What the Heck?
PHOTO COURTESY OF FOUR SEASONS WAILEA
Four Seasons Wailea pastry chef Rhonda Ashton fits model Olivia Coletti with a chocolate bikini for a Maui Film Festival party. Unfortunately, the chocolate melted.
Maui fest shows film stars under the stars
Spent last weekend at the Maui Film Festival. More than 50 films at five venues, three of them open-air. At the stunning Celestial Cinema, 3,000 people a night spent $20 to watch a double feature from lawn chairs on the Wailea Gold driving range. There's an unwavering 30-by-50-foot screen, sound provided by Dolby Digital, which calls this the premiere outdoor venue on earth.
The festival's very Maui -- and very Hollywood. William Hurt and Claire Danes made red carpet entrances at the Four Seasons Wailea. Danes, looking ethereally blond and remarkably thin, also showed at the festival's signature party, the $175-a-ticket Taste of Wailea. In addition to scores of producers and cable network executives, there were writers from Variety, the Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Magazine.
"We get more attention nationally than we do from Oahu," says festival director Barry Rivers. "I hope eventually they figure out we have something good going over here."
Wardrobe Malfunction: One of the festival's glittering afterparties was "A Taste of Chocolate," held at the Four Seasons new DUO restaurant: chocolate fountains, chocolate cakes, mousses, martinis. Not to mention, the girl in the chocolate bikini: Maui model Olivia Coletti.
Asked Coletti if her bikini was really chocolate. "No, but it was supposed to be," she said.
Before the party, Four Seasons pastry chef Rhonda Ashton carefully cut a bikini out of chocolate sheets and fitted it to Coletti. Nobody remembered that chocolate melts at body temperature. "We tried patching the holes with candy daisies, but they melted, too," says Coletti. "Finally, I told them that if my clothes were going to melt off, I was going to have to double my rate."
More Maui: The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua holds its annual food and wine festival next weekend -- and then shuts down until December, for a $110 million renovation. Resort cultural adviser, Clifford Nae'ole, took the Ritz-Carlton's new owner, Karim Alibhai, out to a sacred burial site on the property and offered him a bowl of 'awa -- as long as he promised he let nothing into the renovated hotel that wasn't authentically Hawaiian.
Watch what you wish for. Instead of getting vacation during the renovation, Nae'ole is in charge of instructing the construction crews in cultural sensitivity and examining everything that goes into the hotel to make sure it's pono.
Visualization: Eric Gilliom, brother of Amy, partner with Willy K in the band Barefoot Natives, accepted the Na Hoku award last week for Barefoot Natives' debut CD. Then he turned to his sister: "Amy, you can have your Hoku back now."
A couple of years ago Gilliom "borrowed" a Hoku award from his sister. "She had 11, I figured she wouldn't miss one." If he saw it in his house every day, he figured, it might someday turn into one of his own. Apparently, that worked.
Says Gilliom, "Now if someone will loan me a Grammy."
Put on Your Rock 'n' Roll Shoes: Are a business exec? A doctor, lawyer or executive chef? Is your electric guitar, keyboard or drum kit gathering dust? Your opportunity to play is at hand.
For the Arthritis Foundation's July 21st fundraiser, David Booth is putting together ExecuJam, a chance for musically frustrated executives to get together and jam with band Bluzilla. Interested? Call Booth at 734-6900 -- and start practicing.
Signing a Veteran: KGMB is already staffing its new morning newscast, which debuts in September. This week KGMB's Rick Blangiardi lured executive producer Michael Harris away from PBS Hawaii. For 21 years, Harris produced and directed newscasts and specials at KHON, departing the station some months before the bloodbath began there.
"With Michael, I feel like I just signed Derek Jeter or Jason Giambi," says Blangiardi.
Blangiardi won't say who'll work in front of the cameras, but did let slip he's flying in someone from the mainland for an interview this weekend.
Mob, Murder and Magnum, P.I.: It's the biggest mob murder trial in U.S. history. In Chicago last week, three members of the Chicago mob and former Chicago policeman went on trial for 18 murders, including the notorious beating death of fellow mobsters Anthony "The Ant" Spilotro and his brother Michael, found buried in a cornfield.
The film "Casino" includes a movie version of the murder. Dedicated viewers of "Magnum, P.I." saw Michael Spilotro in a 1981 episode titled "Thicker Than Blood." Ironically, he played a federal agent.
Spilotro was a friend of Magnum co-star, Larry Manetti. "I didn't know Michael as a gangster," Manetti told the Chicago Tribune. "I knew him as a guy I grew up with in the neighborhood. Michael wanted to be on TV, that's all."
Thanks, Patsy: Connie Lau, CEO of both American Savings and Hawaiian Electric, flew to Washington last week for a company-sponsored tribute to the late Patsy Mink. It was attended by the entire Hawaii congressional delegation, Mink's daughter Wendy and several congresswomen.
"For me, it was personal," says Lau, one of only 20 women nationwide to head a Fortune 1,000 company. "Especially when I think of how different things are for my daughter in college than they were for me." Lau's daughter, Jennifer, will co-captain the Wellesley soccer team next season -- something she owes in part to Title IX, which promoted equality for women in both sports and education.
Title IX has been renamed the Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, to recognize Mink's leadership in getting it passed. "I don't want to forget how much Patsy changed things 35 years ago," says Lau.