By Dave Donnelly

Friday, July 20, 2001

Ex-Spats hosts
‘Night with the

EVERYTHING old is new again. Remember when Guido Salmaggi played the Godfather and the waiters at Spats carried violin cases and generally did their best mafioso imitation? Salmaggi even wore spats and he and his "boys" often showed up at openings and special occasions like parades. Well, we've come full circle. The Spats gang was laid to rest (or deposited in the Hudson River or something like that) and the room in the Hyatt Regency became Ciao Mein, a combination Italian-Chinese eatery (go figure!) with Mai Tai Sing presiding. Now Ciao Mein is presenting "A Night with the Sopranos" on July 28. There'll be "gangsta models" from Party Masters and the Catwalk Co., entertainment by pianist David Swanson and records spun on the spot by former Bobby McGee's DJs Mark Nash and Rich Wong. Those attending the party from 9 p.m. until the wee ones are asked to leave violin cases at the door. Wonder if Guido will show up? ...

IN town to prepare some articles for Hawaii Hospitality magazine, Tom Horton did a patented double take at Sarento's when a young man in a shiny suit and narrow tie, hair in a sleek ponytail, walked up to his table carrying something in his right hand. "What's that?" asked the suspicious Horton, sounding like he suspected it was a tommy gun and he was in the middle of a "Sopranos" episode. The young man lifted it up and it was a camera with a flash attachment that jutted out from the camera itself. Held by the attachment, it DID appear kind of suspicious. Horton's dining companion, Hector Venegas, looked for all the world like he was about to dive under the table ...

Mea culpa, sort of

WHEN I mentioned seeing "The Complete History of America (abridged)" at Manoa Valley Theatre, I suggested much of it was improvised from the original by cast members. Wrong! I've now read the script and what you see at Manoa is basically what's in the script as written or suggested. Still, the creators have some interesting stage directions like "The audience inevitably responds poorly to this terrible joke." Or, "The audience groans or makes no noise at all." I confess I found it as unfunny as it appears the creators did, demanding there be no use of "Reduced Shakespeare Company" in reference to the play. And I apologize for assuming the local actors or director Mark Lutwak was at fault. He did take responsibility for putting in lots of Hawaii and sponsor-related bits, which I found out of place, and also the dance at the beginning, though that didn't bother me at all. Go see it and maybe you'll laugh as much as the audience did the night I attended ...

The Moon is Brew

I'VE no way of knowing for sure if Brew Moon owner Shawn Rubert selected his new exec chef because of his name or his talent -- possibly both. Rubert connected with David Luna, chef at Broussards in New Orleans, who'd been bringing in Hawaiian fish for his Louisiana operation. Suddenly, Luna seemed like the perfect chef to bring in to replace Aurelio Garcia. After all, Luna means "Moon," and he's currently brewing up some New Orleans touches to the local Brew Moon's menu ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.

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