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By Dave Donnelly

Friday, May 5, 2000

Death of a tragedy

Tragedy averted: There were giggles of laughter among the opera cognoscenti who took in the production of "Madama Butterfly" by Hawaii Opera Mug shotTheater and students of Waimalu Elementary School this week. HOT's education department and the students have been working on (code name) "Butterfly Project" since January. There were four 45-minute abridged (and, as it turns out, expurgated) versions of the opera presented with kids playing and singing all the parts except Pinkerton and Butterfly, sung by two HOT pros. More than 600 students attended the production and although "Butterfly" is possibly the most tragic opera ever written, no tears flowed. The ending, you see, had been rewritten to make it more palatable for younger students. Just as Butterfly is about to commit suicide, Pinkerton shows up just in time to explain that Kate Pinkerton isn't his American wife, but his sister! All's well that ends well. Next: "Romeo and Juliet Go Dancing"? ...

WITH Lei Day now over, and the Brothers Cazimero show's special guest, Willie K, still misty-eyed over singing a duet with Auntie Genoa Keawe, some are now looking forward to Kamehameha Day. To demonstrate how far and wide Hawaiian culture has reached, the Hawaiian Culture and Arts Club at Central Oklahoma Correctional Facility is planning a bash in honor of the king. The Hawaiian group is determined to make sure all 79 women in the facility celebrate Hawaiian heritage on June 11, and to help out, Mountain Apple Records has sent off a passel of CDs, which will be used to help the students learn the hula and perhaps keep their eyes on the hands ...

A dancer dances

WHEN dancing is in the blood, you travel the world to demonstrate the art, and so it is with Rachel Berman. A guest artist tonight and tomorrow with Peter Rockford Espiritu and the Tau Dance Theater at Blaisdell Concert Hall, Berman is working her way westward from Paris. She just left the New York-based Paul Taylor Dance Company with a guest appearance at the Paris Opera and then set Taylor's "Areole" for the Aspen Ballet. Now Berman, who has been on the cover of Dance magazine and was the subject of a feature by Vanity Fair, has flown in for her third season as a guest artist with the Tau Dance Theater ...

CORRECTION: Noah Idechong, who recently received an international award from Time magazine, is a graduate of Hawaii Loa College, on the campus of what is now Hawaii Pacific ... Meanwhile, Cosmopolitan magazine will be naming Asian-American model Mike Mabuni of Honolulu as "Hawaii's Most Eligible Bachelor" in its July edition. I should be taking umbrage at that about now, but then, what does Cosmo know? ... Robert and Betty Wo, and Eddie and Peggy Eu hosted more than 50 guests to a farewell honoring Michael and Sharon Tiknis at Padovani's Bistro. Following the Honolulu Symphony ball May 13, Tiknis will be leaving to take over as CEO of the Midland Center for the Arts in Michigan. He'll take with him the Baccarat vase from Neiman Marcus presented to him at Padovani's ...

Good Boys

THE Honolulu Boy Choir entertained the Oppenheimer Capital Fund conventioneers on board the USS Missouri Monday, and in the spirit of Lei Day, each lad presented his fresh plumeria lei to a female attendee in the audience. Little wonder they got two standing "O's" ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.
His columns run Monday through Friday.

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