On the Scene
John Berger

Storyteller’s trip
to Turkey fuels
‘Arabian Nights’ tales

AMAZING STORIES: Storyteller Jeff Gere is back from Turkey with enough tales of real-life adventures for a new contemporary "Arabian Nights" show co-starring belly dancer Willow Chang as "The Russian." Ask him about it ...

JUST SAY "YES": Their band is named Jeff Said No, but drummer Jeff Ilardi and keyboardist Mark Tanouye both said "yes" when asked to sit in with Darby Slick for four shows at the Esprit Nightclub. Slick and the guys played this past Monday and Tuesday. They wrap it up this coming Monday and Tuesday. Show time is 9 p.m. ...

GETTING INTO 'GREASE': If Cortney Harper (Jan) and Jason Harper (Roger) seem particularly convincing as tentative lovers during their big number, "Mooning," it's because they don't have to pretend. Yup, they're married ... David Schlumpf, who seems so perfectly cast as nerdy Eugene Florcyzk, is also the designated understudy for the role of hip disc jockey Vince Fontaine and is on track to take over the role of Fontaine later this spring ... And, it's gotta be said, after all these years, Frankie Avalon is still a class act and an engaging entertainer. He makes no secret of his age, and why should he? FYI, Avalon is 65 and looks 50 ...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To "Uncle Tom" Moffatt, who is celebrating today ... also to Dion Donahue, Kahauanu Lake, Tommy Lake, Jade Moon and Bill Tapia (Saturday), and Jeff Peterson (Sunday) ...

CONGRATULATIONS: To Noel Okimoto, whose Hoku Award-winning album, "Ohana," was one of five by artists with Hawaii ties reviewed in the December issue of Downbeat magazine, and the only one to receive a four-star rating. Ratings for the others ranged from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 ...

ONE IN, ONE OUT: Peter Maharaj is adding the "Pre-Grand Opening" of his new Maharaja Ultra Lounge to the list of New Year's Eve events. Call 923-RAJA for details ... Flash Hansen warns that "Due to the ... uncontrollable fact that the 1st Saturday of 2005 is January 1st, the ultimate hangover day ..." there will be no SKYLiNE party at the Hanohano Room this weekend ...

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

John Berger has covered the local entertainment scene since 1972. Contact him at jberger@starbulletin.com.

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