On The Scene
ETHERIDGE ROCKS THE BLAISDELL:
Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge, third from left, talked backstage with "Uncle Tom" Moffatt, Queenie Jacinto and Cheryl Lee before taking the stage for a powerful three-hour concert March 7 in the Blaisdell Concert Hall. Etheridge performed without intermission and told the crowd she was giving them a preview of the show she'll be taking on tour in June. The set was an autobiographical account of her experiences in the music business and in dealing with relationships and health problems offstage. She closed with a hard-rocking two-song encore shortly after 11 p.m.
SALONGA INTRODUCES NEW TALENT:
Lea Salonga welcomed guest vocalist Chris Dela Cruz backstage after her sold-out concert March 8 in the Blaisdell Concert Hall. Salonga asked for a male volunteer to join her on "A Whole New World," and Dela Cruz was so good that many people thought he was a "plant." Salonga said she always gets a man from the audience ("Some are good, some are funny"). Dela Cruz was very good.
CHU IS SUPERB:
Allison Chu (Maria), left, celebrated with guest choreographer Ramon Del Barrio, Deanna Luster, Cameron Olson (Bernardo) and Dani Yamamoto (Anita) March 9 after the final performance of "West Side Story" at Kaimuki High School. Chu stole the show with her portrayal of a young but confident child-woman; she also had the best voice in the show. Yamamoto gave a stellar, multifaceted performance, and Olson was commanding.
A LONG DAY FOR CHO:
Margaret Cho spoke briefly with stage manager Luke Wurpel after the second of her three shows March 9 at the Hawaii Theatre. The second show ran for about 75 minutes, and Cho was in top form throughout as she covered ever-popular topics such as sex, sexual preference and the characteristics of various body parts in her own inimitable style. She also covered political issues, ethnicity and North Korea. The crowd loved her.
HOT PARTIES AT HERMES:
George Dyer (Romeo) and Audrey Elizabeth Luna (Juliet), also in blue, were the guests of honor at Hawaii Opera Theatre's party for the cast of "Romeo and Juliet" March 2 at Hermes Waikiki. Hermes Waikiki Managing Director Laura Brodkin, second from left, HOT Executive Director Karen Tiller and Neva Rego welcomed them to the party.