On the Scene

John Berger

Ballet Hawaii’s
magical "nutcracker"

THREE HAPPY TEAMMATES: Edwin Vicente, left, Anne Namba and Honolulu Symphony conductor Stuart Chafetz were all smiles at the backstage party that followed the opening of Ballet Hawaii's production of "Nutcracker" in the Blaisdell Concert Hall on Friday. Namba had helped Vicente complete the giant hoop skirt he designed for Ben Moffatt (Mother Ginger). Chaftetz did his usual charismatic job conducting the symphony.

GREAT JOB, MICHAEL!: Ballet Hawaii board member Jim Hutchison, left, congratulated Michael Vernon on his well-nuanced portrayal of the mystical Herr Drosselmeyer. Vernon, a perennial favorite in the annual production, had a talented co-star in Makena Miller (Marie).

A FAIRY AND FRIENDS: Ballet Hawaii Artistic Director Pamela Taylor-Tongg, right, celebrated with Xiomara Reyes (Sugar Plum Fairy) and Joaquin De Luz (Cavalier). The couple's glorios Grand Pas de Deux was a stirring finale to an enchanting show that had a dramatic new look for 2003. In Scene 2 set designer Peter Dean Beck's Christmas tree suddenly "grew" to giant size and the perspective changed to create a floor-level view of the battle between the toys and the mice.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

John Berger has covered the local
entertainment scene since 1972. Contact
him at


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