What the Heck?
COURTESY ANNIE ROGERS / LA PIETRA
Singers Annie MacLachlan, Shari Lynn and Rose Marie Barbee and trumpet player Deshannon Higa perform at a fundraiser for La Pietra. Also on the bill were Azure McCall and Jimmy Borges, among others.
Shari Lynn lets the music star at La Pietra
With A Little Help From My Friends:
How do you pull together the vocal jazz event of year? "It's easy," says Shari Lynn. "Have talented friends."
Lynn, director of music at La Pietra, assembled nearly all the jazz singers in town for a school fundraiser last Sunday night -- Ginai, Rose Marie Barbee, Annie MacLachlan, Sonya Mendez. Azure McCall flew in from the Big Island, where she now has a regular gig at the Hilton Waikoloa.
On the bill was Jimmy Borges, who sang "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" for wife Vicki on her birthday. "You wouldn't risk a quiet song at most fundraisers," said Jimmy, "but at this one the crowd actually listens." It was simply picnic supper on the lawn, with the music starring.
Call Baiting: It's probably good you don't have comedian Augie Tulba's new cell phone number. While you wait for him to pick up, you don't hear the usual ringback tones.
Instead an authoritative voice informs you: "Your breath really stinks. What's worse, the person on the other end will be able to smell your breath right through the phone."
Three years ago, the KCC Farmers Market opened with a dozen farmers, most skeptical it would ever amount to anything. Last weekend on its third anniversary, nearly 50 venders drew a crowd of 3,000 shoppers, all jostling to get at the North Shore teardrop tomatoes and Nalo Farms arugula.
"This proves agriculture is not dead," pronounced Mayor Mufi Hannemann. The mayor participated in a corn-husking contest against, among others, Hawaii Farm Bureau president Dean Okimoto. At one point, the mayor announced, "I'm beating the farmer." At the end, however, they tied, and both were outhusked by chef Roy Yamaguchi.
After husking corn, Yamaguchi did a cooking demonstration -- monchong with sea asparagus and caviar, a dish only Roy could insist was "really simple."
Anyone who remembers the taciturn Yamaguchi of only a few years ago would be shocked at the new media-savvy Roy. He hammed it up for the crowd, joking and mentioning at every available opportunity he had his own line of cookware on the Home Shopping Network.
"Shameless self-promotion," heckled the market's director, Eleanor Nakama-Mitsunaga. "A tough crowd," riposted Yamaguchi.
"I can tease him all I want," said Nakama-Mitsunaga, who used to work on Yamaguchi's TV show. "I remember when we couldn't even get him to talk into a microphone, he was so scared."
Coming Up Short:
New York's Fashion Week ended last Friday. Amid the glitz, glamour and celebrities were Cherie Stamm-Roberts and a crew of four stylists from the Aveda Salon & Spa in Ala Moana Center, doing models' hair at the shows.
The Honolulu stylists were trailed by their own video crew, Julie Aragaki and Shawnee Hammer of the OC-16 program Hawaii In Style TV. The aggressive New York fashion press didn't know what to make of the two. "They were all wearing stinky T-shirts and jeans," says Aragaki. "We were in sparkly dresses, heels and glitter make-up."
Dressed for a party, the two ended up in the cramped "press pits" of the fashion tents. "Everyone had already staked out their spot," says Aragaki. Only 5 feet tall, she made it to the front row. Taller photographers would let her stand in front and shoot over her. "It's the only time in my life when being so short has been an advantage."
Kapolei Eats: "People laughed when we first came up with the idea for Taste at Kapolei," says Keola Lloyd, who has chaired the event for the last seven years. "For the first two or three years, they made fun of us."
That's because dining opportunities in the second city are sparse. "That's why we called it the Taste AT Kapolei, instead of Taste OF."
After seven years, the fundraising event at Ko Olina draws four dozen restaurants from all over the island. It's so successful that this year it's split into two nights. The main event next Saturday costs $70 a head, with Henry Kapono headlining the entertainment. A Friday event, at $150 a head, stars chefs like Kelvin Ro, Chai Chaowasaree and Randal Ishizu, plus a whole lineup of wineries.
Last year the event allowed the Kapolei Rotary to give 69 college scholarships, averaging $1,800, to students from five Leeward high schools, plus a $20,000 grant to Leeward Community College. "Nobody's laughing now," says Lloyd.
Yupik? Next Sunday is Yupik Family Day at the East-West Center. What's a Yupik? A native group that lives along Western Alaska and Russia's Far East. East-West curator Michael Schuster promises story telling, performances, and some of the most beautiful crafts and furs you have ever seen. Of course, you don't have to be Yupik to attend.
"Oh, that would be hardly anyone," says Schuster. "There are only four Yupiks living here. No, wait a minute, five. I met another one yesterday."
"Thoroughly Modern Millie" opens Friday at Diamond Head Theatre. But 10 days ago, the show's director, Darren Lee, split for Tokyo.
That's the way he planned it, says DHT artistic director John Rampage. Lee, who'd done 10 shows on Broadway, including "Millie," had only a four-week puka between gigs in Japan.
Apparently enough time to put the DHT show together. Lee didn't give the cast a day off in four weeks, got the show blocked, choreographed, directed and done. "I've never seen a better director," said Rampage.
Lee's assistant director, Melanie Tojio Lockyer, is keeping the cast tuned up. Hopefully, Rampage says, the show will be extended long enough for Lee to catch closing night. "It would be nice if Darren saw the finished product at least once."