Streelight Cadence, whose career as performers began a dozen years ago on the sidewalks, curbs and street corners of Waikiki, is at it again.

For 12 hours today (Dec. 5), beginning at noontime, the foursome will provide its signature music to busk for tips and raise funds for a Kickstarter campaign to help finance new recording, “Midnight.”

The group, comprising  Jonathon Franklin (vocals and violin), Brian Webb (cello), Jesse Shiroma (accordion and percussion), and Ben Chai  (acoustic guitar), will perform from noon at the Logos Bookstore at Ward Village, proceeding to Dave & Busters, weather permitting. The hoopla will be live-streaming via Instagram, YouTube and Facebook, through midnight.

Streetlight Cadence: back in Hawaii for busking and live-streaming today (Dec. 5).

“It’ll be a wet day today but we’re going for it,” the group said in a new posting online. “Come join us for the fun as we sing all day long (literally)  and perform our way into deliriousness.”

With time running out to raise funds for their campaign goal, the group will solicit pre-orders for their CDs, vinyl recordings, music boxes and assorted wares, including sweaters and socks.

Their mantra of, the past, has been “will play for food,” and who knows if that will emerge now, too.

Streetlight has earned two Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and has been Emmy-nominated for a reality TV series.

To watch the live streaming or make a campaign pledge, visit

Whee, the people

Vanessa Lachey

Vanessa Lachey, who portrays Jane Tennant in CBS’s “NCIS: Hawai‘i,” has landed another first. She already is the first woman to portray the honcho of the “NCIS” franchise; her first book, “Life From Scratch,” was just released on Nov. 30; but landing on the cover of this week’s People magazine, sharing the limelight with hubby Nick Lachey, is perhaps the cherry on the cake.  The profile explores her difficult childhood and her estranged mother, plus the joy of a happy marriage and her family including three kids. Thus, being a mother in her filmed-in-Hawaii role reflects her outlook of family values. …

What’s with Doug Shirai’s garage? The aforementioned “NCIS” utilized the space for earlier filming; and just recently, “Magnum, P.I.” did the same. Is the site on some kind of registry for potential island filming? Just wondering…

And that’s Show Biz. …


If you happen to spot a Hollywood couple in Honolulu in the days and weeks ahead, it just might be Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban.

Online buzz suggests that the award-winning actress and the award-winning country music singer hope to renew their wedding vows in our midst. The ceremony would indicate all is well in the couple’s relationship despite rumors that there has been see-sawing strain and tension in their marriage.

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman: vow renewals in Hawaii?

And why Hawaii? Why not? Kidman was born here but her Australian parents — in the islands on student visas — left Honolulu for Down Under residency and she went on to be a globally known actress.

An insider admits,  “They’re secretly organizing an intimate beach ceremony for this winter in Hawaii, where Nicole was born.” OK, she was born here but not on the beach. …

Marquee honorees

“Manoa Marquee,” set for March 26 at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, is the Manoa Valley Theatre’s annual fundraiser.

Honorees this year will be David Kennedy and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Jeffrey Portnoy and the Cades Foundation.

Individual tickets are $325, a hike from earlier gatherings, and premium tables are available at $10,000, $5,000 and $3,000.


Stage notes

During a preview performance of the holiday musical “Elf” Thursday night at Diamond Head Theatre, there was a blackout smack dab in the middle of the show, according to director Greg Zane. Friday’s premiere went on without incident. …

With the comeback of ABBA, the Swedish sensations whose tunes made “Mamma Mia” a Broadway and London retro dance party and a singing Meryl Street on film, Farrington High School is on track to be ahead of the curve in rebooting the audience-favorite musical. Director Miguel Cadoy III is helming the revival for six performances from Feb. 25 through March 6. …

And that’s Show Biz. …


“Annie Live!,” which aired last night (Dec. 2) on NBC  and streaming now on Peacock TV, is a dose of optimism served by a refreshing and resourceful cast. Despite a few flaws, it’s the right show for the right time with a tireless message of hope and confidence.

