By Dave Donnelly

Tuesday, October 19, 1999

New David at
Diamond Head

Mug shot CHEF David Reardon is a busy young man as he prepares to close out the millennium. Earlier this month his wife gave birth to their second child, Kelsey Elaine Kaleipo'okela, and already he's got a new baby in the oven. But Mrs. Reardon's participation in this one is purely supportive. He's readying to take over David Paul's Diamond Head Grill in the new "W" hotel across Kapiolani Park from Diamond Head, formerly the Colony Surf Hotel. After David Paul serves his last meal on Nov. 30, Reardon will waste no time in heating up the ovens and the next evening, Dec. 1, he'll open the doors for a gala charity dinner to benefit America's Promise of Hawaii ...

WHAT a variety of entertainments is available in Hawaii these days! Apart from "Miss Saigon," which is garnering raves from nearly everyone who's seen it at the Blaisdell Concert Hall, I took in three completely disparate entities in the past few days. One was the Playboy Show at the Ilikai, which is simply Vegas West, minus the nudity. Well, for the most part. The night I saw it one dancer's wispy top popped off on one side, revealing clearly that the outfits were there for modesty, rather than support. Still, it was full of energy and some passably sexy dancing and will likely find an audience ... "Great Singers, Great Songs V" at Orvis Auditorium showcased some of classical music's finest arias from some of Hawaii's most impressive voices. Oddly enough, my companion and I each came up with the idea of a sumo-based opera to use both the size and voice of the most impressive Quinn Kelsey, who sang Escamillo in "Carmen." ...

No hula girls need apply

THe third event was the most impressive, and I go out of my way not to call "'Ulalena," at the Maui Myth & Magic Theater, a "show." It's theater. It's art. It's wonderful. It's been running for three months now, but it took a quick trip to Lahaina to enable me to see it. Conceived by ARRA of Montreal, Canada, it uses ancient chants with new music performed live by musicians visible to the audience to tell the story of the creation of Hawaii without a trace of hokum. The building of the 700-seat theater, a first-class facility, and production of "'Ulalena," cost $10 million. I'm told the cast receives a standing ovation after every show, and all 18 performers are deserving of one. The cast -- more of a family, really, and all but one from Hawaii -- rehearsed eight hours a day for 13 weeks before opening, and it shows. "'Ulalena' is one of the most brilliant pieces of theater I've seen in Hawaii in more than 40 years. I wish they could bring it to Honolulu, theater and all ...

FOR the first time in nearly 10 years, the Honolulu Symphony can be heard on National Public Radio. The orchestra, under the direction of Samuel Wong, can be heard Oct. 28 on "Performance Today" with the world premiere performance of Elmer Bernstein's "Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra," with classical guitar virtuoso Christopher Parkening. It was recorded here Sept. 19 ...

Stone delicious

CHEF Cameron Hiro of the Village Grill in tiny Maunaloa, Molokai, won third place in the appetizer category in the "Taste of Lahaina." But his Brazilian Shrimp won first place in the People's Choice category. His eatery is about to change its name to the Stone Grill, as the restaurant inaugurates a concept popular in Australia, where diners cook their own entree on a hot stone in the middle of the table ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.
His columns run Monday through Friday.

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