Audy Kimura is bidding aloha to his successful career as singer, guitarist, performer and recording personality.

After entertaining for nearly 33 years at Hy’s Steak House in Waikiki, Kimura has submitted his retirement notice to the restaurant,  calling it quits and closing this chapter of his career, effective immediiately.

Simply, he’s retiring to focus on pet projects close to his heart.

Kimura opened at Hy’s on June 23, 1987, perched in the bar area of the popular steakhouse on Kuhio Avenue in Waikiki. But because of the pandemic that plagued the world, including Hawaii, Kimura hasn’t been in the Hy’s spotlight throughout the shutdown, even since the reopening of the restaurant.

“I am grateful beyond words,” said Kimura in a statement. “The friendships and memories are priceless.

Not surprisingly, he credits the support of his family, friends, co-workers and customers who became part of his extended circle of friends, for supporting him over the years.

Audy Kimura at Hy’s: Retiring after 33-year residency.

“This is the end of an era at Hy’s.” says Marc Nezu,  general manager of Hy’s. “Audy will be missed by all of us – our guests and our staff.”

Too bad that his decision to exit the limelight doesn’t include an opportunity for his fans and followers to say aloha.

Kimura has been an icon at Hy’s, serenading diners and bar patrons and occasional chats. His style always has been gentlemanly and romantic; his repertoire reflecting his savvy in programming, tapping his own compositions and iconic ballads by the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, and James Taylor.

Through his business acumen, Kimura has put his imprint on the Hawaii recording community over the decades; as a budding studio engineer at Sounds of Hawaii, one of his early clients was Don Ho. In the realm of marketing, that appealing “One of the Good Things About Hawaii” signature for Hawaii News Now, is among his creations, as are the videos and commercials for Charley’s Taxi and Battery Bill, and the theme song for OC16’s “Hawaii Goes Fishing.”

He is one of the elite Hawaii artists to secure a major international recording contract (Universal Music and Epic/Sony).

Musically, he is best known for his No. 1 hit, “Lovers & Friends,” the trademark hit that put him on the map. His album titles reflect his outlook and mirror his inspirational thrust: “Looking for the Good Life” and “A Gift of Song.” These endeavors have earned him eight Na Hoku Hanohano Awards over the years.

A graduate of the University of Hawaii-Manoa’s College of Business Administration, Kimura earned the highest academic award, The Outstanding Senior in the College of Business Administration.

His interests have been wide and varied, including running in marathons, swimming feats, bicycling, skeet shooting and rifle competitions

Kimura plans to spend more time with family and begin to focus on select projects within his radar, embracing music, video, and composition.

He’s also been a longtime and vital ambassador to the animal population and intends to continue to work on charitable causes to support and benefit animals. …

And that’s Show Biz. …


“Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” is one of the jewels of Broadway biographies crammed with hit songs. The title says it all. Beautiful, indeed.

Like “Jersey Boys,” the musical about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, “Beautiful” is bountiful with nuggets of revelation and nibbles about the composer of a kegload of pop songs fueling the soundtrack of a specific era.

Like “Ain’t So Proud,” the mega-hit loaded musical cementing and celebrating the astonishing career of The Temptations, “Beautiful” is one of Broadway’s savvy exploration and expedition of a songwriter who had the will and smarts to come from the ranks of creator to the spotlight of a performer.

And Sara Sheperd, as the queen who is King in this national touring company of “Beautiful,” celebrates the riches of the King’s cache of hot pops and its cycle of growth and appeal that not only made King famous and rich, but also brought glory and shimmer to the careers of many performers over a span of five decades.

Sara Sheperd, as Carole King, in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.”

The show, closing today (final performances at 1 and 6:30 p.m.) at Blaisdell Concert Hall, is an inspirational saga of the journey of an unknown composer who was able to cross the planks of uncertainty to make a name and enjoy her own fame as a prolific tunesmith who deserved to win back ownership of her compositions.

I apologize for the lateness of this review; I had minor health issues when “Beautiful” opened last Tuesday, and last night (Saturday, April 23) happened to be my ticket choice night before the finale.  Advice: if you have time, and can secure some tickets, go for it!

