Honolulu Lite. Extra.
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Honolulu lawyers and other volunteers rehearse their moves for an upcoming fund-raiser musical, including Dianne Brookins, left, Charlotte Carter-Yamauchi, David Farmer and Charley Memminger.
Non-serious stage fun aids serious cause
My feelings weren't even hurt when I learned I'd be playing Frankenstein's monster in a Saturday stage production to benefit the Hawaii Women's Legal Foundation. If I were into self pity, I could mumble, "Always the monster, never the monster creator." But I remember when I was called upon to play a dead bloated corpse at one of these theatrical affairs, so Frankenstein's monster is a step up.
Lawyers on stage
Hawaii Women's Legal Foundation fund-raiser.
On stage: Saturday
Place: Hilton Hawaiian Village
Tickets: $150, includes dinner and show. Order by Wednesday.
Call: Barbie Rosario, 864-7983
The cause: 100 percent of proceeds will go to organizations protecting the legal rights of women, children and victims of domestic abuse.
I was a bit dismayed that none of the musical skits would have me in a pink ball gown, since I actually own one. I got it at a used-clothing store in preparation for yet another musical revue years ago. I found it on what can charitably be called the "large" end of the dress rack. I don't know who the original owner was, but I hope to never meet this gigantress. Fearing I'd never find such a fetching outfit again that would actually fit me, I've kept the gown in my closet for years and it's had hardly any negative psychological impact on my growing daughter.
The Hawaii Women's Legal Foundation, henceforth referred to as the HWLF, provides grants to a number of organizations that in turn provide legal aid and protection to women and children, particularly victims of domestic violence, according to Bernice Littman, who is on the grant-distribution committee.
It's serious business, but the HWLF's found a not-so-serious way to raise money for the cause. Each year the women lawyers host a dinner, stage performance and silent auction. They manage to hoodwink, browbeat and otherwise bully victims, I mean, volunteers to take part in the theatrical portion, which this year is based on Halloween-kine characters lip-synching parody tunes about Hawaii politics.
As Michael Titterton, president of Hawaii Public Radio and former Shakespearean actor, will explain in a Hamlet-like skit, "It's about scary things that happened in Honolulu in the past year."
To which island theater legend Terence Knapp will ask, "Is it a comedy or a tragedy?"
"Well, if it isn't the former, it will certainly be the latter," says Titterton.
It certainly seemed to be edging toward the tragic as the cast met for rehearsal last week. Most of the cast are lawyers and, frankly, teaching lawyers dance steps is like herding geckos with a leaf blower. Carole Richelieu, apparently the only lawyer in town with any rhythm, was doing a noble job as choreographer.
Since I'm Frankenstein's monster, I need to look as uncoordinated as possible, so I was lucky there.
I don't want to give too much of the show away, but the song lyrics should have people (and certain canines) howling.
Media attorney Jeff Portnoy, not known for excessive shyness, will take part in a parody of the theme song from "The Addams Family." It's called "The Rutledge Family" and, having seen the lyrics, I think it's good that there'll be plenty of lawyers around. We may need them.
Other targets of the poison pen, or at least angry laptop, include indicted liquor commission investigators and a certain recently appointed "Democratic" state legislator and thorn in the side of Gov. Linda Lingle.
Most politicians aren't smart enough to realize that it's better to be in the cast of one of these productions than the brunt of the songs. That's why Mayor Mufi Hannemann agreed to appear in a few skits. He didn't show up for the first rehearsal, which caused some consternation by cast members and diabolical smiles by parodists. Mufi, as your columnist, I advise you to make the next rehearsal or you just might end up the subject of a scathing -- yet hilarious -- bit of theatrical whimsy that will make the sketch about the notorious new legislator seem like a kiss on the cheek. Remember, your honor, these are LAWYERS.
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Charles Memminger, winner of National Society of Newspaper Columnists awards, appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org