Our Picks for the Weekend
Youth Opera Chorus performs new work
The Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus premieres a children's opera, "Ka'ililauokekoa," a tale of lost love among the Hawaiian nobility, with performances at 7 p.m. Friday and 4 and 7 p.m. Saturday at Orvis Auditorium on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus.
The opera was commissioned by the youth chorus from former Hawaii residents Betran Moon and Mayumi Shimose, and will be performed by a full youth cast. None of this kids-in-the-background-while-the-adults-get-all-the-good-songs stuff.
The story is of the title character, daughter of a high chief, who is to marry Kauakahiali'i, but loses him when he decides on a prewedding jaunt to the sacred island of Kane. Those who reach that island without looking back never return, and alas, Kauakahiali'i doesn't look back. Our saddened heroine is left to rule Kauai without him.
Tickets are $15; $12 children through high school. Call 521-2982 or visit www.hyoc.org.
ART & CRAFTS
Museum crafts fair offers a break from foodfest
If you're headed to Flavors of Honolulu on the grounds of City Hall this weekend, you may as well make a stop at the Mission Houses Museum across the street.
The Mission Houses Summer Craft Fair takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, featuring locally made ceramics, glass, quilts, jewelry, paintings, photography, woodcarvings and works on paper.
It's nearly July, after all, and Christmas will be here sooner than you think. Seriously. May as well get started on the shopping.
Admission is free. Proceeds from vendor fees support the museum's educational programs.
Call 531-8104, ext. 714. Parking is available off South King Street, on Kawaiaha'o Street and Mission Lane, at Kawaiaha'o Plaza and in Honolulu City and County parking lots. But be prepared for the Flavors crowd also looking for a place to park.
'Lieutenant,' 'Circus' and 'Tree' stage last shows
This is the last weekend to catch a trio of local stage productions, all of them quite a bit removed from the mainstream. No musical comedy or romantic fluff in this batch.
"The Lieutenant of Inishmore" has sold out every show since opening in May at the Academy of Film & Television. Presented by the Actors Ohana, the play tells of a hardened Irish Liberation Army enforcer who is undone by the death of his cat. It closes with shows on Friday and Saturday.
"Outlaw Circus" and "The Wild Tree, or East o' the Sun, West o' the Goodnight Moon" are offered as a double bill at The ARTS at Marks Garage. Both are adult fantasies, one billed as a "Marquis de Sade circus," the other as a dark mashup of fairy tales." Final shows are Friday through Sunday.
For details on all the shows, see On Stage, Page 9.
'First Thursday' features poetry, music and art
Slam poet Kealoha continues his "First Thursdays" events with a slam competition and open-mic night featuring performance poetry, music and live art on July 5.
Expect to see Bryonn Bain, the Nuyorican Grand Slam Champion in 2000, who teaches courses in hip-hop and spoken-word poetry at Columbia University.
Team pieces, musical accompaniment, cover poems and props are allowed for all competitors. The winner of the night receives $100. The evening also includes massages in the lounge and a guest DJ.
It all takes place at the Hawaiian Hut at the Ala Moana Hotel, starting at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $3 before 8:30 p.m.; $5 after. Call 387-9664; e-mail info@HawaiiSlam.com or visit www.HawaiiSlam.com.
And, hang around for an after party -- the SIQ Union Summer Tour kickoff, with Tempo Valley, Hunger Pains, The Spacifics and Creed Chameleon.
Tsukiji Fish Market & Restaurant
Ala Moana Center Ho'okipa Terrace / 237-5444
There was a lot of anticipation surrounding the opening of Tsukiji Fish Market and Restaurant, thanks to its namesake establishment in Japan, renowned for its bustling wholesale fish market and attendant retail grocery and food outlets.
So it was disappointing to learn we've waited two years for it to materialize, only to get a mini fish counter and lackluster buffet. Your best option would be to head to the sushi bar for the best fish available, but only you can weigh the importance of whether it's better to eat less of better food or more of average buffet fare.
I believe the owners had the intention to create a lively marketplace vibe with people able to walk up to stations and order tempura, teppan-style ribeye and desserts to order. That would have been great -- and it's not too late to try -- if they could have matched the flavor and sizzle of street fare, but instead, offerings are mostly bland.
Given the fishmarket name, you would think the bulk of their effort would be put into offering fabulous fish, but their sushi is skimpy. A friend who visited on a separate occasion summed it up by saying, "Genki Sushi is better."
What caught my eye here were the sushi, ribeye and tempura. I also liked the tsukune, or ground chicken meatballs mixed with onions and ginger. Snow crab legs were sweet instead of being over salted and waterlogged as typically presented at local buffets. Tempura could have been hotter, but a good display necessitates making up a batch of the shrimp and veggies, which is left sitting.
I skipped over the Korean and Chinese offerings, which without signs were mostly unidentifiable. I didn't think I would be missing much because opening a dim sum bamboo steamer basket revealed pale freezer-style shumai. Without signs, the tsukune also looked a lot like fried chicken, so diners may experience a few surprises.
I was happy with shave ice for dessert. Others will be drawn to colorful, Japanese-style light minicakes and pastries. There's an additional cost if you want ice cream.
A robata bar is in the works and I hope it helps to inject more life into the room.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (market); restaurant open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. The buffet cost is $17.95 for lunch, half off for kids 6 to 9, free for 5 and younger; $30.95 for dinner, half off for kids 6 to 9, free for 5 and younger.
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