What the Heck?
COURTESY OF JAIME KINOSHITA
Roy and Karen Kawaji and Tanna and Bryson Dang got into the spirit of the White Signature mock prom Wednesday. CLICK FOR LARGE
Prom date ends up in tacky bridal party
"Want to go to the prom with me?" asked one of my friends. It'd been a long time since I'd heard that question. So I said yes.
The White Signature Prom at Rumours last Wednesday was actually a launch party for White, a source book of Oahu wedding professionals.
The book was the brainchild of two couples -- Tanna and Bryson Dang, the current owners of Manoa's Wedding Cafe, and its former owners, Karen and Roy Kawaji.
"The book looks a little like a high school yearbook," said Tanna. "So I thought, why not a prom?"
Remarkably, the assembled wedding planners, dress designers, make-up artists, florists, photographers and videographers got into it. A half dozen young ladies arrived in formal dresses and immediately unpacked a bag of matching wrist corsages.
There were many tributes to '80s bad taste, much bad hair and thrift-shop finery. Roy Kawaji outdid himself in a fluorescent pink tuxedo, complete with a mullet wig.
It was more fun than a real prom, if only because there was an open bar and no one took it too seriously, even the balloting for prom queen.
The minute the queen was announced, hostess Tanna Dang whipped a tiara from behind her back and put it on her own head, with a perfect "Me? Really? Who would have thought it?" expression. The room cheered.
"It's our party," she said afterward. "Who else was I gonna let win?"
Outclassed By Omaha? Last week, Mayor Mufi Hannemann insisted that the arrival of "The Lion King" would help define Honolulu as "a world-class city."
Excuse me. We're talking about a touring company of a decade-old Broadway musical. The best the show could do for its news conference was fly in one of its performers who's currently doing the show in Omaha, Neb., population 370,000.
To make room for the touring company, the city kicked the Honolulu Symphony out of the Concert Hall. The symphony's still scrambling to book a venue.
Just asking, but don't world-class cities usually take care of their symphonies? Omaha does. Its orchestra wasn't displaced by the month-long run of "The Lion King" there, because the Omaha Symphony plays in a brand-new $92 million performing arts center with brilliant acoustics.
Late Night Flash:
I was amazed at the number of people ready to party last Sunday night, starting at 10 p.m. Sure, the next day was a holiday, a day off for bankers, civil servants and teachers. But few of the folks who showed late at the W looked like they fell into those categories.
That didn't deter them from paying $15 at the door for a champagne-and-go-go-dancers nightlife extravaganza thrown jointly by Honolulu Magazine and Flash. Flash needs no other name. At age 32, he's the king of late-night Honolulu.
His parents called him Rob Hansen. Years ago, when he worked the bar at Pure Platinum, there were two Robs. His manager dubbed him Flash. ("I don't know why," he says.)
That name followed him to The Wave, where for eight years he was promotions manager. These days, he's a nightclubber without a nightclub, throwing parties in bars and restaurants all over town, starting late when most of the regular customers have gone home.
What's it like to party for a living? "Lots of people want to do this," he says. "But if you're in it just to drink all night and meet ladies, you're not going to last. The one thing I learned from Jack Law at the Wave was: This is a business, never forget you're working."
Love and Money: In the VIP room at the Flash/Honolulu Magazine party, I met Lt. Andy Baldwin, who's going to be famous. This spring, Baldwin will try to select his one true love from among the 25 women on "The Bachelor," the reality-TV show that's often been a rocky road to romance.
In addition to having a 1,000-megawatt smile, Baldwin's a Navy doctor, a diver and a triathlete, which may explain why he's been too busy to find his own girlfriend.
"Do you get paid to do the show?" I asked. No. Baldwin got the gig when he was recommended to the show's casting director by a fellow triathlete, who he'd identify only as Shawn. Shawn got a $5,000 finders fee. "I didn't see a penny," says Baldwin.
Due to the media blitz for the new Hart & Huntington Tattoo parlor in Waikiki, I am currently sporting a stylish honu tattoo -- inked by local artist Jack Omoto, but with a Sharpie pen, not a needle. Showed it to one of tattooed friends. She was unimpressed: "Gee, that should last for ... hours."
Also getting the temporary tattoos were Councilmember Donovan Dela Cruz, who got the kanji for strength on his forearm, and KITV's Jill Kuramoto, who was getting what looked like an artichoke on her shoulder. Turned out to be a lotus blossom. Pamela Young got a skull and crossbones. "I'm expressing my inner pirate," she said.
The Hart in Hart & Huntington turns out to be Carey Hart, a cheerful young guy with tattoos even behind his ears. Hart's a famous motocross racer. "Considering your profession, you look pretty intact," I said. He showed me the wrist he'd fractured four weeks ago, his 58th broken bone.
His knuckles were tattooed L-U-C-K. The other hand read: H-A-R-T. "I either have great luck or none at all," he said.