Star-Bulletin Features

Sunday, December 30, 2001

Remember 9-11-01


After four Hoku wins this year, 'Ale'a became a trio when Kalai Stern, far right, left the group to go to college. The remaining members are, from left, Chad Takatsugi, Kale Hannahs and Gonzo Gonzalez.

Effects of Sept. 11 shook isle
entertainment world

By John Berger

The Sept. 11 World Trade Center Towers tragedy cast a long shadow on Hawaii's entertainment industry, exacerbating the effects of an already fragile economy. Waikiki's entertainers were among those hardest hit as visitor numbers plummeted. The YES! Encore Hawaii show closed barely two weeks after the East Coast terrorist attacks. The Navatek Moonlight Cruise was terminated. "Creation: A Polynesian Odyssey," Tihati Productions' show at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani, closed for several weeks before reopening with a reduced schedule. The Outrigger Main Showroom remained open but reduced the number of shows offered.

Many entertainers lost their jobs outright. Others had hours cut. Musicians who plugged into the lucrative convention-show circuit saw that business implode as well.

Silver linings: DisGuyz wrote and recorded "Our Nation In Song" the night of the attacks and had it on local radio and TV stations the next morning. Proceeds from the CD-single were donated to victim-related charities. John Kolivas debuted the Honolulu Jazz Quartet with "Remembrance," with proceeds going to WTC victims and survivors. And Matt Catingub introduced "In Memory" as his contribution to the healing process during the Honolulu Symphony's first "Pops" concert in October.

Destiny's Child gave Hawaii a memorable one-night show in September.

Honolulu saw few memorable big concerts in 2001 but two were world-class: Elton John returned to Blaisdell Arena in January with a group that included old-time band members Nigel Olsson and Davey Johnstone, and Destiny's Child proved to be better than Britney when the trio played a steamy one-nighter in the Arena in September.

The Romantics, RATT, and the Dazz Band helped keep Gussie L'Amour's the prime club for oldies acts. World Cafe ruled as the foremost concert club for contemporary acts including Tippa Irie, 311, Patti Smith, Pauly Shore and Alicia Keys. Tommy Davidson, D.L. Hughley and Howie Mandel brought top-caliber comedy to town, Christopher Cross distinguished himself with the Honolulu Symphony in October, and mime legend Marcel Marceau performed at the Blaisdell Concert Hall in November. Rockers were treated to Tool at Andrew's Amphitheatre the same month.

Local music: Honolulu has two fiercely competitive Jawaiian/"island music" radio stations, but Hawaiian traditionalists dominated the 24th Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in May. 'Ale'a won four Hokus including "Group of the Year." Darlene Ahuna, Led Kaapana and Ku'uipo Kumukahi represented traditional Hawaiian music with wins in other major categories.

Genoa Keawe and the Haili Church Choir were inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame and honored with a concert at Kawaiahao Church. Johnny Kai's Hawaii Music Awards were postponed, then canceled in Sept. 11's aftermath.

Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole became one of few local recording artists to make one of Billboard's major record charts when "Alone In IZ World" appeared on the pop albums chart. Producer Jon de Mello had scored a local first by persuading more than 40 Hawaii radio stations to play IZ's recording of "Mona Lisa" simultaneously on Sept. 7.

Theater: Moses William Goods III and Helen Lee gave a tremendous performance as Mephistopheles in director Dennis Carroll's epic staging of Goethe's "Faust I"/"Faust II" at Kennedy Theatre. Dorothy Stamp and Eric Nemoto put The Actors Group on the map in a big way by winning "Leading Female in a Play" and "Leading Male in a Play" honors at the Po'okela Awards for performances in "Oleanna." The show was also the "Overall Play" winner.

Larry Paxton opened the 2001-02 season with a superb performance in the title role of Diamond Head Theatre's "Jekyll & Hyde."

The most enthusiastically received show of 2001 was the Ann Brandman/Bridget Kelly production of "The Vagina Monologues" at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa in March. So many people tried to force their way into Kuykendall Auditorium to see it that a second show was added.

Friends we lost: Kimo Wilder McVay's last wish came true when Keola and Kapono Beamer performed "Honolulu City Lights" during his Waikiki beachside funeral in July. Irmgard Farden Aluli's family "sang her into heaven" as she passed away three days before her 90th birthday in October. Loyal Garner directed rehearsals for the Local Divas' concert by phone after she was hospitalized with terminal colon cancer; fellow Diva Melveen Leed suffered a mild heart attack during Garner's graveside services in November, but she, Carole Kai and Nohelani Cypriano gave "The Lady of Love" a fine send-off with an assist from Mel Cabang before a capacity crowd at the Sheraton Waikiki on Dec. 19.

Society of Seven X 2: Tony Ruivivar and Bert Sagum shook up Waikiki when they assembled a second SOS group - SOS-Las Vegas - that included Glenn Miyashiro and Jonathan Kaina from Honolulu the Band, and Richard Natto from the Krush, along with Freddy Von Paraz, Jan Luna, Johnny Fernandez and John Salvatera. Honolulu survived by recruiting Bobby Gonzales and Amado Cacho to replace Miyashiro and Kaina. The Krush broke up for third time; several members became the core of Tino & The Rhythm Klub. SOS-LV proved perfect clones of the "old" SOS, filling in when the originals perform elsewhere.

Anniversaries: Wave Waikiki became "legal" as Jack Law marked the Wave's 21st anniversary in November. Rumours' 20th anniversary passed without fanfare the first week of September.

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