Confession: I am a biased home towner, and a fan of Ruthie Ann Miles, a Kaimuki High grad who’s made her mark on Broadway. On a national note, she shared her powerful and luminous presence in last Sunday’s (May 26) Memorial Day Concert televised on PBS.

You can take the girl out of Hawaii, but you can’t take Hawaii out of the girl, for sure.

Ruthie Ann Miles

Mile’s poignant and melancholic version of “Aloha Oe,” the indelible composition by Queen Lililiuokalani, triggered wet eyes and pumping hearts to listeners at the nation’s capital as well as home TV viewers. I declare it’s the best-ever delivery of the 1878 creation by Liliu, Hawaii’s most prolific politico and composer of her time.

Lord, if only the queen could have heard this exquisite version,

Miles’s honest, engaging delivery, with the customary Hawaiian and English lyrics, was unexpectedly interrupted by her struggle to cope with the emotion of the moment, which briefly choked her, making her miss a word of two, but honestly, this made her performance even more genuine.  “Aloha Oe,” originally intended as a political tune, has emerged over the decades as a melancholic song of farewell, but in the real time of her performance, it was a suitable, tearful and eloquent song of parting in memory of American lives lost in battle, and dedicated to Gold Star Families.

Miles, 41, has become a popular and prolific Broadway singer-actress, who rightfully earned a Tony Award as Featured Actress in a Musical, in 2019’s “The King and I,” portraying Madame Thiang. Saw her in that splendid performance, and she was stunning last summer as The Beggar Woman (she was a Tony nominee) in the Tony-winning “Sweeney Todd: :the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”

She earned her stripes and earned a Theatre World Award and a Lucille Lortel Award when she starred as Imelda Marcos in the 2013 “Here Lies Love” at The Public Theatre. That performance put her on the map.

Miles now is a much-in-demand actress in New York; producers of the revival of “Here Lies Love” at the Broadway Theatre last summer wanted her to recreate the Imelda role, but she was already committed to “Sweeney Todd.”  Her participation might’ve kept the show running instead of a premature shuttering.

She recreated the Thiang role when “The King and I” moved to the Palladium Theatre in London’s West End. Back in New York, Miles also had brief runs in “The Light in the Piazza” in 2023 and “A Little Night Music” in 2024, in New York.

If you missed Miles and the Memorial Day Concert, PBS plans to have it available for belated viewing through June 9, before saying Aloha Oe. Tune in, and you’ll applaud the mighty Miles…

Kapena group marking 40th anniversary

Kelly Boy  DeLima will mark his 40th anniversary with a concert at 6 p.m. Aug. 31 at the Tom  Moffatt Waikiki Shell.

Kelly Boy DeLima

His original bandmates, Tiva Tatofi and Timo Tatofi, will reunite with DeLima. The Tongan brothers were succeeded by DeLima’s three children, who expanded the family group’s repertoire to include everything from pop, Hawaiian, reggae and rock.

2024 ticket prices are $164 for pool area seats, $117 for front terrace, $89 for back terrace and $61 for lawn seats.

Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.clm or

The numbers game…

OK, plain and simple: 34 is the new 45.

I imagine an entrepreneur already is printing a new tee shirt…

And that’s Show Biz…

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