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Kristian Lei enjoys Chinese New Year's Eve in Hong Kong


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POSTED: Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kristian Lei sends word about spending Chinese New Year's Eve last Saturday in none other than China. Kristian has been portraying Princess Nala in Hong Kong's “;The Festival of the Lion King”; for almost six months. She was invited to attend a girlfriend's traditional family Chinese New Year's Eve dinner that featured a wide variety of dishes. “;It was definitely Chinese soul food,”; Kristian said. “;The evening was filled with broken English/Cantonese conversation and laughter. Afterwards we went to a flower fair where thousands of people showed up to buy flowers for the new year.”; Kristian says she has acquired a really funny mixture of accents in Hong Kong. “;I have the Chinese teaching me Cantonese, Filipinos talking to me in Tagalog and the South Africans teaching me Zulu”; …

Kelly Bachran, a young woman who made a last-minute decision to enter “;American Idol,”; has strong Hawaii roots. The Salem, Ore., resident received her “;Golden Ticket to Hollywood”; after receiving the thumbs up from judges for her Denver audition and was in Hollywood for the next round of auditions. Unfortunately, Kelly did not make the top 24 this week after making the top 48. When Kelly was interviewed after receiving her “;Golden Ticket to Hollywood,”; Hawaii-born Kelly said, “;You probably don't think of this but I am part-Chinese,”; then she raised her arm and added, “;and here is my Hawaiian bracelet.”; Kelly, 23, graduated from George Fox University in Newberg, Ore., in 2008. She is the daughter of Greg and Beth Bachran. Her grandparents are Bill and Laurie Bachran of Hawaii. Kelly and her parents moved from Hawaii to Salem when she was 4 years old. She has been singing most of her life in musical theater, jazz groups, choirs and with church groups. “;She's happy,”; Bill said in a phone call from California Thursday, the day after the Top 24 “;Idol”; contestants were named. “;She had a ball”; …

The Honolulu Family Festival returns to Magic Island March 25-28 with rides, games, food and entertainment. Halau Hula Ka Noeau will open the festival March 25 at 5:45 p.m. Big names will take part in the Legacy Concert that follows at 6. They include singers Nina Kealiiwahamana, Marlene Sai, Karen Keawehawaii, Misty Kelai and Gary Aiko; singer-slack key guitarist George Kuo; hula dancers Beverly Noa, Tracie Lopez and Piilani Smith, and the Royal Hawaiian Band conducted by Michael Nakasone. At 8 p.m., everyone is invited to participate in country line dancing with Cliff Angelias. There's plenty offered in the next two days. Festival admission is free …

The Hawaii Opera Theatre's production of “;La Boheme”; opens its run Friday at Blaisdell Concert Hall St. Andrew's Priory held its second Dads and Daughters Valentine's Ball at the Koolau Ballrooms Valentine's Eve. The school said it was an opportunity for fathers to spend an evening with their daughters. The definition of “;Dads”; was expanded to stepdads, uncles, grandfathers, brothers and even single moms …

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Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin on Honolulu streets in World War II, writes of people, places and things Saturdays. E-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).