What the Heck?
Moore's Western, Danno piano
Hasn't been announced, but sometime in June look for a new play by KHON anchor Joe Moore. No, it's not about a ruthless corporation that buys a local TV station, cuts staff to the bone and re-sells for a quick profit.
Called "Unlawful Lawman," it's a Western. Like "Brokeback Mountain?" "No, no," laughs Moore. "Like 'Gunsmoke.'"
Danno's Piano: Headlining next Saturday's "Encore Sale" at the Hawaii Theatre will be a piano donated by James MacArthur, who, despite a half-century of showbiz credits, will always be Danno from "Hawaii Five-O." MacArthur was glad to donate his piano, he said, "because that theatre's such a beautiful damn place." The Kawai upright is expected to fetch at least $1,500.
International Harmony: Brickwood Galuteria was lunching with a national Democratic Party official at Café Sistina. At the next table, Jake Shimabukuro was hosting a party. Jake spontaneously whipped out his uke, and one of his guests burst into Hawaiian song, with a decided Italian accent.
Galuteria, who had no idea who Jake's guests were, explained to his visitor from Washington that this was an only-in-Hawaii experience. "Where else would you hear 'Pua 'Olena' sung by an Italian, followed by 'Ave Maria' played by an Okinawan on the 'ukulele."
Galuteria couldn't tell me who the Italian singer might be. So I made a few calls. Turns out it was Gigi Cocquio, who, one of his friends insisted, was "nearly a saint."
A former Catholic priest, Cocquio went from Italy to the slums of Manila to Makaha. He now heads up Hoa Aina o Makaha. The organization is home to an international peace center and many community groups. It's also a working farm where Cocquio both raises crops and teaches children from local schools the lessons of the 'aina.
Cocquio has regularly sent Jake's CDs back home to Italy, where his nephew was teaching himself to play ukulele. The nephew recently married, and he and his bride honeymooned in Hawaii. Cocquio made a call to his friend Shimabukuro, "a wonderful, humble guy," setting up the lunch.
Ironically, for Cocquio, a high point of the day was spotting Galuteria, who he recognized from TV. "I know when I sing in Hawaiian, my pronunciation is not right," says the Italian, "but that Brickwood, what a guy. From the next table, he just started singing along. Beautiful voice."
Hidden Treasures: Last Monday saw a low-key but remarkably well-fed fundraiser for the Bishop Museum at Morton's Steak House. In a side room were never-before-displayed paintings from the museum. Two were badly in need of restoration -- for which the museum hoped to raise funds.
The museum has 4,000 paintings and drawings, said museum VP Betty Lou Kam, 99 percent of which are tucked away in storage, awaiting the money to mount a gallery. "It's a great collection," said Kam. "It would nice if someone else besides us could see it."
Gimme Shelter: If you've got $15 million, there's a brand-new beachfront home for sale at 4577 Kahala Ave.
Developer Don Eovino threw a party last week to show off the new property. There were shrimp and scallops on the marble countertops in the kitchen. Wine next to the infinity pool -- only white wine in case someone spilled on the new carpet. The biggest hit of the evening were the exotic dancers brought by the Don Tiki band.
The house looks like a miniature neighbor island resort. There's an outdoor shower in case you can't start your day without being wet and naked in the open air, shielded from the maid's quarters by a moss rock wall.
The master bedroom is 1,200 square feet -- room enough for a massive bed with two king-sized mattresses side by side, in case you stretch out when you sleep, or have a lot of very close friends.
Rising Star: Last week I listed the Hawaii chefs in the running for the regional James Beard award. But I neglected to mention that Kevin Chong, chef de cuisine at Chef Mavro, was on the ballot for Rising Star Chef. That's a national, not a regional award, and could make the modest Chong a star indeed.
Worth the Drive: Virtually all the downtown and Chinatown galleries mounted shows by native Hawaiian artists last weekend.
Hawaiian sculptor Henry Hopfe showed at the Pacific Traditions Gallery on Pauahi Street. Hopfe hardly ever leaves his Waianae studio. He hates driving to town. "When they asked me, I went, 'Eh, I don't tink I'll show up.'"
He did, and was blown away by the thousands of people on the streets for First Friday. "Usually when you tell people you're a Hawaiian artist, they say, 'What, you make T-shirts?'" says the master sculptor and woodworker. "It's nice to get some recognition once in a while."
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