What the Heck?
Just imagine: Lingle for U.S. Senate
It's the persistent table talk at every insider lunch around town. Gov. Lingle, the story goes, is under pressure from national Republicans to forget re-election and run instead for the Senate. The scenario: Case, with the help of crossover Republican votes, unseats Akaka. Lingle, with a huge war chest and no incumbent in the race, beats Case, giving the Republicans one more Senate vote.
"We've heard it, we've said over and over she's running for governor," says the gov's communications guru, Lenny Klompus. "You know what's fueling the talk? Wishful thinking on the part of the Democrats."
For Valentine's Day this Tuesday, the Waikiki Aquarium offers "Seaduction," where couples can share a candlelit meal amid the aquarium's exhibits.
Last-minute types are out of luck. The $300 evening for two is limited to 35 couples, and the aquarium started getting reservations last Feb. 15. Why the hurry? Couples want to specify which displays they sit next to.
According to aquarium director Andrew Rossiter, the tank of sea jellies is popular. "They're like living lava lamps." But the tables that went first were by the sharks. Shrugs Rossiter, "What sharks have to do with romance, I can't tell you."
There's nothing more romantic than Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." The Hawaii Shakespeare Festival just opened a version of the play at The ARTS at Marks Garage. Called "Femme Capulet," it has the original language, but runs backwards in time, from tragic finale to first kiss. And it comes with a warning about sex and violence.
The violence is authentic Shakespeare. It's updated for the modern stage by producer Tony Pisculli, who's Hawaii's expert on stage combat. He warns, "People look at fights on film without flinching, but shoot somebody on stage in front of them and they react."
As for sex, this play's set in a strip bar. (Femme Capulet, Femme Nu, you get it now, right?) Says Pisculli, "If you come to the play expecting a full-on strip bar, you may be disappointed. But people expecting straight Shakespeare may be shocked."
A special Valentine's performance Tuesday will feature lap dances by the play's Femme Capulet dancers and, as Pisculli puts it, "naughty door prizes," donated by Sensually Yours.
Big O: Speaking of Sensually Yours, owner Shellee Rose says that Valentine's Day is her adult boutique's Super Bowl. "It's bigger than Christmas, more business and more men." Big sellers include real roses dipped in 24K gold, lingerie and a device called the Rabbit Habit. (OK, Google it if you must.)
The Rabbit Habit was featured prominently in "Sex and the City" and recommended by O, Oprah's magazine. Outside of that little mix-up about James Frey's book, Oprah wouldn't steer you wrong, would she?
Sushi and Salsa: Congratulations to Compadres for making the "Best of Yahoo." Oddly enough, Compadres was listed among Hawaii's best in nine Yahoo.com categories, which did not include Mexican food. Among other honors, it was named among the best for steak, hamburgers, sandwiches and sushi. Compadres doesn't serve sushi.
After he served many years on its volunteer board, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu has named mega-chef Sam Choy honorary director for life. "The board had term limits," says Executive Director Dennis Brown, "but we had to find a way to keep Sam."
For the organization's annual Gourmet Affair, Choy has encouraged a succession of celebrity chefs like Todd English, Ming Tsai and Emeril Lagasse to donate their time and talents. Over the last decade, the event has raised over $1 million to support the mentoring program.
For this year's event, scheduled for April 15, Choy is bringing in chefs from Google. Really.
Google has seven large restaurants on its Mountain View, Calif., campus, where Choy has made several guest chef appearances.
Choy, who calls them the Google Guys, says they can really cook and use only the freshest organic ingredients, which they plan to ship over in 40 large coolers.
20 Percent Sure:
George Kahumoku Jr. comes home from Los Angeles with a Grammy. Kahumoku not only played on the winning album, "Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar," he organizes the weekly Kapalua, Maui, concerts where it was recorded live.
Caught about to board a plane home, he said he was "only 80 percent surprised" at his win. He added with a laugh, "About 20 percent of me believed we'd get it for sure."
His Kapalua concerts continue, but starting tomorrow, Kahumoku will also have the Maui Myth and Magic Theatre every Monday to stage a full-scale Hawaiian revue. This Monday's show includes, among others, a chorus from Lahainaluna High School, where Kahumoku teaches. Ceramics, not music.
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