Some impressions:

  • Live TV is not easy to do; there were a few glitches, but staging a full-tilt musical without a conventional proscenium stage  plus a live audience watching, requires a mobile and agile cast. This one delivered masterful and quick action, from orphanage quarters to New York City locales.
  • Celina Smith as Annie was a breakout star, looking like a young Aretha Franklin – those cheeks!—and singing like a diva. Yep, she gives life to “Tomorrow,” the show’s key anthem, in several incremental moments including the near-the-final curtain where she has President Franklin D. Roosevelt (Alan Toy) and some of his cabinet singing hopeful versions that “the sun will come out tomorrow,” referring to the New Deal.
Celina Smith is Annie, with pooch Sandy,

  • Taraji P. Henson as the manipulative and mean Miss Hannigan is a revelation. Who knew? She can sing, dance, and mug for the cameras; she is a new-generation, fashionable and formidable villain, but one wih a heart and infections charisma.
  • Harry Connick Jr.’s Daddy Warbucks is a puzzlement. He can sing, which is why he’s in this, but that bald scalp cap seems to affect his disposition; the fake pate was a constant irritant, for him and for us viewers.
  • Hawaii’s Nicole Scherzinger is a charming Grace Farrell, assistant to Warbucks, with a voice and  legs with plenty of action in the dance moments.
  • Tituss Bergess as Rooster Hannigan and Megan Hilty as Lily St. Regis were the perfect foils, secondary schemers who want to collect $50,000 in a fraudulent guise as Annie’s long forgotten parents. Hilty, in particular, deserves special applause – replacing Jane Krakowski, sidelined with COVID and unable to perform.
  • The ensemble of orphans is incredibly agile, remarkably darling, and delightfully polished — these youths can sing, dance and cartwheel like veterans. The opening “It’s a Hard Knock Life” is an example of swift and stunning movement (remember those mops and buckets?); this is a show-stopper, so early in the show, and tough to beat over the three hours of showtime (including beaucoup commercials, with Wendy’s homage to the era a keeper).
  • In context of the show, several resonating elements — a homeless population, a depressed economy, and the return of Broadway shows –reflect the prevailing cultural and economic climate now. So forget datedness – “Annie Live!” has fresh-as-today ripples and undercurrents, like the need for optimism and hope.
  • Don’t recall if the namedropping is part of the original script, but let’s face it: the history-lesson utterances of Babe Ruth, Walter Winchell, J. Edgar Hoover, and more (Annie doesn’t know ‘em) reflect the heroes and notables from the past who should never be forgotten.
  • Every dog has its day, and Sandy, the pooch “adopted” by Annie, is a rescue adoptee himself, named Macy. He makes an early appearance, but doesn’t show up till the closing moments of the show, and the question is why? He’s apparently done a number of “Annie” shows and should complain to his agent.
  • The score by Charles Strouse and Martin Sharnin  is jammed with inspirational tunes; besides “Tomorrow,” the spirit-lifters include “Maybe,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” and “I Don’t Need Anyone But You” … all could be quotable truisms today. The stage musical, based on the  Howard Gray’s comic strip “Little Orphan Annie,” made its Broadway debut in 1977, with book by Thomas Meehan.  Lear deBessonet and Alex Rudzinski co-directed, with choreography by Sergio Trujillo.

Kudos to NBC, which continues to support and stage an annual “live” musical, despite the challenges of assembling the production for a mere one night and during the ongoing pandemic.  The good spinoff: a CD soundtrack is available and a DVD likely will follow. This is a tradition worth supporting and continuing…

And that’s Show Biz. …



“Broadway in Hawaii” today (Dec. 2) announced its first three-show season of shows for Hawaii residents. A fourth musical, earlier announced, is an “extra” outside of the premier season packaging.

The slate includes three island premieres led by the unprecedented blockbuster “Hamilton” and the hit-loaded “Beautiful — the Carole King Musical.” “Cats,” which is a venerable return visitor but still a popular title in the repertoire of the Broadway spectrum, is the third season attraction. The rescheduled “Jersey Boys” is not part of the season ticketing because it had to be rescheduled twice, with many tickets previously sold, but it will be its first staging in Honolulu.

Joseph Morales as Hamilton

But here’s a bit of secret behind-the-scenes drama: the touring “Hamilton” company is one dubbed “…and Peggy,” and the lead actor in this ensemble is Joseph Morales, our homegrown Broadway trouper. The producers will not announce cast, until  just prior of the engagement, since actors can be juggled and routed to a different company. So I’ll go on record to press the decision-makers to be certain that Morales dons his Alexander Hamilton costume when the show lands here. It’ll be his “shot” that will memorable not only for him but also the local theater-goers. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed Morales is our Hamilton.

“The success of shows like ‘Wicked’ and ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ clearly demonstrate that Honolulu deserves to be a regular stop for touring Broadway in North America,” said Magicspace COO Steve Boulay, the presenter, who has been a key player to book musicals at Blaisdell Concert Hall. “We are thrilled that the commitment of everyone at Blaisdell, the stagehands union and the city, together with the support of Broadway in Hawaii patrons, have come together to make this incredible season possible. We look forward to many more.”

