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'STOMP' impresses in opener


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POSTED: Friday, December 25, 2009

TWAS EIGHT YEARS ago this week when “;In the Mix”; made its debut in the pages of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Clubland was different back then—and so was the way Honolulu media covered it. Waikiki was the destination of choice for most, and partying downtown meant going clubbing at Restaurant Row instead of in Chinatown. My first column told readers about an up-and-coming local musician by the name of Jack Johnson and praised the Liquor Collection as a great place to buy a Christmas gift (isn't it good to see some things haven't changed?).

I've been extremely lucky to have this opportunity to write about what a lot of others do just for fun. As I always say, being an entertainment writer isn't a job—it's a lifestyle. Mahalo for your continuing support of this column (and this newspaper!) ...

WHEN THE cast of “;STOMP”; last arrived in Hawaii five years ago, just one person performing on stage had ties to the islands.

This time around, there are three people linked to the 808 state. Andres “;Pooh”; Fernandez is easily the most recognizable, thanks to his long history with the production and crazy hairstyle that's hard to overlook. But there's also Guillaume Carreira, who makes his touring debut after serving as a cast member on “;STOMP Out Loud”; in Las Vegas, and Ivan Delaforce, a “;STOMP”; veteran who returns to the fold during this year's Hawaii shows.

All three local boys helped entertain a comfortably packed house at the Hawaii Theatre on Tuesday when “;STOMP”; kicked off its 16-show run. For nearly 90 minutes, they and five fellow cast members made noise with a variety of stuff, including new segments that used paint cans and tractor tire inner tubes. And while the focus here is about the sounds being made, it's also important to note the amount of work done by Steve McNicholas and Neil Tiplady to develop all the different lighting schemes for the production.

If you received an unexpected Christmas present this year and are looking for a quick gift in return, special discounted ticket prices are available for select “;STOMP”; performances this week and next. Instead of paying $35, $45 or $55 for tickets, you'll pay just $20, $30 or $40 for seats at the Hawaii Theatre today, Sunday and Thursday. Call 528-0506 to order by phone, or buy online at www.hawaiitheatre.com ...

HIP-HOP IN HAWAII: Nobu Waikiki's Lindsey Ozawa figured the biggest celebrities he'd have to cook for last week Thursday were Keola Rapozo, Sebastian “;Bobby Filipino”; Valdes and the rest of the Fitted Hawaii crew. But they were all surprised when hip-hop super producer Pharrell stopped in for a meal, and even took the time to greet the guys before leaving ... Fellow hip-hop superstar Snoop Dogg was also in town last weekend on vacation. Rumors of a concert at SoHo Mixed Media Bar alongside Sudden Rush didn't materialize, however, to the disappointment of some fans hoping for a taste of his new album, “;Malice 'N Wonderland.”; I'm told no contract was ever signed for him to perform last Saturday ... Kudos to local hip-hop artist and clothing designer Tassho Pearce on a sweet piece of product placement in Eminem's latest release, “;Relapse: Refill.”; Pick up a copy of the CD and open up the liner notes, and you'll spot the rapper rocking a Flip the Bird T-shirt alongside Dr. Dre ...

NIGHTCLUB NOTES: The ownership group behind Tsunami has expanded its presence in Honolulu with the opening of two new clubs.

Ka Restaurant and Lounge replaces E&O Trading Co. at Ward Centre, while Ginza Nightclub has replaced Blackjack a few blocks away on Kona St. The three establishments cover the gamut of the local bar and club scene, so it should be interesting to see what kind of synergy can be achieved between them. During last weekend's grand opening party, Profound Entertainment's Raph Dang greeted guests as DJ K-Smooth and the Nocturnal Sound Krew's DJ Compose provided the beats ... Elsewhere in Ward Centre, promoters Tantriq Entertainment and Architechs Hawaii have teamed up to host “;WAAANG!!!”; on Wednesdays at Paparazzi Nightclub. No idea what the theme is for this new weekly, but there's no cover and $4 drinks all night ... The Shack Waikiki has launched “;Cerveza Wednesdays”; this week with live entertainment and DJ Audissey. From 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. every Wednesday, the Shack will offer $2 Coronas and $2 tacos for the 21-and-over crowd and no cover charge. Call 921-2255 ...

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, or check him out on Twitter at twitter.com/sonecessary.