On the Scene

John Berger

Thursday, June 3, 2004

Making a clean breast
over use of the j-word

STAND-UP comic/actor Paul Ogata has joked for years about following African-American rappers who have redefined the "n-word" and reclaiming a World War II-era term for Japanese. Ogata's new T-shirt incorporates old-time stereotypes as well as the "j-word" and attacks political correctness head-on (and yes, it comes in black!). Check it out at ...

ON THE MOVE: Stuart Chafetz, off to a summer residency at the Chautauqua Festival in upstate New York, is looking forward to enlisting the audience as ex officio musicians when he conducts the Chautauqua Symphony in a Hispanic-themed show titled "The Pops Goes to Spain." He has ordered "plastic soup spoons for 5,000 (people)" and will have the audience "play the spoons" like castanets during a selection from "Carmen" ... Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom is looking forward to her upcoming shows in Europe and China. Will be her first visits to both ...

MAKE OVERS: Bill Kaiwa, clean-shaven for as long as I've known him, turned up recently with a pencil-thin mustache. Gives him a distinguished and somewhat mysterious look, but when he smiles there's no question he's still "the boy from Laupahoehoe" ... 104.3 XME morning show star Hawaiian Ryan looking leaner these days. Low-carb diet is doing it for him ... Kuni Goto, Japanese music scholar and avid surfer, had a close-cropped buzz cut for years but let his hair grow out a couple of inches. Looks like a Japanese film star ... Dan Punch, everybody's best friend when they're trying to get into the Ocean Club, is also working a new 'do. With bangs combed forward, he looks like a Roman emperor ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To Danny Couch, who's celebrating on Monday ... also to Athena Espania and Puakea Nogelmeier (Tuesday), plus Kapono Beamer and DJ Daniel J (Wednesday) ...

CONGRATULATIONS TO resident recording artist G.F. Mlely. A song from his 2000-year album, "Re-Entry," will be heard when Shela Xoregos opens "Typewriter Dreams," a collection of five one-act plays, at the Common Basis Theatre in New York City tomorrow. Xoregos selected Mlely's song, "Threnody," to accompany a mime-play, "How the Cookie Crumbles." They met when he played piano for dance classes she was teaching in San Francisco. She now heads the Xoregos Performing Company in NYC ...

HOKU AWARDS Hana Hou -- Part 3: Bring back the "Single of the Year" category! Local artists continue to record and release CD-singles. Their work deserves recognition. The elimination of the category suggests that the Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts is trying to push the local industry away from the CD-single by denying them their due ...

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

John Berger has covered the local
entertainment scene since 1972. Contact
him at


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