Mayor Rick Blangiardi said in a statement, “The Hawaii debut of ‘Hamilton’ is a remarkable opportunity for our community. We are truly grateful to be able to welcome this marquee production to Honolulu without audience capacity limitations.”

Mr. Mayor is spot-on in welcoming the slate of Broadway in Hawaii shows. Audience support is vital, when these series set down anywhere, and this is the first time ever that a spectrum of four productions, one as a “special engagement,” will be staged here. In many other viable communities, six shows comprise a season, so we have a lot of work to do make this venture worth the producers’ effort by securing tickets.

So here’s the rundown:

  • “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical,” April 19 to 24, 2022. This is a stupendous biographical musical that tracks the ups and downs of prolific rock/pop composers Carole King and her husband Gerry Goffin and collaborators Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann,  who have written tunes for a myriad of acts in rock history, including The Shirelles, Little Eva, and Neil Sedaka.
  • “Hamilton,” Dec. 8 to 14, 2022, for subscribers only and Dec. 15, 2022 to Jan. 29, 2023 for other patrons. This is the blockbuster by Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the book, music and lyrics, in a hip-hop rendering of the life and times of Alexander Hamilton, a founding father of America, based on the biography by Ron Chernow. It’s been a revolutionary musical and winner of nearly all the prizes available, the Tony, the Grammy, the Olivier, plus the Pulitzer Prize and KennedyTheatre Honors.
  • “Cats,” June 13 to 18, 2023, The is the Andrew Lloyd Webber creation, inspired by the poetry of T. S. Eliot, that is best known for its “Memory” signature song and is the only musical set in a junkyard. Everyone knows a cat has nine lives, and this show begins a new run for the furry creatures, with updated sound design, choreography and director for a new generation of viewers.
  • “Jersey Boys,” Sept. 13 to 25, 2022. This is considered a “special engagement,” considering its previous on-again, off-again setback. The show is not part of the three-title season. It is the biography musical of the Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, and boasts a soundtrack of trademark toe-tapping hits like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “Walk Like a Man. Season tickets are available at and here are the price ranges, by seat locations:

And that’s Show Biz. …


Update: sad to report that beloved Fran Kirk died earlier today (Nov. 29). Prayers and thoughts to the Kirk ohana. Stay tuned for details.

Fran Kirk, the veteran entrepreneur who brought the Society of Seven to Hawaii as the group’s manager and mentor, is under hospice care in an Arizona facility.

Kirk, who also served as entertainment director of the Main Showroom of the Outrigger Waikiki  where the SOS group was  anchored for decades before it became Blue Note Hawaii, has been coping with Alzheimer’s and other health issues, according to her son, Mike Kirk, a resident of Chandler, AZ.

Frannie, he said, is at a care facility and is in a peaceful sleep. However, the doctors say she may not linger for more than two days.

“I know she can hear me and her body language changes when I give her a kiss,” said Mike.

Frannie had been residing in Las Vegas for several years. An avid golfer, her Hawaii friends would periodically visit and they’d golf together.

She also visited Honolulu somewhat regularly, for doctor visits and personal business, but she hasn’t been the Frannie we all know.

“I moved to Las Vegas to be with and caregive her,” said Mike. “But I moved her to Phoenix July 25, but my home was two stories and we needed a single-floor place.”

Frannie Kirk

In recent days and weeks, Frannie devised a strategy to conceal her loss of memory. “She would tell callers that she had something to tend to, to call back,” a means to cut short her conversations to hide her search for a word or respond to questions.

She eventually was placed in a facility that has been providing valuable and personal care.

Earlier, she suffered a fall and broke her femur and complicated her well-being, but received good care at the hospital. But  X-rays showed she had spots on her kidney, an indication of cancer, and Mike said when she was still able to speak, she had complained of pain in the vicinity of her kidney.

“She did not like the rehab that followed,” he said.

And that began her decline in health and awareness.

On her Facebook page, Mike posted this:

“She is not doing well and she may not see Christmas. We did celebrate her 84th Bday and she enjoyed Roast Duck, Char Siu Chow Fun and Baby Bok Choi. She is comfortable and the Doc believes she is at peace.”

Friends can post a message on Facebook or dial her cellphone at (808) 271-3330 and “and I will read them to her daily,” said Mike. “I believe she can still hear, so. friends may call her.”

“The doctors think she will not last two more days; she is not eating and is not on IV.

He remembered a pivotal incident recently:

“There was one moment, when she looked up in air like she was speaking to someone,” said Mike.

“She then said, ‘Is it time?’”

And she hasn’t spoken since…

And that’s Show Biz. …