Our Picks for the Weekend
'Youthful Energy' concert boasts 2 conductors
Because we won't let you walk away without at least one nugget of useless information, know this: The end of "Die Hard 2" was scored with Sibelius' "Finlandia," likely because director Renny Harlin is from Finland, and Sibelius' musical poem is a national treasure. The patriotic music was also likely cold comfort during World War II.
Relive the Finnish days of yore at this weekend's Honolulu Symphony Orchestra's Masterworks production "Youthful Energy," with both Henry Miyamura and Gregory Vajda slinging the baton, Lilya Zilberstein polishing the ivories and the Hawaii Youth Symphony Orchestra pas-de-deuxing with the grown-up orchestra.
Also on the bill, Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Russian Easter Overture" and Beethoven's "Leonore Overture No. 3." It all happens at 8 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Sunday at the Blaisdell Concert Hall. Admission ranges from $15 to $68, and just $10 for students. Information: 792-2000 or www.honolulusymphony.com.
Nancy Kwan helps 2 local charities raise funds
Remember Nancy Kwan, the hapa girl whose star turn in "The World of Suzie Wong" 47 years ago made her an international celebrity? She'll visit Honolulu this week to help two local charities and greet audience members at the premiere of her new independent film.
Kwan will model at a luncheon and fashion show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel to raise money for the Chinese Women's Club of Honolulu. Cost is $55. Call Daisy Chun at 536-6772 or Violet Tam at 737-9046.
On Sunday, Kwan will greet the audience and sign autographs at a showing of "Ray of Sunshine," an art-house movie produced and directed by her husband, Norbert Meisel. Tickets are $28 at the Hawaii Theatre box office. Proceeds go to the Hawaii Rotary Youth Foundation scholarship fund. Call 528-0506.
Merrie Monarch Festival will be covered by KITV
If you're watching any TV this weekend, it'll be hard to ignore KITV's thorough coverage of the 44th annual Merrie Monarch Festival from Hilo. Starting at 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, the prestigious hula competition that's followed by fans far and wide will be featuring the best interpretations of hula kahiko (ancient) and hula 'auana (contemporary) from halau from the islands and the mainland. The station's Web site at www.thehawaiichannel.com will also provide live streaming video of the event online.
The Miss Aloha Hula competition kicks off the festival on Thursday, with hula kahiko and hula 'auana competitions on Friday and Saturday, respectively. The final day will also include the awards ceremony.
For complete lists for Miss Aloha Hula contestants and the competing wahine and kane halau. Go to www.thehawaiichannel.com/merriemonarch/. It's the next best thing to being there.
Sunset on the Beach films go environmental
In celebration of Earth Month, this weekend's Sunset on the Beach will have a distinctively environmental theme. Movies to be screened on Waikiki Beach will include two Oscar winners, the animated feature "Happy Feet" on Saturday and the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" Sunday.
The movies will start approximately at 7:30 p.m. Food booths will open earlier in the afternoon at 4, with live entertainment starting 5. Saturday's musical groups will be the Beatles tribute band Rubber Soul and Country Kru, and Sunday's music will be provided by Pohaku.
The event, as always, is free to the public.
Buon Amici Ristorante
3605 Waialae Ave. / 732-5999
For restaurant regulars, change is scary. After you've found all your favorite dishes on a menu, change often means starting the hunt for food all over again, just when you've begun to feel comfortable.
It's one thing when an unpopular restaurant closes, but quite another when a restaurant insinuates itself into your life, as did C&C Pasta for many a Kaimuki dweller. A good restaurant can serve as a "second home." The idea that Buon Amici would even try to step into the role carved out by C&C was fraught with the sort of peril that greets would-be stepmoms, stepdads and kin. But I have a feeling the bonding is well under way, as the restaurant's name, meaning "good friends," implies. It's hard to get a table on weekends; weekdays are another story, but that has something to do with prices that are higher than what people expect from an Italian restaurant. Can any restaurateur blame us when most of us were weaned on $9 pasta from Auntie Pasto's and Assaggio's?
The difference is that Buon Amici delivers authenticity in the form of handmade pastas cooked al dente by a chef from Tuscany with the help of a former C&C staffer, who add a touch of familiarity for old times' sake.
If you just want a quick bite, show up early for antipasto della casa ($14.95 for two) paired with a salad ($8.95 to $13.95). The antipasto platter delivers all the food groups in a format that's easy to swallow, starting with mozzarella caprese ($9.95 a la carte), slices of prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe, fried calamari ($9.95 a la carte), marinated zucchini and bruschetta.
I wanted to love the cappellacci alla suzette ($21.95), hat-shaped pasta filled with butternut squash, parmesan and walnuts, but the large size of the pasta gave it all the palatability of uncooked wonton pi. I loved the squash, but there wasn't enough of the moist filling to compensate for the doughy parts.
The stringier pastas get my vote for being able to hold onto sauce, such as the linguine tossed with mushrooms in a creamy almond pesto mascarpone sauce ($18.95), with four Pacific Northwest singing scallops ringing the plate, still attached to their pretty shells. Other entrees are pricey and fail to deliver satisfaction to match. Stick to the pastas.
Hours: 5:30 to 9 p.m. Dinner for two about $50 to $80; B.Y.O.B., $5 corkage fee per person.
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