On the Scene

John Berger

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Several hundred turn out
for premiere of O Lounge

THE STORY OF O LOUNGE -- PART 1: Several hundred people turned out Monday for the premiere of the O Lounge, a cavernous warehouse-style nightclub on the site of the old China House. Dirk Fukushima, a friend of the new owners, did a stellar job making sure that VIPs in the crowd had a place to sit and got some of the heavy pupus. The big questions now are 1) Is an "oldies" band the right choice for a club that size, and 2) How many of the people who came for the freebies will return and spend money? There were high-profile celebrities galore at the opening night gala when Studio 1 Hawaii opened at the Aloha Tower Marketplace in 1997, but few if any went back ...

INTERESTING PEOPLE: At most CD release parties, the group that's celebrating keeps the crowd waiting several hours before taking the stage, but not Kimo Alama Keaulana. He opened the festivities at Gordon Biersch on Sunday and played for more than an hour. There were no open seats except on the stone wall ...

Sheri Berenobis celebrated the publication of her new book, "The Spirit of Hula," at Bishop Museum's Atherton Halau Sunday evening. Rodney Cazimero and Sheri's husband, Tito Berenobis, provided the music as Kanoe Cazimero danced hula to "Keep Your Eyes on the Hands" and scolded men whose eyes wandered elsewhere. Melveen Leed, Marlene Sai, Boyce Rodrigues and Glenn Pinho joined the musicians in entertaining a crowd of friends and well-wishers that included Chinky Mahoe, Blaine Kia, Joe and Shirley Recca, Leimomi Ho, David Kauahikaua and Christina and Martin Denny ... There's been no official announcement, but Tino Ibach confirms he's pau with the Rhythm Klub and fronting a quartet dubbed TRK. It's a new sound, a new direction, and he only has to split the money four ways ...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To kumu hula Chinky Mahoe, Nippondamic and Herb "Ohta-san" Ohta, who are all celebrating today ... also to Kaipo Hale (Sunday), Gerald Elmore (Monday) and Chris Kamaka and Emme Tomimbang (Wednesday) ...

WITH "FRIENDS" LIKE THIS: Dion Donahue got a nasty surprise recently when his cell phone service was abruptly terminated. Someone Donahue describes an "acquaintance" had borrowed his phone to make a long-distance call and paid for the time with a credit card that the telephone company's records showed had been reported stolen. Donahue's number is back in service, but he missed calls for two TV show auditions in the interim ...

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

John Berger has covered the local
entertainment scene since 1972. Contact
him at jberger@starbulletin.com.



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