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Changing Hawaii

By Diane Yukihiro Chang

Friday, October 27, 2000

Gridiron’s 2000
show is hot stuff

AH, the life of a daily journalist in Hawaii. Confession: Despite being lucky enough to toil in paradise, we're still a frustrated, repressed bunch in so many ways.

He interviews famous people, political leaders and business tycoons who say and do the weirdest things, yet he must mask his incredulity.

She reports the news on TV with a cool, unflappable demeanor when what she really wants to do is slap the side of her head and proclaim, "What were they thinking?"

Thank goodness for the annual Gridiron Show. It's a chance for talented, fun-loving broadcasters, reporters and their pals (like Cathy Foy, Bill Sage and Rhonda) to vent.

They get to go crazy and display their secret penchants for musical exhibitionism, while poking fun at folks and issues in the news.

Gridiron sets the headlines to melody and dance, with uproarious lyrics in the spotlight.

If you're a news junkie, if you think what goes on in the Legislature and City Council is funnier than the comics section, or merely want to smile away the stress, come to Diamond Head Theatre tonight or tomorrow for an evening of satire at Gridiron 2000.

I don't want to give away the whole show, but topics to be irreverently roasted include the governor, lieutenant governor, mayor, mayor wanna-bes, OHA, Democrats, Republicans, indicted businessmen and convicted city officials.

There also will be bits on fired principals, federal judges, university presidents, Warriors Who Once Were Rainbows, TV anchors, The Weather Girls, the world's oldest profession, famous Foleys, traffic gridlock and those two annoying guys running for president.

One of the numbers, "Battle Hymn of Waimea," is sung to the tune of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

It's a flashback to the North Shore rock slides that closed Kamehameha Highway, and stars Star-Bulletin reporter Gordon Pang as Department of Transportation chief Kazu Hayashida:

Our eyes have seen the glory of the sliding of the rocks,
They have closed the only highway, all the traffic has been stopped,
We must drive around the island just to travel 20 blocks,
Please help us DOT.

Pang's portrayal is so realistic, it's side-splitting. Warning to Mrs. Hayashida: Do NOT attend the Gridiron show or you may be unable to tell Gordon and Kazu apart. Seriously.

ANOTHER highlight is going to be Advertiser reporter Scott Ishikawa's belting out of "We Are The Unions," parodying "We Are the Champions" by Queen:

You've had our support, year after year.
You Democrats said we'd have nothing to fear.
But these reforms, you want to do
They take away our benefits and rights, and we just get screwed.
(Chorus) And we can go on and on and on and on...
We are the unions, your friends.
And we'll keep on fighting 'til the end.
We are the unions, we are the unions
Whose side are you on
'Cuz you know the unions
Rule the world."

Shameless sales pitch: Gridiron 2000 starts at 8 tonight and tomorrow at DHT, with tickets priced from $25-45.

All money raised goes to a good cause -- funding internships and scholarships for the next generation of frustrated, repressed journalists in paradise.

Diane Yukihiro Chang's column runs Monday and Friday.
She can be reached by phone at 525-8607, via e-mail at, or by fax at 523-7863.

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