On The Scene
HAPPY SEVENTH, PIMPBOT!: The 9th Avenue Rock House was a great place to be Feb. 26 as Pimpbot -- Fernando "The Love Machine" Pacheco, left, Eric Lagrimas, Rylan Yee and Tom Coleman -- celebrated "seven years pimpin' Hawaii's rock scene" and previewed their new album, "Admit One," and new music video. The album will be in stores Tuesday. Watch for the review in HiLife next week.
BLACK ICONS HONORED: Star Maranda, second from left, Jewel McDonald and Rene Greenwood were the co-hosts of "Legends: Past, Present & Future," a pau hana party presented by the African-American Association of Hawaii Feb. 26 at the Plaza Club. Partyers were encouraged to observe Black History Month by coming dressed as their "favorite contributor to Black History" and share a little-known fact about the person. Gyn & the Blue Light Funk Band -- Al Neal, left, Gyn Lee, Darrel Richard, Drew St. Charles, Aaron Friedman and Charlie Jenkins -- honored the heroes of classic funk music with two solid sets of vintage hits but had to give up a bit of the funk when Plaza Club members on another floor asked them turn it down.
"AIDA" A HIT: Jimi Wheeler, left, celebrated with musical director Peter Rucci at the opening-night cast party for Army Community Theatre's production of "Aida" last Thursday. Wheeler brings a good voice and convincing masculine presence to his portrayal of Radames -- both qualities essential to a successful performance. His family arrives in Hawaii today and will see him perform for the first time ever this Saturday.
Saquawia Funderberk (Nehebka), Shawna Masuda (Amneris) and Pedro Armando Haro (Mereb) partied backstage. Masuda plays Amneris with a depth not seen in the Saint Louis High School production of 2005; she brings out all the comic aspects but wins Amneris our sympathy as well. Haro seems a natural in a prominent comic role, and Funderberk steps forward for a scene-stealing solo in "The Gods Love Nubia."
Shanan Colvin (Aida), center, enjoyed the party with her husband, Army helicopter pilot Curby Colvin, and veteran ACT singer/dancer Lynn Kinoshita Nakamoto. "Aida" is Colvin's first show in Hawaii, and it is an impressive debut for her. The show also benefits from director Vanita Rae Smith's insights into the characters and the relationships that develop between them. "Aida" plays Friday and Saturday through March 15. Call 438-4480.