Do It: HTY, ‘DJs Against AIDS,’ Rell Sunn, more

Nov. 25, 2011 | 0 Comments In the Star-Advertiser Friday Print Edition


“A Samoan Bowl” helps communicate the power of family, in a world-premiere production by the Honolulu Theatre for Youth

Honolulu Theatre for Youth’s 2011-12 “Season of Cultures” continues with the world premiere of “Tasi’s Gift: The Tale of a Samoan Bowl.”

The play is tied to a children’s book of the same name published by Calabash Books, which will donate $5 to HTY from the purchase of each book. Authors Tamara Montgomery and Joseph D. Dodd (also the play’s set and props designer) will be at each public performance.

“Tasi’s Gift” director and HTY artistic director Eric Johnson said the company “has wanted to do a Samoan play for a number of years, and since it’s filled with dance and music, it’s a perfect choice for our ‘Season of Cultures.’”

The young Tuala learns to carve a traditional bowl from her master carver grandfather. With help from a few magical forest dwellers, Tuala creates a ceremonial bowl worthy of the new chief.

“When we think of Samoan culture, warriors or football players are its representations,” Johnson said. “But this play is a really different story about family, legacy and a girl’s relationship with her grandfather. It captures a side of a culture that’s very much family- and community-based.”

The cast is made up of current HTY company actor Nina Buck, former HTY actor Jordan Savusa (recently relocated to Los Angeles and coming back to Hawaii especially for this production) and newcomers Liugalua Liugalua and Vaialofi Samifua.

“Liugalua and Vai are wonderful, and the entire cast has really done its all to create the music and choreography themselves, which is such a big part of the culture,” Johnson said. “This is a nontraditional holiday show for us, but because the story is about giving and gifts, it fits in very nicely for a holiday audience.”

Where: Tenney Theatre on the grounds of The Cathedral of St. Andrew, 229 Queen Emma Square

When: 7:30 p.m. today, and continues 4:30 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 17

Cost: $20 general, $15 seniors over 60, and $10 youth 18 and under (recommended for ages 5 and up)

Info: 839-9885 or

— Gary Chun


Marines’ kids’ concert offers soul, uke, Nabors

It’s time for the Marine Corps’ gift to the community with the fourth annual Na Mele o na Keiki holiday concert.

The free family concert features the talents of the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Band, along with special guests including Jim Nabors (who has been named an honorary Marine corporal for his role in the sitcom “Gomer Pyle, USMC”), young ukulele sensation Aidan James, pictured below right, and jazz/blues guitarist Chris Vandercook, pictured at right.

Aidan, age 10, has performed in Los Angeles as an opening act for HAPA, which also will be part of the concert bill, Little said.

The Motown-inspired Hawaiian Soul band and dancers from the Hawaii State Ballet, who will perform selections from “The Nutcracker,” will also be on hand.

“The artists are all very gracious to volunteer their time to perform with our band,” said Chuck Little, deputy director of public affairs for the USMC Forces Pacific. “We feel very blessed that we can help offer this opportunity for families to enjoy a night of free entertainment.”

Concertgoers are welcome to support the Marines’ Toys for Tots Hawaii program. Marines will be on hand to accept donations of new, unwrapped toys or cash.

Where: Blaisdell Concert Hall

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

Cost: Free, tickets available at the Blaisdell Center box office, with a limit of six per person, with unclaimed seats open to the public 10 minutes before show time.

Info: 477-8309 or

— Gary Chun

DJs fight AIDS with ‘pride and drive’

Greg Dehnert, better known as DJ G-Spot, pictured, remembers one of the first club events he did in Hawaii — it was a little thing called DJs Against AIDS.

The event is now in its 17th consecutive year.

“I always had the wherewithal, pride and drive to do this every year,” Dehnert said. “AIDS was more on the radar back then, but now it’s just as important to bring out more publicity about the disease to today’s youth and nightlife.”

Hula’s Bar & Lei Stand has been the event’s venue in the past couple of years, but Dehnert remembers when DJs Against AIDS roved through different clubs, “like Wave Waikiki and Venus, and even occasionally warehouses.”

More than 25 DJs will be volunteering their services for the cause, including Miko, Miki Mayhem, Hanu, Maxx, Nikolus, Scarrd, Xanergy and Tide, with proceeds going to the nonprofit Life Foundation.

Where: Hula’s Bar & Lei Stand, 134 Kapahulu Ave. #2

When: 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday

Cost: $5 donated pre-sale, 21 and over

Info: 1-877-874-7668 or groove­, also 591-3500 and

— G.C.


Rell Sunn concert honors Makaha surfer’s memory

The Rell Sunn Aloha Jam III, a fundraiser for the Rell Sunn Educational Fund, is part of the Vans Triple Crown festivities and another option for celebrating Hawaii’s surfing tradition. Three-time ASP world surfing champ-turned-musician Tom Curren, Henry Kapono, Robi Kahakalau, Kelly Boy De Lima, Owana Salazar, Lehua Kalima & Shawn Pimental, Saving Cadence, H-Trey, S.I. (“Simply Irresistable”) Ladies & Mz. Royalty, Makua Rothman and Mike Vigil will provide the entertainment, and Turtle Bay provides the site.

It pays tribute to Rell Sunn, a Makaha girl since her birth in 1950, and a pioneer in women’s competitive surfing and water sports. Hawaii’s first female lifeguard on Oahu’s west side and a founder of the Women’s Professional Surfing Tour, Sunn started the Menehune Surf Contest in Makaha in 1976, giving uncounted kids a push that could help them realize their potential.

Sunn was felled by breast cancer in 1998, at age 47, but her menehune contest and spirit of aloha live on.

California artist Dan Kubat created the event poster, with illustrated images of Rell Sunn as we know her best — sun on her face, and riding waves. Kubat, who began his art career with surf and action imagery, and has worked as a storyboard artist for Disney and other major studios, said he hearkened back to “the fun, the vibe and the energy” of his youthful work to create the poster. See Kubat’s artwork at

Where: Turtle Bay Resort, 57-091 Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku

When: 5 p.m. Sunday

Cost: $25; $60 VIP includes dinner buffet and drink tickets. Food and drink available.


— Elizabeth Kieszkowski

No Comments

Comments are closed.