What the Heck?
COURTESY GREG HOWELL
Greg Howell uses 40 voices in a Manoa Valley Theatre play about a moonlighting actor taking reservations for a hot Manhattan restaurant.
Solo slack-key CD gets an elegant launch
A CD release party is often a crowded affair at a bar. Not so for Grammy winner Jeff Peterson's new solo slack-key CD on Palm Records.
Last Sunday afternoon, Phillip Shaw, manager of Michel's, threw Peterson an upscale party. There were tablecloths and silver, champagne in flutes, a buffet filled with things like Caesar salad, garlic-crusted ahi and prime rib.
Peterson, who grew up at Haleakala Ranch, where his father was a paniolo, looks entirely comfortable at Michel's. "It's like my living room," he says. "I've played here four nights a week for more than six years."
Peterson plays jazz on Wednesdays, classical and slack key the rest of time. "We make him play background music, sure," says Shaw. "But it's great background music."
At the party, Peterson played with everyone from Palm Records producer Charles Michael Brotman to singer (and attorney) Lane Hornfeck.
"It's nice to turn the volume up," said Peterson, "without any of the diners complaining."
"They never complain," insisted Shaw.
Hearing Voices: With the help of Hawaii Pacific University prof Betty Burdick, local actor Greg Howell has been working on his voices -- all 40 of them.
A week from Wednesday, Howell opens in "Fully Committed" at Manoa Valley Theatre. He plays an out-of-work actor who's stuck in a basement on the phone, taking reservations for a hot Manhattan restaurant. It's a one-man play, so Howell does every voice, from the daft French chef to imperious diners.
Four years ago at Arts at Marks Garage, Howell did a stripped-down, but still hilarious version of the play. "Everything about this new production is 100 percent better," he promises. "With any luck, including me."
Fore: Whatever happened to Richard Field, since he left R. Field Wine Co.?
In addition to being a wine maven, Field played trumpet in Waikiki bands in the '70s and '80s. He's back at it, playing much the same music with a band called D'Funkt. D'Funkt includes Field's brothers, bass player Mike and drummer Ken, and his son, Michael.
In addition, Field does restaurant and hotel consulting on the West Coast.
"Sorry, Richard," I said over the phone. "I always tell people you're just playing golf."
"Hold on," said Field. "I'm putting the phone down. My turn to tee off."
COURTESY ALOHA DAYS, HULA NIGHTS COOKBOOK.
The scallop sandwich is featured in the newest Junior League cookbook.
The Junior League of Hawaii has published its third fundraising cookbook, "Aloha Days, Hula Nights." No spiral-bound collection of community recipes, it's a full-size hardbound book with four-color photos (for a copy, 946-6466 or www.JuniorLeagueofHonolulu.org
Of the 750 recipes were submitted, 375 made it into the book. A committee, headed up by Carole Berg, spent two years meeting once a week to taste test the recipes, 10 or 12 at a time.
"Most nights we got really, really full," says Berg. "Except for the night we tested the cocktail recipes. That night we got very, very happy."
The "What is Hawaii Music?" conference moves to Oahu next Saturday, at Kamehameha Schools.
The lunchtime speaker is none other than "Whodaguy" Ron Jacobs, the original Poi Boy who went on to invent American Top 40 radio on the Mainland. Jacobs will speak on the history of Hawaii radio.
Jacob's bound to tell the story of how the two newspapers raced each other to get a radio station on the air in 1922, the Advertiser with KGU and the Star-Bulletin with KGMB. KGMB went on the air first: Someone said, "Aloha, aloha," and the state-of-the-art 1922 equipment promptly blew up. So KGU gets the title for being the first to stay on the air for longer than two words.
But if you get a chance, ask Ron about Jumpin' George West, the disk jockey who once was sent to jail for trying to fix a radio contest, and who got fired for chasing Jacobs through the KPOI studies with a gun.
The highlight of last Friday's Ka Palapala Po'okela, the local book awards, was a speech by KITV reporter Denby Fawcett, whose account of her Vietnam experiences was published in the Random House book, "War Torn."
In addition to her TV reporting, writing and hula, Fawcett has managed to finish the coursework for a Ph.D. in anthropology. All she has left to do is write her dissertation -- on human responses to catastrophes. "The only trouble is lately I'm too busy covering them to do anything academic about them," she says.
Up the Ladder: Half the town seemed to show up for the final event of this year's Louis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival--a screening of Emme Tomimbang's "Mabuhay with Aloha," the two-hour director's cut.
The Philippine consul general was there, and as were both congressional candidates, Mazie Hirono and Bob Hogue, plus Gov. Linda Lingle and former Gov. Ben Cayetano.
"You know what I learned from the film?" Cayetano told me at the pre-show reception. "When we still had capital punishment, 80 percent of those executed were Filipino. The juries were all Caucasian and Chinese. Man, we started at the bottom of the social ladder."
Trashy: Serial entrepreneur Jon Farmer, who's sold 90,000 bottles of "Pure Hawaiian Air," is at it again. For $25 each, he's selling Tropical Trash, clear plastic boxes filled with litter he picks up all over the Islands. He's selective, nothing that leaks or oozes, but he never runs out of raw material.
"I'm sick of all the trash I find everywhere," he says. "If I can get someone to buy some of it and take it home with them, it's all good."