By Dave Donnelly

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

New restaurant to open
at Havana Cabana site

JUST when a lot of local businesses are complaining about loss of sales, up steps a woman like Kate Wagner to open a new restaurant, the Star Point Cafe on the site of the late, lamented Havana Cabana at Nuuanu and Pauahi Streets, behind the old Hawaii Theatre. Wagner has a long background as an executive chef at numerous restaurants around the country and locally apprenticed under Roy Yamaguchi and Sam Choy, two chefs who have expanded into a number of locations each. Wagner of late has been working on community partnerships for the Lung Association, which makes her takeover of a cigar-themed eatery a bit ironic. Will she allow cigar smoking? Probably after dinner, she thinks. Wagner hopes to be up and serving before the Christmas holidays ... On the other side of the smoking issue is entertainer Keith Haugen, who has this thing about smoking in restaurants. Haugen was so upset when he heard that City Councilwoman Rene Mansho had accepted $2,000 from the tobacco lobby, he volunteered to offer her $2,201 if she'd give it back. "Don't know where I'd get the money," says Haugen, but I'm sure there are 2,201 restaurant employees who would kick in a dollar each to be able to work in a smoke-free workplace." Don't bank on it, Keith ... 

CAST as a Japanese singer-dancer in the Takarazuka Theater in Army Community Theatre's production of "Sayonara" is a Chinese singer, Sherry Chock Wong. The show premieres tomorrow at Fort Shafter's Richardson Theatre. Sherry intended to be a genetic researcher and got a degree in biology from UH before turning to music. She's appeared in both "Phantom" and "Carousel" at Diamond Head Theatre and is a member of the Hawaii Opera Theatre chorus ...

Law prevails

IT'S been a lot of years since actor John Phillip Law and I were in "Death of a Salesman" at UH, and since then he's gone on to appear in some 60 films, many of them Italian action flicks and since "The Hawaiiians" in 1970, mostly "B" movies. But now he's been cast in a film written and directed by Roman Coppola, whose sister, Sophia, plays a cameo. Others with whom Law will appear are Gerard Depardieu, Dean Stockwell, Giancarlo Giannini, Billy Zane and model Angela Lindvall ...

THAT Elks Club benefit for vibes artist Arthur Lyman contained one morning segment that a lot of folks who arrived late missed. It was a chicken-skin moment which really got to Hank Taufaasau. He reports that during a jazz portion of the entertainment, while Betty Loo Taylor, Gabe Baltazar and their gang performed, ex-Alii Pat Sylva sneaked in with Lyman's vibes and though weak and frail from battling throat cancer, Arthur took over the session and played, leaving nary a dry eye in the place ...

Duet right

THE aforementioned Hank Taufaasau is looking forward to a jazz evening of his own tomorrow night at Hank's American Cafe on Nuuanu. Pierre Grill, the pianist who plays on Friday nights for guest artists or customers who aspire to be singers, will join with Ernie Provencher to launch their new CD, "Music for Two." It refers to his piano and Ernie's bass and the music is jazz, a far cry from his usual Friday fare ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.
The Week That Was recalls items from Dave's 30 years of columns.

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