Dave Donnelly

That slow boat to China
beats a fast airliner

IT WAS a fascinating piece by Charlotte Philips in Sunday's Star-Bulletin travel section about a visit to China on board a freighter, which must have seemed like a good idea at the time. Despite papers from the Chinese Embassy in L.A. which were in order, they wouldn't let her in despite bribes, etc. A bit of advice to Philips: Forget the "romantic" notion of traveling by freighter--get on an airplane. That's what a delegation of Honolulu Academy of Arts trustees are doing to cement relations with the Academy's newest cultural partner, the Shanghai Museum. Joining Academy Director Stephen Little on the trip are Sam & Mary Cooke, Judy Dawson, Tim Choy, Alice & Rab Guild, Trish O'Neill, Jean Rolles and Ed & Carroll Sultan. None, I can assure everyone, is traveling by freighter. Even show impresario Jack Cione confides he tired of freighter travel and now goes first class ...

Long journey to Mayfair

ANOTHER follow-up from a Star-Bulletin historic look back piece last week on the old Beretania Follies, located just down an alley from the original Columbia Inn. It mentions the "naughtiness" of the shows, lawsuits and one performer, Orchid Kainoa, but didn't mention the piano player, who I recall well and who has gone on to being probably the best director of musicals in Hawaii. I'm referring to Ron Bright (or "Ronnie" as he was known then) who even had the Castle High Performing Arts Center named for him. What's he up to now? Retired from Castle, Bright can't stay awake from the "Bright lights," and now directing a $100,000 production of "My Fair Lady" at the gorgeous Paliku Theater on the Windward Campus. It opens Thursday and, as usual, the Bright family is well represented. Ron's son Clarke is musical director, son Michael plays the drums, grandson Christopher is on percussion, and daughter-in-law Lynell is on keyboards. From Beretania St. to Mayfair is a long journey, but Ron Bright is quite agile ...

IF you're an adult, preferably arrested in development, and don't have a costume for Halloween as yet, you might stop by the Diamond Head Theater costume shop at the theater through Saturday. They claim to have the best costume selection in town, but, oddly, no costumes for kids are available. The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily ... Shades of the late Kimo McVay! He used to hold cockroach races annually, with the roaches named things like "Yellow Roach of Texas," "Roachard Nixon" and "Chateau da feet Roachchild." Now Bishop Museum is getting into the act and having roach races as part of this year's "Treat Street" at the Museum Friday. Kids must bring their own roaches ...

Field trip

NOT only has Richard Field agreed to provide wines for the Hawaii Theater's 2003-2004 season which was kicked off with "The Caper" at Neiman Marcus, he also won the bidding for "The Ultimate Caper," a 12-day Silversea Cruise that sails from Istanbul to Venice in a picture-window Veranda Suite, calling at ports in Turkey, Croatia, Montenegro and Italy. I hope he'll save me all the wine labels of bottles he and his wife Emily put away ...

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968. The Week That Was runs Sundays and recalls items from Dave's 30 years of columns. Contact Dave by e-mail:


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