Wood Craft

By Ben Wood

Saturday, May 4, 1996

Curtain goes up at Hawaii Theatre

Mary Bishop
THE "new" Hawaii Theatre, downtown Honolulu's sparkling gem, was dedicated last Sunday and received high praise from Gov. Ben Cayetano and Mayor Jeremy Harris. The Rev. William Kaina blessed the state-of-the-art theater. Speeches by elected officials, theater mainstays such as Blake Waterhouse, Sarah Richards and Mary Foster, and architect Malcolm Holzman were mainly brief and to the point. Cayetano said that as a kid he and his friends used to sit in the back row of the theater. Jack Magoon and L.A.'s Frank Sherwood, who donated $500,000 and $300,000, respectively, for the $22 million renovation, were asked to take a bow. Applause thundered for theater consultant Mary Bishop, who for the past 10 years has been on top of the project. Nina Kealiiwahamana, Joe Recca, the Hawaii Opera Chorus, Royal Hawaiian Band, Blaine Kia & La'akea, and John McCreary on the Robert Morton organ were excellent. Acoustics are perfect ...

LATER, Norm and Ramsay Goldstein, important cogs in the renovation, tossed a party for Mary at Ramsay Galleries. "The most wonderful part is the community is now bonding with the theater," Mary said. "It's their theater now." Sherwood came over in 1974 to help work on the famed Morton organ. "I thought it would be wonderful to restore the theater," he said. So he plunked down big bucks. As Sherwood entered the gallery for the party, I was standing next to Ramsay and he asked: "Are you Mr. Goldstein?" I told him I wish I were ... Ramsay, incidentally, was recently named one of Hawaii's Living Treasures by the City Council for her artistic renderings of Hawaiian landmarks and her commitment to preservation ... The Brothers Cazimero do a show Friday at the Hawaii, followed by singer-pianist Michael Feinstein on Saturday. A street festival and silent films to organ music will be held Sunday, May 12. Entry to the area and theater Sunday is $2 ...

Cruising on the Ho Boat

Don Ho
DON HO'S show in the Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel is a nostalgic, musical, fun-filled cruise, sailing back to the days when Don and the sweet-sounding Aliis were the rage of Waikiki at Duke Kahanamoku's. Don is strong as ever, singing "Tiny Bubbles," "Pearly Shells," "One Paddle, Two Paddle," "I'll Remember You" and his other ageless hits. He gets a solid grip on the audience with easy conversation, jokes and songs. One of the Aliis, Benny Chong, is still with Don, taking marvelous solo flights on the guitar. Hal Bradbury's singing and dancing hit the spot. Young Clay Mortensen shows much vocal talent on "Kalamaula." He's a comer. Angel Pablo, another Duke's vet, gets in a few classical vocal licks. Haumea Hebenstreit's hula is beautiful. Bobby Roberts warms the crowd early in the show with Frank Sinatra tunes. Tokyo Joe's C&W tunes and John Todd's band round out the big show. I enjoyed taking that smooth Ho Boat back to Waikiki's golden age of entertainment. Hana Ho! ...

MR. BLACKWELL, whose best- and worst-dressed lists are hot, is a kick in the pants. At the opening party for the Waikiki Bally store last weekend, actor David Cassidy mentioned wearing a chartreuse jacket with a purple tie as a joke. Blackwell said, "If David wore a chartreuse jacket with a purple tie, he would have looked better." Brickwood Galuteria was part of the opening, which benefited the AIDS-fighting Life Foundation to the tune of $25,000. Brickwood wore size 13-wide Ballys and raved about those "canoes." "I'm not going to take them off," he said. "It's sponge baths from here on in." The sounds of guitarist Danny Otholt, bassist Bruce Hamada, drummer Jess Gopen and Tom Artwick on sax were tasty ...

Aloha Danny Kamekona

I WAS shocked when Tommy Igarashi called Wednesday to reveal the L.A. death of Danny Kamekona, one of Hawaii's finest actors. Condolences to his family ...

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of people, places and things every Saturday.

Wood Craft by Ben Wood is a Saturday feature of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
© 1996 All rights reserved.


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