What the Heck?
COURTESY IONA CONTEMPORARY DANCE THEATRE
Dancer Danielle Paschal, dressed as a lion, tries to feed animal crackers to guests at the Iona Contemporary Dance Theatre's gala benefit. Other dancers dressed up as a larcenous bird and nut-cracking squirrel.
Iona dancers make mischievous menagerie
Last weekend was sweltering, not the best weather for fancy dress-up outdoor parties. Nonetheless, I attended two.
On the lawn of the Hawaii State Art Museum, the Iona Contemporary Dance Theatre threw its annual fund-raising gala. Its theme was "Where The Wild Things Are," which seemed appropriate when the dancers arrived, some of them riding on Harleys.
Although the food and drink portion of the evening did not go particularly smoothly, it didn't matter, because dinner turned into theater.
Elaborately costumed dancers wended their way through the tables, occasionally wreaking havoc. One dancer, who was dressed as a cross between a lion and a lion tamer, tried to pull my chair out from under me. Another, dressed somewhere between a pirate and a bird, stole bottles of wine. A dancer with a helium-filled Mylar halo went around handcuffing couples together. "I sure hope he comes back with a key," said a guest named Monique. "I don't know how my husband's going to drive home handcuffed to me."
My favorite was the dancer dressed as a squirrel, with a quite luxurious tail and a tool belt. She put a Brazil nut on the table and, after a whack or two, unshelled it with a hammer. Fair warning, though, she carried a sign that said, "Watch your nuts."
Fashion Forward: Last Sunday night was the Ala Moana World Festival, that annual fashion paroxysm, in which 2,500 people get dressed to go to the mall.
The mall was all lights and sound, so much that Ala Moana had to replace a transformer earlier in the week to handle the voltage. It was so hot outside, the action migrated to the by-invite parties in the stores.
At Bally, the champagne and caviar flowed. Fendi was Italian and wild. It seemed like half Honolulu was inside, drinking prosecco and having their photos taken with the models. The other half was outside, clamoring to get in.
Hermes was civilized and French. A heavily mustachioed gentleman named Olivier Robert flew in from Paris, and was painstakingly screening 11 shades of ink onto a Hermes silk scarf. A finished Hermes scarf costs $320. Precise as Robert's work was, no sale. Demonstration scarves like these are sent back to Paris and burned.
Robert spoke no English -- he had a translator. But he did have someone to talk to, chef George Mavrothalassitis, who was providing food for the party.
What did the two Frenchmen discuss? Culture? Fashion? Cuisine? No, said Mavro. "We talked football." That's soccer to you.
Check Please: Have $1,500 to spend on dinner?
Nov. 27, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, The Bistro at Century Center holds a "Best of Bordeaux" wine dinner. After a reception with Cristal champagne, there will be half a dozen wines, great Bordeaux names like Latour, Lafite-Rothschild, Haut-Brion, Margaux, from vintages difficult to find even if you can afford them. The food? Foie gras, duck, veal, rabbit, beef. Dinner concludes with each guest getting a miniature hand-cut Baccarat crystal decanter of Louis XIII cognac.
The wines are so expensive that even at $1,500 a head, the Bistro's unlikely to make any money, insists its wine manager, Douglas Preisel. "In fact, we may lose a little. We're doing this because we want Honolulu to be one of the few places in the world that can to pull off an event like this."
Holding Up Down Under: Next Wednesday, Circus Oz debuts at the Hawaii Theatre. The Australian troupe calls its show "Laughing at Gravity," and its aerial acrobatics depend on some elaborate rigging -- trapezes, cloud swings, that sort of thing.
Normally, Circus Oz would drill holes in the stage floor to secure its equipment. But, oops, you can't do that in a theater that just last week received an award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Instead master rigger David Martin put more than a ton of steel bricks on stage to serve as ballast -- and climbed down to the bottom of the stage elevator to attach some guy wires.
"If you notice any of that, we haven't done our job right," says Martin. "You're just supposed to see the performers."
Why is KHNL weekend anchor Diane Ako on PBS Hawaii, doing a promo for a half-hour PBS show called "Real Simple"?
Ako appears in the November issue of "Real Simple," the magazine from which the show is drawn. The story: In '93, Ako began videotaping interviews with family members, including an aunt, an uncle and a grandmother who have since died.
Ako, in her first year of television, had a practical purpose. "I had to do my own video for some assignments, so I was practicing."
Nonetheless, she's now glad for her family archive. As she says of watching her late grandmother on video, "It's nice to know even after someone is gone, they are still here with me."
COURTESY PROSERVICE HAWAII
ProService Hawaii employees wave signs on Kalanianaole Highway.
Who were those guys holding "VOTE TODAY" signs along Kalanianaole, Nimitz and Vineyard Tuesday? Dustin Sellers of ProService Hawaii led 50 of his employees out to sign wave. Since ProService does mainly back-office human resources work, Sellers says his employees, who were paid for the time, were pumped to be out dealing with the public.
For himself, says Sellers, "I learned new respect for politicians." Even an hour of roadside waving left him with a sore shoulder. "I don't see how anyone can stand out there and wave for hours day after day."