crave section in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser — and its absence was notable.

Then a friend called mid-morning,  with scanty specifics: Nadine Kam had died earlier today, apparently of cancer. She was 63.

How can someone who loved life, and food, and fashion, depart us so unexpectedly?

Nadine Kam, with her late husband, Christopher Neil.

I knew this prolific journalist, back in the day, when she was a novice, writing articles and reviews in the now-gone Waikiki Beach Press. Nadine even then was a savvy wordsmith under workaholic Ella Chun, who edited the Beach Press tabloid for the visitor audience. 

I don’t remember specifically when she made the plunge to join the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, when it was still an evening paper. Over the decades, she covered fashion with a passion and also emerged as  the town’s leading food maven.

She was a quiet, private sort, involved in a 20 year-plus relationship with Christopher Neil, a copy editor at the Honolulu Advertiser, when it was the morning daily, and their unexpected marriage stunned friends on both staffs of the newsroom on Kapiolani Boulevard, simply because they kept their private lives very private.

Alas, Chris died of cancer in June 2013.

Nadine was retained to continue to dispatch her food reviews in the combined Honolulu Star-Advertiser, but she “retired” a few years ago, opting to be an independent critic who generated her free-lance columns ,  dining at fab new places or revisiting faves from the past, turning in her tabs to the paper to be reimbursed.

Her reviews have always been relished and devoured by local foodies, who cherished her guidance in dining adventures.

She, and her craft of tasting, describing, and sharing tasty conversation of everything from pupu to salads, from entrees to desserts, will be sorely missed.

Survivors include her mother, Phyllis Kam; sisters Natalie, Darlene and Sandra Kam; and brother Nolan Kam.

Services are pending…

And that’s Show Biz. …


“NCIS: Hawai‘i,” the newest spin-off in the “NCIS” franchise, is in a vulnerable situation as the new 2023-24 CBS season rolls out in the weeks ahead.

The island-based, island-film series, which was to be in its third season this year, is nowhere to be seen in CBS’ awkward patchwork schedule which mixes reruns of popular crime shows with a cluster of game-and-adventure productions, some old, some new.

For “NCIS: Hawai‘i,” starring Vanessa Lachy (pictured left), the neglect is truly worrisome. Despite a now meaningless third season pickup, the out of sight, out of mind syndrome needs to be turned around. The show, like other scripted productions, is a victim of the writers’ strike which has shut down all scripted shows because a crew of writers can’t craft a show till the labor issues are resolved. The word is even if the strike is settled, there’s no guarantee “Hawai‘i” will get that pick-up.

Rumors and buzz have suggested that it could be over for “NCIS: Hawai‘i,” one of  two remaining “NCIS” dramas (the other is the flagship original), produced by Mark Harmon (pictured, right), which would be in its 20th and possibly last season now, because it’s become an abandoned boat drifting at sea with no destination.

Who’ll rescue the show? Good question, but no answer available.

The on-going writers strike has had a damaging effect for months now, and imminent settlement is not in the cards. Even if the strike is resolved in the months ahead, “Hawai‘i” wouldn’t air till 2024, if it can still find a slot on the CBS schedule. It’s quite curious that CBS will air reruns of such established dramas and comedies as “Blue Bloods,” “FBI,” “Ghosts,” “Seal Team,” and “Bob Abishola” in the new season, but nope, not “NCIS: Hawai‘i.”

Interestingly, at 7.p.m. Sept 16, an “NCIS” encore episode will be shown, a teaser for another “NCIS” 20th anniversary Mini-Marathon at 7 p.m. Sept 25, a one-time special in the show’s usual Sunday slot. Further reruns will air at 9 p.m. Oct. 2 and 9.

CBS has a batch of shows that dodge the need for new scripts, some standby returnees like “Big Brother,” “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race.” And the network will rely on rerunning series, notably “Yellowstone,” which already has aired on CBS’ sister station, Paramount+, but this will be treated as a “new” procedural  launching Sept. 17 as a Sunday fixture (7:30 p.m.) …

And that’s Show Biz. …


In my life, I cannot have enough notecards to suit various needs of expression.

Lately, due to an unexpected illness, I value thank you cards (handmade by moi, whenever there’s time) to send to a colleague or even a stranger, to say thanks.

This latest creation is a variation of something I made several years ago, and for lack of a bright idea now, decided to “recycle” with a limited new version. This always gets a warm giggle from recipients.

Tells me that there’s always a need for a jar of thank-yous.