Star-Bulletin Features

Friday, March 27, 1998

A night of shooting stars

By John Berger
Special to the Star-Bulletin


IRMGARD Farden Aluli danced at the Hawai'i Theatre last night. Anuhea Brown and the Pualeilani Concert Group sang "Puamana" and she stood in Row F and danced. She wrote it over a half-century ago -- a celebration of home and family then, a Hawaiian standard now, a magic moment at the third annual Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame Concert last night.

Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame Concert

Aluli is the Hall of Fame's first living inductee. John Kameaaloha Almeida, R. Alex Anderson, Bina Mossman and David Nape were this year's posthumous inductees.

Kahauanu Lake distinguished himself once again as show producer and host. Gary Aiko, Mahiai Beamer, Kaipo Hale, Iwalani Kahalewai, Nina Keali'iwahamana, and Genoa Keawe were among the greats who joined the Kahauanu Lake Trio and the K. Lake Singers in celebrating the inductees' contributions to Hawaiian music.

Aaron Mahi and the Royal Hawaiian Band paid tribute to David Nape, David Kalakaua and Lili'uokalani with an entertaining and educational set. Mahi did his usual fine job explaining the kaona (underlying meaning) and his "Nuuanu Rhinemaidens" -- Misty Kelai, Cathy Foy Mahi and Nalani Olds -- amused the audience as they sang sweetly of piko (navels) twisting and rubbing against each other. Conductor Mahi feigned innocence.

Emma Veary received warm applause as she joined Randy Hongo for a segment honoring Anderson. The musical interplay between them emphasized Anderson's versatility and range as the most Hawaiian of the great hapa-haole composers.

The stage lighting and simple but elegant decor enhanced the show. Problematic microphone levels detracted at several points; several singers couldn't be heard over their acoustic instruments. Anuhea Brown and her group avoided the problem by performing almost unamplified. "One Little Dream of You" was beautifully sung and certainly touching for anyone aware that Aluli wrote it for her husband while they were apart. Brown's dancers embellished "Boy from Laupahoehoe" with the popular hula; Hailama Farden epitomized the lyrics with a particularly lively performance.

A three-hour show has rarely seemed to fly by so quickly.

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