“Beautiful” is the launch of a first-time, four-musicals season that comprise a Broadway in Hawaii package this year. Later titles are “Cats,” “Hamilton” and “Jersey Boys.”

The play begins with King at home at her keyboard, prepping for her career-high concert onstage at Carnegie Hall, and ends with that triumphant performance fueled by her 1971 album, “Tapestry.” Talk about a dream come true.

That’s what friends are for: from left, Sara Sheperd as Carole King, Sara King as Cynthia Weil, Ryan Farnsworth as Barry Mann, and James D. Gish as Gerry Goffin.

Indeed, the King tapestry of tunes – then and now – defines the soundtrack of many lives. A Brooklynite, King juggled the struggles of becoming a female composer and young wife and mother to a successful hit-maker whose marriage was a victim of her sheer success. Sheperd embodies the spirit of a composer-turned-singer, visually (the tousled long hair) and vocally (a voice that makes you feel the earth move).

Her early collaborator, in songwriting and romance, was Gerry Goffin (James D. Gish, a cad with charisma), who shared ambitions and dreams of writing chart hits for a bevy of soloists and groups who would gain success, thanks to the King-Goffin well of tunes.

King and Goffin meet and compete with another duo of tunesmiths, Barry Mann (a comedic Ryan Fansworth, perfectly enacting a career hypochondriac) and Cynthia Weil (an in-control Sara King, as a fashionista and buddy in partnering), who became lifetime allies, during good and bad times.

The pleasure with “Beautiful” is the stroll down memory lane, reliving the memories of groundbreaking careers.

And because the leading characters are primarily singers, not dancers, the choreographic wonders – necessary in this kind of bio-musical — are provided by some of the delightful hitmakers of the past, like The Drifters (Torrey Linder, Jacquez Linder-Long, Julian Malone and Ben Toomer), who glide and dance through audience faves like “Up on the Roof” and “On Broadway.”

Then there’s The Shirelles (Rosharra Francis, Jamary A. Gill, Danielle Herber and Nazarria Workman) enacting “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” with empowering sass.

It helps to have a little knowledge of historical facts. The mecca of pop music invention was the Brill Building, located at 1650 Broadway, known as the “factory” where composers (King and Goffin included) assembled to create hit songs like “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” for the Righetous Brothers, “Locomotion” for Little Eva,  Bobby Vee’s “Take Good Care of My Baby,” Gene Vincent’s “Be-Bop-A-Lula,” The Animals’ “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” Neil Sedaka’s “Oh Carol,” and The Chiffons’ “One Fine Day” (though the musical credits Janelle Woods, played by Rosharra Francis, as the deliverer of this title —  it’s an error, because she never recorded it) and Barry Mann’s “Who Put the Bomp.”

If you were astute back in the day, you’ll remember music “names” like Don Kirshner and Lou Adler, who were moguls in King’s prolific career.

Oh yeah, there’s a Monkees tune, “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” in the roster, but it’s overshadowed by King’s signatures such as “You’ve Got a Friend,” “It’s Too Late,” and “(You Make Me Feel Like ) A Natural Woman.”

And remain for the curtain call; Sheperd and company do an audience sing-along, enabling you to say– after your exit — that you sang with her. …

And that’s Show Biz. …


Just asking…

Have you noticed, in recent times, that several fast food brands have stylized their names, going with shorter monickers?

KFC now uses initials, possibly to downplay the “fried” in Kentucky Fried Chicken. For an identifier, an image of The Colonel is part of the logo.

Jamba is the single-term name after Juice was squeezed out.

Ditto, Dunkin.’ The Donuts is gone, maybe because the pastry shop offers a lot more than mere doughnuts.Is this a trend?

Single names kinda work best. From Arby’s to Zippy’s, you’ll find a bunch of one-word branding: Denny’s, Subway, Wendy’s, Starbucks, McDonald’s, for instance.

