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Surgeon pumps 'Heartbeat' in Waikiki showroom


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POSTED: Friday, May 29, 2009

The final nail was driven into the coffin of “;Waikiki Nei”; last week, when a Denver-based director-producer arrived in Honolulu to start promoting its replacement at the newly renamed Royal Hawaiian Theater.

Dr. Dennis Law, a retired surgeon, has developed what he calls an action-musical titled “;Heartbeat Hawaii”; which will open July 17. It will be his eighth such production.

“;When my company started in 2001, I noticed there was an acrobatic dance ability in China ... that isn't found anywhere else,”; he said last weekend in an interview at the Sheraton Waikiki. “;I'd never seen these types of dance movements (before).”;

Law plans to bring 75 cast and crew members to the theater. Many top jobs, including costume designer, supervising composer and lead choreographers, are held by Chinese nationals. The only “;Waikiki Nei”; holdover is Roy Tokujo, who remains as co-producer of “;Heartbeat Hawaii.”;

Law said the production will be similar to a Broadway show while incorporating Hawaiian themes. He also plans to draw upon his experiences as a tourist to develop material.

“;I don't think a show in this kind of a market should ever try to teach too much,”; he said. “;I believe (audiences) want to be entertained within the context of this location, (and) action is a universal language”; ...

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CONGRATS TO KHON reporter Olena Rubin, who married Daniel Heu last weekend. Sunday's private ceremony at Ko Olina capped off two weekends of partying for the former Miss Hawaii.

On May 17, Rubin hosted the first of two bachelorette parties at Ichiriki Loft. The fun continued on Friday when 93.1 The Zone's Chanel “;Miss Chanel”; Puha hosted Rubin and pals at Diamond Head Grill and LEVEL 4 nightclub.

The new Mrs. Heu will postpone her honeymoon until July or August (work commitments keep her on TV until then). And by the time you read this, she'll have decided which last name to use while on camera.

“;Personally, I want to change it (to Heu),”; she said. “;I've accomplished a lot as Olena Rubin, but I feel like ... it's time to move on”; ...

NEWS AND NOTES: DJ Jimmy Taco closed Sure Shot Studios in Kakaako last week, marking the first time in nearly a decade that he's been without production space. Founded in 1994, Sure Shot has worked with a number of local artists in addition to mainland acts like Dilated Peoples, the Visionaries and Jeru the Damaja; Taco expects to reopen at a new location by the end of the year. “;I've been on that block since 2000,”; he said ... It was a disappointing turnout at Ko Olina Resort for “;Hawaii Food and Wine Paradise”; Thursday. I expected more people at the showcase event, which featured chefs Colin Nishida, Chai Chaowasaree, Elmer Guzman, Goran Streng, JJ Luangkhot, Ron De Guzman and Yves Garnier. Chaowasaree was the most visible, serving plates and talking story. Of all the dishes, De Guzman's ahi carpaccio and beef tenderloin were tops ... The Irish Rose Saloon marked its third anniversary last weekend. Owners Bill Comerford, Fred Remington and Patrick McGrail celebrated with the Piranha Brothers and Elephant after a private reception ...

WEEKEND PICKS: Former Hawaii resident Latin Lady DJ Margarita has been diagnosed with stage IV cervical cancer and needs help with growing medical bills. DJ Ray Cruz is leading one effort to raise money; Son Caribe, La Coqui and Beauty in Motion Dance Company will headline a concert today from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Pagoda Hotel. Suggested donation is $20; call 638-3098 ... The Hawaii chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays hosts the first-ever “;Color Band Collective”; at thirtyninehotel, Bar 35 and Indigo Saturday. Advance tickets ($20, available at http://www.groovetickets.com) buy access to all three venues; Satellite Grey will be at thirtyninehotel, with ubiquitous at Bar 35 and live poetry at Indigo. Doors open at 8 p.m. ... DJ Eskae's monthly “;Soul Clap”; party takes things to another level this month with a special guest set by DJ Rhettmatic. Cover is $5 if you RSVP at http://www.djeskae.com ...


In the Mix drops Fridays in HiLife. Contact Jason Genegabus by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or phone at 529-4766. Check him out on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/sonecesssary.