Friday - July 28, 2006
WHEN I HEAR the words, “Honolulu Symphony Pops,” only one name comes to my mind: Matt Catingub. There have been countless nights when I enjoyed the huge musical talent of various artists inside the Blaisdell Concert Hall. Some of the big stars I’ve seen perform with Matt and his Pops include Michael McDonald (saw him twice), Diana Krall (love, love her music) and Rosemary Clooney. Local artists including Na Leo and Amy Gilliom have kept my friends and me entertained more than once. This year Maestro Matt heads into season eight as conductor for the popular musical series, with Pat Benetar on the calendar for opening night in October.
Wynonna Judd is also on tap to perform this year. (I actually got a phone call from a friend who asked me to promise him a seat next to me during the upcoming season - yes, ladies, he is “metro” - muah, John). There are several shows, each with a different artist, so saving a seat shouldn’t be too hard. Also on the plate for our favorite conductor is the newly formed Matt Catingub Orchestra of Hawaii (MCOoH). Catingub created the orchestra as another outlet for local musicians to highlight their talent and has joined forces with Grammy award-winning producer Allen Sviridoff, who will produce the orchestra’s first CD. The music compilation will be recorded next month and be released globally this fall. MCOoH’s first live performance comes to us in March 2007. ... Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa conducted his first acting workshop for Pacific New Media at the University of Hawaii earlier this month. Just getting the actor to the Islands for the workshop seemed like an action-packed thriller. After wrapping up acting duties on his first comedy, Balls of Fury with Christopher Walken, Tagawa took the redeye from L.A. to Honolulu where he began classes the very next day, with hardly any sleep! Tagawa, who is known to play the villainous role in many movies, told his student-actors that it’s important to infuse tremendous energy into the villain role to make him appear stronger than the hero. That, he explains, helps the hero emerge larger than life when he prevails. At the end of the two-day tutorial, Tagawa took another redeye back to L.A. so he could begin filming an independent action movie called Duel of Legends, in which he plays the starring role. Duel should prove to be a huge highlight for Tagawa’s fans - he’s died in 21 of his films, but negotiated to survive in this one! And in case you missed this month’s workshop, don’t worry.
Our favorite local villain (and now, hero) has been asked to come back to do another one. ... OK, so we’ve highlighted movies and music, and now, let’s focus on some food! There’s a great little eatery at Ala Moana Center that I’ve introduced many friends to. Thanks to my friend Gina Garcia, who introduced me to the place about a year ago.
Panya’s Alice and Annie
It’s called Panya, and if you’ve ever had a chance to stop by, you’ll know why I keep going back. The small place attracts big names. Just last month Michelle Wie stopped by to purchase cakes. A couple of years ago, Wie’s parents had Panya owners, Annie and Alice Yeung (they’re sisters), make their daughter a birthday cake - it was strawberry shortcake, complete with a golf course on top! Other fans of the food stop include Fiji, who loves to order pineapple juice with lots of ginger (think the mixture is good for the vocal cords?), Mountain Apple’s Jon DeMello, who chooses grape juice (I’ve had that - it’s yummy), Mona K. Wood, Vicky Cayetano, Robert Cazimero, Carole Kai, Russell Tanoue, Gregg and Shawnee Hammer, Mahealani Richardson and many more notables. Members of the Honolulu Police Community Foundation met there recently and raved about the peanut butter french toast. ... And as we know, with any meal, come celebrations. Hau’oli la hanau to Alex Kirley, head of sales and marketing for Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Romano’s Macaroni Grill. Kirley highlighted her birthday with friend and publicist Lisa Josephsohn (also a July baby) with a luncheon at The Bistro in Century Center. Later that day, Josephsohn indulged in more birthday fanfare with Cheri Schoch. Schoch also blows out candles this month - her husband, Randy, is the owner of the Ruth’s Chris and Romano’s franchises in Hawaii.
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