Which begs a few questions: Will Jack in the Box go someday with only Jack? And Papa John’s, cutting back to Papa or John’s? Domino’s would serve the pizzaria; Popeye’s could drop the Louisiana Chicken and still be known by followers; In-and-Out is vastly popular elsewhere, but not here, and its three-word name is very much in. But King would be presumptuous without the Burger, but Caesars would be recognized without the Little.Can’t quite get it, however, with Raising Cane’s, a chicken hut whose name does not reflect its fame; I researched and discovered the name honors the owner’s Labrador Retriever, Raising Cane’s. Hmmm…

Any reactions/comments?


Haven’t done new notecards for ions — had been focusing on Valentine’s and Easter pins earlier this year — so I spent a useful and productive hour today, creating six new postcard-design notecards.

The motif is Hawaii-oriented — Aloha Tower, hula dancer, pineapple — and pleased with the results. Only wish I had more stickers to do more cards.


Today (Friday, April 22) is 4-22-22 Day, when the Legislature will honor comedian Frank DeLima.

It’s a delayed salute – the spotlight was to shine on him on 2-22-22 (Feb. 22, 2022) — but better late than never.

So: Twice today — at 11:30  a.m. in the House  and at noon in the Senate – a “Frank DeLima Day” proclamation will prevail.

“I’m making an appearance in the galleries of the Legislature,” said DeLima, known for his comedic shtick saluting local ethnicities including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Filipino and other strains. He won’t be staging a formal show, but expect some bursts of his local-style comedy.

Frank DeLima

The 4-22-22 numbers would be more obvious, if you add a final 22 to the lineup. That would represent TheCab’s phone number and recall DeLima’s hilarious commercials for the cabbie company.

Sen. Brian Taniguchi, a veteran legislator who serves the community where DeLima grew up and still lives, instigated the recognition for DeLima.  The “tutus” (think kupuna, or 22s) in the TV spot have enriched TheCab’s special brand. Harry Higa, president and CEO of TheCab, might also make an appearance, according to  DeLima.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has limited his public performances, DeLima will present a Mother’s Day brunch event at 1 p.m. May 8 at Blue Note Hawaii, located in the Outrigger Waikiki resort.  He also is finalizing appearances for next year’s academic school visits throughout the state. …

Waimanalo site for Pahinui Kanikapila

The memories of Cyril Pahinui will live on with 15th annual Waimanalo Kanikapila, an eight-hour event slated to begin at 8 a.m.tomorrow  (April 23) at Waimanalo Beach Park.

Cyril Pahinui

The kanikapila will not only salute its late founder but also his revered father, the world-famous Gabby  Pahinui, with musical notables – not yet named – among the lineup.

Though pandemic protocols have been relaxed, the outdoor show will be a live-stream event, presented by Na‘alehu Theatre, a non-profit organization. A link has not yet been provided.

During the day, the annual Skylark Award will be presented and among the haps will be a “How Da Stew” segment. The goal is to mark the day with “everything Waimanlo.

There is no fee to tune in virtually; the sponsors say that T-shirts sales and donations underwrite the costs.

Information:  …

Circus heading to hardtop

Coming to the hardtop that is the Blaisdell Arena: the Super American Circus, produced by

Cornell “Tuffy,” Nicholas, who comes from a family with extensive circus credits and experience.

The one-ring circus has been on a Neighbor Island tour, but lands at Blasidell with performances April 29, 30 and May 1.

In true circus tradition, the lineup will includes thriller up in the air and on the ground.

Among the attractions:

  • Dominguez Stunt Team, with a Globe of Death daredevil showcase with motorcyles in a cage.
  • Rebekah Cavinder, an aerialist who hangs by her hair up there.
  • Aidan Bryant, from TV’s “America’s Got Talent.”
  • Ksomonvats, performing acrobatics on a bar.
  • Cristina Hol and Alexander Knapp, aka Bing Bang Boom Circus, rendering action-based juggling stunts.
  • Jordan Segundo, a former “American Idol’ finalist, former broadcast journalist formerly on KITV and now on Sacramento’s CBS13.

Performances are at 5 and 8 p.m. April 29; at 1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. April 30; and at 1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. May 1.

Ticket prices vary, depending on seating location; family passes and VIP ringside seats are available at, and at the Blaisdell box office. …

And that’s Show Biz. …