Pulse picks: reggae, ‘Pandemonium,’ art, movies

Aug. 11, 2011 | 0 Comments

HONOLULU PULSE STAFF / honolulupulse@staradvertiser.com

Reggae beat

Today’s pick: Ingratiating Jamaican reggae star Tarrus Riley (“Love is Contagious”) and his band, Blak Soil, direct from Jamaica, are an appealing choice tonight at Aloha Tower Marketplace, with mainland acts Common Kings and Spawnbreezie and Hawaii performers Jah Maoli, Kimie, Micah G and Rootikal Riddim; $35 (VIP tickets sold out).

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the music will likely start sometime after 8; the venue is open to those 18 and over. Details: www.hifinest.com. Check out our previous coverage here and here.
— Elizabeth Kieszkowski, ekieszkowski@staradvertiser.com

‘The Mercury Wonder Show’

Artist Eric West in character as Professor Pandemonium. HSA photo by Bruce Asato

When a hui of Honolulu artists named their vaudeville event “The Mercury Wonder Show,” you have to know they were looking to step into some big footprints.

Another lifetime ago, during World War II, genius actor-director Orson Welles put a show of the same title together in L.A., and then on tour, featuring at one time or another a couple of actors you might have heard of: Rita Hayworth and Marlene Dietrich. Among the stunts: Welles sawed Dietrich in half, a goofy, charming magic trick that survives on video as part of the footage from an otherwise-forgettable movie, “Follow the Boys.”

Just like Welles, these artists are footing the bill for a local version of “The Mercury Wonder Show.” Brainstormers include Professor Pandemonium, aka Eric West, Mercury Bar, Pamela Poles and Katharine Raquinio (aka Kitty Chow). The posse of artsy collaborators is volunteering to make it possible, and Honolulu’s own Mercury Bar is providing a public venue.

Last Friday, Aug. 5, Pandemonium introduced the public to a taste of his predilections with an open house at his Mendonca Building studio. The atmosphere was cabaret burlesque, with Pamela Poles’ acrobatic pole dancing, chanting, torch songs from Raquinio and a lovely hostess dressed in a scanty red corset, among other delights.

The professor of pandemonium was dressed in an emcee’s uniform of top hat and blazer, and gave a short demo of his schtick, from grotesquely amusing stunts of self-impalement to simply rolling around on the floor. It was great!

So here’s the deal, direct from Professor Pandemonium: “If you guys missed out on seeing me pound a five-inch nail through my skull or destroying a cinder block on top of my head with a sledge hammer on Friday, this Saturday, Aug. 13, I will be a part of The Amazing Mercury Wonder Show at Mercury Bar! We are all performing for free for a donation benefit. Please help the cause,” he says.

On top of Pandemonium’s sideshow, you’ll be treated to performance by Poles, who sexies up her bravado acrobatic performance (that’s a good thing), along with troupe The Waikiki Acrobats, along with other performing guests, accompanist Angela Kickuchi Dneale on piano, and DJ Doggg Show.

It all goes down at 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13 at Mercury Bar, 1154 Fort Street Mall (at Chaplain Lane). The show is free, but your donations support the artists equally, including the nonprofit Pandemonium Community Arts Organization, promoting nontraditional arts and fabrication, including instruction in sideshow arts such as The Human Blockhead, Mental Floss, The Bed of Nails, Straitjacket Escape, Precision Bullwhipping and Fire Eating — some of which you may see on display at the show. Contact Professor Pandemonium at PandemoniumSideshow@gmail.com.
— E.K.

‘Cabaret meets art’

Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School is coming to Honolulu, at the new ARTSmith space downtown.

Founded in a Brooklyn dive bar back in 2005, Dr. Sketchy’s concept is “cabaret meets art,” where artists find their inspiration working with glamorous, underground performers as models, all in a relaxing atmosphere — meaning with the free flow of alcohol.

"Pineapple Princess." Courtesy Karl T. Tobias

On Sunday night, the ARTSmith hosts its first Dr. Sketchy event, “Chinatown Tikitime,” billed as a place “where Cabaret meets Art.”

The Dr. Sketchy happening can be found in over 100 cities worldwide — now including ours, thanks to the efforts of Cherry Blossom Cabaret intern Ella Flaunt.

“I originally stumbled on to this online,” Flaunt said, “and I’ve been interested in bringing this out here for a year or so. I have friends in Manhattan who enjoy this, and I think something like this is perfect as part of the regeneration of Honolulu art nightlife.

“Dr. Sketchy only allows for one city per state, so we’ve joined other cities spanning 16 countries and 5 continents. The format is that models will pose for sketching and drawing in a three-hour time slot that contains a number of sets and breaks during that period.”

Cherry Blossom Cabaret performers who will model are fellow intern Vy Vicious, aerialist Madame X, Lola Love, and Miss Catwings (pictured here as the Pineapple Princess).

The cover charge is $7 to join in on the drawing, and $10 for drawing and drinking (BYOB for those 21-and-over only, IDs checked at the door). Bring your own art supplies.

The fun runs from 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday at The ARTSmith, 1109 Maunakea St. #215, second floor of the Mendonca Building. Enter on the Smith Street side of the building in Chinatown, across from the Little Village restaurant.

Link here or on Facebook for more.

— Gary Chun, gchun@staradvertiser.com

Fun flicks

Local multiplexes are trying new things with their multiple screens lately, with special screenings of old favorites, as well as live, in-concert and theatrical productions.

Next week at the Dole Cannery Stadium 18, a cult classic and another aimed at modern-day meta TV fans are on their way.

John Goodman, left, and Jeff Bridges in "The Big Lebowski." (Courtesy Photo)

1998’s “The Big Lebowski” from the Coen brothers will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16. Starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, and Julianne Moore, it’s about a couple of bowling buddies — one a stoner, the other a hard-as-nails war veteran — who become involved with a multimillionaire and his family wanted by mobsters.

It’s a great story filled with memorable character acting, led by Bridges’ brilliant performance as Jeffrey Lebowski, aka “The Dude.”

Courtesy Photo

“RiffTrax Live: ‘Jack the Giant Killer” arrives at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17. In this one, the wisecracking crew of “Mystery Science Theater 3000” — Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett — take on the cheesy 1962 fantasy movie “Jack the Giant Killer,” “a movie bursting with Vikings, giant rubber monsters and a leprechaun in a jar!”

Turns out Nelson, Murphy and Corbett didn’t fade away once the popular cable show went off the air; they’re back as RiffTrax, and are now doing their shtick beamed to theaters across the country. (It’s good to know.)

A handful of shorts will be tossed into the mix, and free digital goodies will be available for downloading after the show with the help of an on-screen URL.

Ticket prices are $10 for “The Big Lebowski” and $12.50 for the RiffTrax show. Go to fandango.com to get tickets online.

— G.C.

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