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Star-Bulletin Features

Thursday, March 16, 2000

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
The Society of Seven revives crowd favorite Elvis Presley
during one segment of its "Millennium 2000" show.

Society of Seven
navigates half century of
pop in ‘Millennium’


By John Berger
Special to the Star-Bulletin


IT would be easy to take the Society of Seven for granted after 31 years headlining the Outrigger, but the group's new show is truly one for saying goodbye to the old millennium.

The impressions, the choreography, the strong lead voices and smooth harmonies are intact in the group's "A Millennium Show 2000," in the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel's Main Showroom.

Getting people from the audience up on stage to perform with the group is standard procedure, but SOS leader Tony Ruivivar reverses the concept to get the entire audience doing the "Chicken Dance." Peer pressure is an effective incentive and all but a few in the crowd participated during the opening night performance Monday.


Bullet What: "The Society of Seven Millennium Show 2000"
Bullet When: 8:30 p.m. Mondays, and 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays
Bullet Where: Outrigger Main Showroom, Outrigger Waikiki, 2335 Kalakaua
Bullet Cost: Cocktail show $34.50; dinner packages $52.50 to $62. Kamaaina rates available.
Bullet Call: 923-SHOW (7469)
Bullet Parking: Validated, at Outrigger East, 150 Kaiulani

The "Chicken Dance" is the SOS' pick as the "Most Outrageous Dance" of the past century, and everything in "Millennium" ties in as a colorful look at memorable songs and artists of the 20th century.

The finale is a revival of SOS' magnificent staging of "Phantom of the Opera" in miniature. "Phantom" was a career-best mini-production for the SOS when they introduced it several years ago and it is just as impressive now. Ruivivar, Gary Bautista and Randy Abellar share the title role.

Bautista, best known as the group's top impres-

sionist, is featured on a superb rendition of "The Music of the Night." What a great voice!

In "The Last Temptation," a number inspired by the fact that only one original member of the Temptations is performing with the group using that name, Ruivivar is a hilarious as a man trying to do it all himself.

The celebrity impressions are likewise focused on 20th century greats, including the Rat Pack's brightest talents: Ruivivar is Frank Sinatra, Bautista plays Dean Martin and Roy Guerzo sings as Sammy Davis Jr.

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Bert Sagum hams it up as a Chiquita banana on the
opening night of the Society of Seven's 2000 season
at the Outrigger Waikiki Main Showroom.

Hoku Low, as Wayne Newton, fits a Vegas theme; and Bert Sagum partners with a blow-up doll as Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

Bautista works solo in a two-in-one performance as Natalie and Nat King Cole on "Unforgettable."

Guerzo is featured in "Thriller," another popular SOS segment from years past. Bautista adds numerous other characters to the show. Sagum's exuberant portrayal of Little Richard is another high moment.

Wayne Wakai joins the others for disco dancing in "Saturday Night Fever," and the entire group gets a work-out during a fast-moving medley of songs and slogans from memorable commercials. The SOS has long been known for the quality and rich variety of its costumes and choreography but "Millennium 2000" benefits from excellent lighting effects as well.

A topical Hispanic music segment adds hits by Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony and other pop-chart crossover artists, as well as older material by Gloria Estefan & the Miami Sound Machine.

There is one notable omission in the show. Given the SOS' position as the greatest show band in Waikiki entertainment history, it would be appropriate to include some of their own hits, "99.8" and "I'll Love You Through It All" at the least.

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