By Dave Donnelly

Thursday, December 16, 1999

31 and hoping for more

IT was 31 years ago today that the Star-Bulletin kicked off this column, including a photo of an impossibly young, clean-shaven, young three-dot columnist to be. That would be me. I didn't know it at the time, but it was also the 69th birthday of the already venerable Noel Coward,Mug shot a fact that came to light only this year when his centenary is being observed. You may have seen the CBS Sunday Morning show this week which dealt with Coward's 100th and it even had a local angle. One of those interviewed for the show was Coward's biographer ("A Talent to Amuse") Sheridan Morley, who I got to know at UH's then East-West Center Theater some 36 years ago. Morley, now a renowned biographer of many and top theater critic in London, has remained a good friend, and I took in his centenary tribute to Coward at the lovely Chewton Glen Hotel in Hampshire in April. Let us hope the newspaper crisis passes and we survive to observe another anniversary next year ...

TEA at 1024 is the name of a new tearoom that has quietly opened up in Michele Henry's shop at 1024 Nuuanu, and it's one Noel Coward would feel comfortable enjoying. Lunch is served there 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays from at about a third the price of tea at, say, the Dorchester Hotel in London, and parking is validated. You can even rent the charming little room out for tea parties, showers or business meetings. One fairly expects to see a gypsy appear to do palm readings in the place ...

Old teas

FROM Hawaii's newest tea room, we segue to what is surely the oldest. The Wai'oli Tea Room was created in Manoa back in 1909 -- Noel Coward was but 10 years old --and now you can read all about its historical significance. The Salvation Army facility has been documented in a new book by Bette Stillwell, whose roots with the Army go back to 1870 in Cornwall, England, and whose family relationship with Wai'oli began with its creation. Her book is called "Come Back to Wai'oli," and is filled with historic photos. It's available for purchase at Wai'oli, Bishop Museum, Island Treasures, Bookends and Native Books. Stillwell will be signing books 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday at Bishop Museum ...

IF you're not yet suffering from "Nutcracker"-itis, Ballet Hawaii proudly points out its huge production featuring stars of the American Ballet Theater takes place tomorrow, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at the Blaisdell Concert Hall. What makes this unique among "Nutcracker" productions locally is it's the only one with a live orchestra, in this case the entire Honolulu Symphony under the baton of Stuart Chafetz. In addition, there are new costumes by Anne Namba ...

Poi to the World

THERE'S at least one more version of Tchaikovsky's work featuring live music and that is in the Chinatown Lions Club's 24th annual "Christmas in Ensemble" program Sunday and Monday nights at Orvis Auditorium. Some 60 of piano teacher Ernie Chang's students will be featured, and rehearsals at his studio have taken on what he calls a "Silent Night, Holy Cow" atmosphere. Take the "Pat-a-Pan," for example. It features 10 kids playing on two pianos. The two-piano version of "Nutcracker Suite" will feature narration on Sunday by Lion King, uh, Mayor Jeremy Harris and wife Ramona , both Lion Club members. KHPR's Alan Bunin narrates Monday night ...

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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