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'Mamma Mia!' is fabulous show, one of the best to play Blaisdell


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POSTED: Saturday, May 16, 2009

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“;Mamma Mia!”; is a smash; a tremendously uplifting hit that is one of the best shows ever to play the Blaisdell Concert Hall stage. Everything about it—Abba's great music, the handsome cast, the singing, dancing, staging and costuming—is outstanding. What's more, it's a story packed with laughs, love and more than a little sexiness. Anyone who has the blues, as well as those who enjoy a sparkling Broadway musical, should hurry on down to Blaisdell Concert Hall and catch this production. It will lift your spirits. The cast had Tuesday's opening-night, sold-out crowd dancing, singing and cheering in the aisles to a knock-out song and dance “;Megamix”; medley of the show's hits to wind up the production. Michelle Dawson, as Donna, heads the cast. She plays mother of bride-to-be Sophie, portrayed by Liana Hunt; both are excellent. Some of the show's funniest and most enjoyable moments are when mom and her two former show-biz song-and-dance act partners, Kittra Wynn Coomer, as Rosie, and Rachel Tyler, as sexy Tanya, are featured together. Michael Kaokept, who portrays Pepper, and who has the hots for sex-bomb Tanya, is Thai; and hunky Adam Jacobs, who has the muscles of a Mr. America, is Filipino and plays husband-to-be Sky. Cast members attended a party at Romano's Macaroni Grill after the show ...

DANCING ON: The “;new”; Halekulani was at its best for its 25th anniversary party May 8 for 400 guests. Fabulous food and outstanding entertainment were featured. A highlight was “;Halekulani Fanfare,”; commissioned by the Halekulani. It was developed by the Symphony's Jon Magnussen and performed by a brass quintet and percussionists, directed by Symphony conductor Andreas Delfs. Halekulani Corp. Chief Operating Officer Peter Shaindlin summed up the hotel saying, “;Since its earliest days as a modest guest house along the shores of Waikiki almost 100 years ago, Halekulani has grown beyond merely a hotel, beyond even its own fabled recognition as an ultimate retreat of gracious service hospitality, into an internationally recognized euphemism for luxury.”; A wide variety of food was prepared by the Halekulani chefs, led by its A-Team of Yves Garnier, Vikram Garg, Darryl Fujita and Pete Poeste; Nobu Matsuhisa of Nobu Waikiki; and Tokyo's Imperial Hotel chefs Kenichiro Tanaka and Thierry Voisin. They did themselves proud. Symphony Pops Conductor Matt Catingub fronted a jazzy combo singing and playing his sax. A Hawaiian segment had Nina Kealiiwahamana singing, Kanoe Miller dancing hula and more hula by Halau Olana. Greeting guests as they arrived, besides Shaindlin, were Hitoshi Saito and Kosei Murakami from Halekulani's parent company and owner Mitsui Fudosan; Halekulani Corp. VPs Pat Tam and Takashi Nakayama, and hotel GM Gerald Glennon. Tokyo's Imperial Hotel is a new Halekulani partner hotel. It was represented by Tetsuya Kobayashi and Hideya Sadayasu ...