Our Picks for the Weekend
Willie K sets Oahu show as part of holiday series
This week's critics picks all tie in with Christmas. First, Hawaii's favorite kolohe uncle, Willie Kahaiali'i, makes another rare appearance on Oahu as part of his 2006 "Willie Kalikimaka" Christmas concert series.
Kahaiali'i performs on Sunday at Paliku Theatre in Kaneohe, following a concert at the Big Island's Kahilu Theatre on Friday. He also will play at Kauai Community College on Tuesday. Tickets for the Oahu performance are priced at $25 and $30; call 235-7310 or visit www.etickethawaii.com.
The concert series is named after Kahaiali'i's popular Christmas album, originally released in 1999. "Willie Kalikimaka" contains a number of holiday standards, including "Mele Kalikimaka," "Away in a Manger," "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" and "O Holy Night." In a nod to local fans, he also recorded a track called "Reggae Christmas."
It's Nabors' last year to lead Christmas show
Jim Nabors brings his annual Christmas show, "A Merry Christmas with Friends and Nabors," to the Hawaii Theatre. This is the singer's final year participating in this Christmas show. The 10th annual staging opens Friday and ends when the curtain falls on Sunday.
The show has been a labor of love for the personable entertainer: Nabors has donated his time and talents each year. With the late Tom Hansen as the show's director, and set and property design by Wally White, past shows presented the production values of a nationally televised Christmas special.
Returning with Nabors are his longtime co-stars Emma Veary and Karen Keawehawaii, along with Jimmy Borges, Philip Huber and the Huber Marionettes, Guy Merola, the Company Singers directed by Chuck Anctil, kumu hula Chinky Mahoe and Halau Hula O Kawaili 'ula, and the kids of the Diamond Head Theatre Shooting Stars.
Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 to $75. Call 528-0506 or visit www.hawaiitheatre.com.
KIPO's seasonal fare features original stories
There's always traffic during the holiday season but don't let road rage overcome you.
Instead, use the time to sing along to Christmas carols with the kids (FM station 99.5 "The Jewel" has been playing around-the-clock holiday music) or tune in to 89.3 FM, KIPO, at 3 p.m. Sundays through Christmas to hear some original Christmas stories and poems.
Scheduled to air are "Kana Kaloka, a Children's Christmas Story," "Mr. e to the Rescue , a Holiday Story," "Kanaka Christmas" and "Da Very First Christmas" by the late Lucky Luck.
Poems include "The Greatest Gift," "The Christmas Prayer" and "Cease Fire."
If you're one of those who has finished all your Christmas shopping and doesn't have to leave the house, you can catch the program on www.hawaiipublicradio. org.
Keith and Carmen Haugen host the weekly show.
ABC Family channel has lots of Christmas specials
There are many inexpensive things to do with the family during the holidays (see Pages 11 to 13) but for those who like to spend the evening at home, bundled up on the couch with a honey and/or the keiki, the ABC Family channel has been running its 25 Days of Christmas shows.
There's something Christmasy to watch almost every day until Christmas. There are oldies making its way back to the small screen and a couple of new movies, too.,
Here's the schedule:
"Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and the Island of Misfit Toys," Friday; "Christmas Do-Over," starring Jay Mohr, Saturday; "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," a live-action film with Jim Carrey, Sunday; repeat of "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town," Monday; "Frosty's Winter Wonderland," Tuesday; "The Year Without a Santa Claus," Wednesday; "Rudolph's Shiny New Year," Dec. 22; "Eloise at Christmastime," Dec. 23; "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," Dec. 24; and "The Christmas List," Dec. 25.
2840 Kapiolani Blvd. (formerly Bea's) / 737-0230
When people ask for a recommendation for a Japanese restaurant, one must do some sleuthing before answering. Those who like traditional cuisine or local, old-school, off-the-plantation cooking are put off by some of the new entries to the market, writing them off as being too brash, too irreverent, too disrespectful.
Out of all the newbies, Gazen seems to bridge the distance between old and new. The menu starts with comfort foods such as a teppan-cooked omelet ($4.75) and zaru tofu ($5.75) made fresh on site. You wouldn't think such dishes could be so velvety luxurious, but they are. I could eat another dish of tofu in a broth of soy milk and dashi ($6.75) every day.
Moving forward, those who need a steak-and-onions fix can get that in an order of grilled beef ($8.75), accompanied by bits of goat cheese and a gritty dipping sauce of salt, coarse ground pepper and sesame oil. There's not much steak to a serving, but the sauce makes it memorable.
Tsukune ($5.75) is served as a ground chicken patty that, sauce and all, comes close to mimicking the flavor and texture of foie gras.
If you're looking for something with the heft of a plate lunch, there is grilled pork ($11.75) served in mild creamy garlic sauce with flecks of watercress, and grilled hen with a truly garlicky tomato-herb sauce ($9.75), both served with a tangle of capellini and small salad of mizuna.
Finish with dessert offerings of creme brulee and ice cream with dots of sesame sauce ($4.75) or sweet potato mochi and ice cream afloat in a pool of delicate Earl Grey sauce ($4.75).
Open 5 to 11:45 p.m. daily. Dinner for two about $30 without drinks.
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