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By Dave Donnelly

Tuesday, May 9, 2000


FORGET all about Jay Larrin's song, "The Snows of Mauna Kea." The next hit tune may be, "The Beach at Kamuela." We don't normally think of that upcountry Big Island town when we think of beaches, but that word hasn't reached a number of national publications, apparently. Some time back, John Spierling was grousing here that while he was happy to see Kamuela get some favorable national publicity -- he and Rick Rainalter are building an upscale development there -- he was shocked to see one magazine picture Oahu's then-pristine Waimea Bay with the article. Now Bob Jones is thumbing through Gourmet magazine and finds under best hotels a listing for the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel as "Best for Beach." Then it lists its address as "Kamuela, Big Island, Hawaii." Says Jones, "That would be a long walk to the beach." It can't hurt Spierling's development, as we told him, if people make their purchases sight unseen ...

FORMER Isle disc jockey Kamasami Kong, who now spins records for the huge FM802 in Osaka, Japan, took in the Namie Amuro concertMug shotthere last week. She'll be doing a show at the Waikiki Shell next Sunday, and if her shows in Osaka were any indication, it should be a sell out. Some 30,000 attended two sold out shows in Osaka, mostly young, 20ish and female, notes Kong. The Osaka shows, he says, were dazzling "with lots of pizzazz, lots of dancers, lights, special effects and youthful energy. It's also very loud." Since the local show starts at 7 p.m. on May 14, noise shouldn't be a factor to neighbors. Sidelight: Playing with Amuro are Kenji Sano of Kalapana, saxman Michael Paulo, and on keyboards, Kiki Ebsen, daughter of Buddy Ebsen of "Beverly Hillbillies" fame. Incidentally, Ebsen also plays keyboard for the Christopher Cross-Michael McDonald concerts, and former Doobie Brother McDonald is currently performing at a convention on Kauai with Henry Kapono ...

Life of Bryan

THE Diamond Head Theater is heavy into rehearsals of "Phantom," not to be confused with "Phantom of the Opera," a completely different show. The cast is beholden to the schedule of makeup man Bryan Furer, who does face casts and designs the many masks for "Phantom" when he's not on the set of Hollywood's "Pearl Harbor." Director John Rampage is doing his bit to avoid confusion with the Andrew Lloyd Webber show, the symbol of which is a white half-mask. Says Rampage, "There won't be a white mask in sight." ...

YOU think Honolulu isn't musical mad? DHT just announced its 2000-01 season and of the six shows being presented, only "Steel Magnolias" isn't a musical ... Sansei celebrates food with many of Hawaii's top chefs helping out at tomorrow's grand opening party in Restaurant Row ... And Duke's celebrates its "Ho'okahiko Award," bestowed annually on those who exemplify the traditions of Hawaii. Accepting their 2000 awards Thursday at Duke's Canoe Club will be Genoa Keawe and Violet Pahu Lilikoi ...

Canteen of Swing

THE only thing missing from the World War II setting at the Aloha Tower Marketplace this weekend will be the old camouflage paint and netting on Aloha Tower. There's going to be a free dance reminiscent of the Hollywood Canteen Friday with music by the 25th Infantry Division Swing Band and Hula Joe and the Hutjumpers, just one part of Hawaii Military Appreciation Week ...

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

Contact Dave by e-mail:

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