What the Heck?
Peetz plans to stick it to Academy
Free from ABC:
Next Saturday evening, jazz pianist Les Peetz brings his innovative quintet to the Honolulu Academy of Arts to, as Peetz puts it, "once again wreak havoc upon the long-suffering Academy."
Expect a concert that ranges from Disney tunes to Coltrane classics to improvisations on a theme by Bartok. Joining Peetz will be Scott Villiger on sax and the remarkable, if little known, Rachel Gonzalez on vocals.
The concert's supported by a grant from ABC Stores. "It's the best of all possible worlds," says Peetz. "We get paid, and the public gets in free."
Pizza Topping: "Hawaii has been very good to us," says Rick Rosenfield, the ex-lawyer who founded California Pizza Kitchen. The two most successful CPKs in the 160-restaurant chain are in Kahala Mall and Ala Moana Center.
So it's no surprise we're getting two more, one in Kailua and another in the old Waikiki Theatre space -- which is slated to be huge, 250 seats, including a spacious lanai.
Don't Drop Bit: In between her anatomy and physiology labs, UH pre-med student Elizabeth "Bit" Harrison finds time to play the sultriest roles in local theater. She played Bombalurina in "Cats" and last Thursday opened with KITV's Keoki Kerr in "Damn Yankees" at Army Community Theatre. She plays the almost irresistible Lola. "I think I'm aiming for a job description that's seductress/doctor," laughs Harrison.
Harrison's tough. She persevered through the entire run of "Cats" despite being dropped three times by her partner, finally, she says, fracturing her acromion. Told you she was pre-med.
All this has Kerr nervous. "One of my main goals is not to drop Bit," says Kerr. "She's suffered enough."
Secret Weapon: At last Wednesday's fundraising dinner, held at the Royal Hawaiian, the Hawaii Council for Economic Education came up with uncommon entertainment. Each table was given a laptop and an hour to participate in a simulated stock market game called Wild Ride. Every table -- most filled with folks from banks, brokerages, corporations, and university econ departments -- started with a hypothetical $100,000. More than half lost money. But one table stunned the room, by turning its $100,000 into $276,855.22.
The adults at that table had a secret weapon. They simply handed the laptop to 13-year-old Dawn Ushijima, an eighth-grader at Hawaii Baptist Academy, who trounced all the pros in the room. If you think that's a fluke, second place went to a team of high schoolers from Iolani.
Mom's Kitchen: It's a game of musical stoves. Kevin Dee, who made quite a name for himself as chef of Grand Café, started last week as sous chef at Kevin Hanney's 12th Avenue Grill.
Dee's predecessor at 12th Avenue Grill, Anthony Vierra, has replaced Dee in the Grand Café kitchen, at least temporarily. He's helping out owner Mona Vierra Chong, who happens to be his mother.
Hat Trick: Last Sunday, Waikiki hosted two tea parties about a mile apart. Some 300 women attended a High Tea at Halekulani to benefit the Hawaii Chapter of the Red Cross. It was an elegant affair, with foie gras finger sandwiches and a stunning fashion show by Chanel.
A few minutes away at the Hawaii Prince, Hawaii Theatre for Youth held a more raucous "Mad Hatter's Tea Party." There the fashion show had amateur models, kids ages 3-18, in surf wear.
Curiously, both events held hat contests. Among the winners at the Red Cross Tea, was Nancy White, head of school at La Pietra, who decorated her hat with ribbons and geegaws and feathers. "I don't think you can say just feathers," said White. "It's like I have a whole bird up there."
Among the winners at the HTY event was 10-year-old Alex Mitchell. Mitchell had spent days building a 3-foot-high creation, which she decorated with glitter, beads, colored paper clips and M&Ms. For her efforts, she won a cake.
Fort Street Boys: Readers of this column may remember some months ago an item on the Fort Street Boys -- a group of retirees, some disabled or ailing, who gathered twice a week on Fort Street Mall, outside a Filipino fast-food restaurant, to play music. They got neither tips nor much applause. They played simply for the love of it.
Since that item, the Fort Street Boys have flourished. The Fort Street Mall Business Improvement Association provided them with a tent for their biweekly jams. First Friday invited them to play on Nuuanu Avenue, and 'Olelo has them recording background music for videos.
None of this pays, notes their leader Albert Maielua. But they're busy. "Seven days -- that's not enough week any more," says Maielua. "My phone's ringing all the time."
You can catch them this Sunday in a free Na Mele concert at Ward Warehouse.
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