Since his splendid May Day concert last May at the Great Lawn of Bishop Museum – staged ‘neath that tented behemoth – Robert Cazimero, pictured below, has been enjoying a merry time, making good his wish and promise to share Lei Day beyond the reef.
Of course, the principal show had all the bells and whistles: the legendary kilohana presence of Cazimero, soprano Nina Keali‘iwahama and Olomana’s Jerry Santos. Cazimero’s Halau Na Kamalei O Lililehua, along with another guest halau, provided the syncopation and seduction of hula auwana and kahiko.
Following Oahu, Big Island audiences were treated to a performance May 13 at Kahilu Theatre, in Waimea, though with an abbreviated cast. It’s a longstanding tradition, to visit the Big Island, since The Brothers Cazimero “owned” May Day, since the era they delivered that May Day spectacle at the Waikiki Shell… where the tradition had its roots.
And this past week, Cazimero traveled to Japan to share that powerful cultural breeze of Hawaiian music, for hula-happy Nippon audiences, tapping soprano Keali‘iwahamana, pictured below right, and his “house band,” the singing, strumming, dancing trio of Keauhou (Zachary Lum, Nicholas Lum, and Jonah Solatorio) not only to showcase the group’s instrumental and vocal energy, but also the hypnotic hula since the chums also dance with Cazimero’s halau.
The Keauhou presence, and participation in Lei Day, has bolstered the foundation as it now has planted seeds in new markets to set more Hawaiian roots beyond the islands. The Japanese, of course, adore Hawaiiana, and appreciate and eager to grow the “make a lei, wear a lei and give a lei” tradition. And with Zach Lum and his colleagues at the core of the event, the future looks stable and bright, with a growing village of supports eager get this thing glowing.
Every day can lei day any time, any place, but the practice becomes powerful when the mele and marvel are connected to faces and names that translate to trust. …
Hugh Jackman’s ‘Oklahoma!’
Advisory for fans of Hugh Jackman: Before he became a superstar of film and stage, he played Curly in a filmed musical of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” in Australia.
By all accounts, this 1998 vehicle would become a talking point and casting barometer to propel book him toward a musical, on stage or on the big screen.
I first saw him in his Tony Award-winning role where he portrayed Peter Allen in “The Boy From Oz,” his first Broadway musical, but missed him in last year’s “The Music Man” where he enacted Professor Harold Hill.
We’ve all seen and heard him in the last film version of “Les Miserables,” where he was Jean Valjean, and of course, he was the reason “The Greatest Showman” became a blockbuster, the hit film where he played P.T. Barnum.
So back to “Oklahoma!” The vintage film, with a young Jackman, will make a rare two-day global return, to mark the 80th anniversary of “OK.” In Honolulu, the screenings will be at 3 p.m. July 16 and at 7 p.m. July 19 at Consolidated’s Kahala Theatre, and Regal’s Dole Cannery and Pearl Highlands Theatres.
Tickets ($17.75 Kahala, $15.70 Regal) are already on sale online. Visit https://www.oklahomaincinemas.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjw1MajBhAcEiwAagW9McrGH8StzCgwjTTdymD3UUWktat7hpQBQoh2krHYTV4BN7WdhWk4shoCUHMQAvD_BwE …
Earlier this month, President Biden hosted a special screening of the anticipated Disney+ original series, “American Born Chinese,” as part of the largest Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month key event at the White House.
A host of actors of color were on hand. The series, now streaming on Disney+, tracks an immigrant family that includes an American son, at the crossroads of the cultural struggles reflecting real-life issues with storybook fantasies about a new American identity fusing family bonding.
“Nights like these are a reminder of the power of stories,” said the president.Academy Award-winning actor Ke Huy Quan was one of the key participants in the screening; Maui native Destin Daniel Cretton, pictured right, who was executive producer and director of “American Born Chinese,” attended with many other on-camera and off-camera folks, like series stars Ben Wang, Yeo Yann Yann, Chin Han, Daniel Wu, Jimmy Liu and Sydney Taylor, and creative team members including executive producer and author of the graphic novel Gene Luen Yang series creator and showrunner Kelvin Yu, and executive producers Melvin Mar, Jake Kasdan and Erin O’Malley. Peyton Elizabeth Lee and Alex Aiono, stars of the Disney+’s filmed-in-Hawaii series, “Doogie Kamealoha, M.D.,“ also attended. …
And that’s Show Biz. …