By Dave Donnelly

Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Meet divine Della
at public TV affair

SO you're looking for some angels to put the touch on for funds to help stage a production on dance, and you're Hawaii Public Television. Who do you call? Why not Della Reese who, after all, stars on "Touched by an Angel," even if it's on another network. Reese will be the special performance artist when HPTV honors Donald McKayle, whose evocative dance works have touched many. The June 27 evening at Outrigger Canoe Club will allow ticket buyers ($125) to meet both artists and see highlights of HPTV's documentary salute to McKayle, "Heartbeats of a DanceMaker," including appearances by Harry Belafonte and the Jose Limón Dance Company. Money collected will go toward completing production of the special ...

THE travel agent of photog Russell Tanoue should be busy. Tanoue coached Denby Dung when she won the Miss Hawaii title last week, and he'll be accompanying her to the Miss America Pageant in Atlanta in August. He also coached Julia Lightner, Miss Hawaii USA, and will be in Gary, Indiana, with her for the national contest ...

More than decent

ONCE again, The Actors' Group presents serious theater in the midst of a town where musicals and pidgin works seem the norm. Brad Powell directed "Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde" at the tiny Yellow Brick Studio on Keawe Street. I'd seen the play in San Francisco, and Powell took some liberties with the text here, but the play, a keen look at the treatment of homosexuality in late 19th Century England, continues to provoke and, being Wildean, amuse. It's well worth a visit ...

COOKING up a surprise: Real estate appraiser Richard Hardy is still amazed that his wife, artist Lynn Cook, was able to put together a surprise birthday party for him at Compadres and get him there. Many of her fellow artists were on hand: Gary Palm with wife Cynthia, Peggy Chun (whose works are on the Compadres restroom walls), Ramsay with husband Dr. Norman Goldstein, sculptor John Nipholt with wife Candace Charlot, soon to relocate to the Pacific Northwest. Also popping into town and showing up was Beverly Nelson, who's now an Internet-allied entrepreneur based in San Francisco. Ramsay took the occasion to present me with a framed poster-sized photo I'd shown her, of me and a smiling Dr. Ruth Westheimer, holding hands. Everyone insisted on "the rest of the story," but I gave them the "gentlemen never talks about such things" retort ...

Touring with Taj

HE'S best known in Hawaii as a real estate guy, but when Fred Lunt takes off tomorrow on a tour of Europe, he'll have other things on his mind besides the cost of property. He'll be living his not-so-secret life as steel-guitar player with the Taj Mahal Blues Band. They'll be performing 32 concerts in five weeks throughout Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia and Portugal. This is nothing new for Lunt, who's played for Taj Mahal off and on since 1986, appeared on "The Prairie Home Companion," done two Blues Cruises in the Caribbean plus previous tours of Europe and Australia ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.

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