Do It! Pacific Rim Jazz Fest, Charice, more
THURSDAY, NOV. 8 — SUNDAY, DEC. 9
“Fishing for Wives” takes place during Hawaii’s “picture bride” era
“Fishing for Wives,” a new play by Ed Sakamoto getting its world premiere Thursday at Kumu Kahua Theatre, recalls an era in Hawaii when single immigrant men from Japan would be paired with women by exchanging pictures.
If you think online dating is fraught with uncertainty, consider the “picture bride” era. Men often sent less-than-honest depictions of reality, with many of the men sending touched-up pictures taken years earlier or posing in front of homes or cars that weren’t theirs.
In “Fishing for Wives” two single men — one a happy bachelor, the other not — set the wheels in motion for what’s being called “a battle of the sexes,” but the play “really is about the women who come here to be married,” said director Harry Wong, calling the play “mostly a comedy.”
Sakamoto wrote the play after reading a story about “an issei generation woman who refused to go back home because the boat ride made her so sick,” Wong said. “It’s about the strength and weaknesses they had in encountering Hawaii.”
“It’s a glimpse into a generation that few younger people know,” Wong said, “And I think also not that many people ask questions, like, ‘Mom, how come you decided to stay?’”
Britni Keltz and Michelle Hunter, pictured, and Justin Fragiao and Daniel Nishida star.
Where: Kumu Kahua Theatre, 46 Merchant St.
When: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays; Thursday-Dec. 9
Info: kumukahua.org/fishing-for-wives or 536-4441
SATURDAY, NOV. 3
Let’s hear it for the Pacific Rim Jazz Festival
An all-star cast of musicians plus gourmet dining will be on tap for the Third Annual Pacific Rim Jazz Festival on Saturday at the Hawai’i Convention Center.
The bill features Deniece Williams, pictured, recipient of four Grammy Awards and nine Grammy nominations, who is known for her chart-topping his “Let’s Hear It for the Boy” and “Gonna Take a Miracle,” and the Rippingtons, a Grammy-nominated powerhouse band led by guitarist Russ Freeman which has 18 studio recordings, including the new release “Cote d’Azur.”
Coming in from Japan will be Kaori Kobayashi, a classically trained musician who turned to jazz and was subsequently voted the “Most beautiful saxophonist in Asia” in 2009. Her video of “Nothing Is Gonna Change My Love for You” received 5 million YouTube hits.
Local talent will be represented by smooth-jazz specialists Michael Paulo, the saxophonist who founded the festival three years ago, and vocalist Starr Kalahiki, whose album “Salt” won Na Hoku Hanohano awards for best jazz album and most promising artist. Renowned trumpeter Rick Braun and pianist Brian Simpson are also on the bill.
Tasting stations will feature fare from top restaurants, including 3660 on the Rise, Sidestreet Inn and others, with $300 platinum seating including a five-course plated dinner.
The festival is a benefit for the Kapolei Foundation, which provides scholarships to Leeward Oahu.
Where: Hawai’i Convention Center, Kalakaua Ballroom
When: 4 p.m. Saturday
Cost: $60-$130 ($300 platinum)
Info: www.pacificrimjazzfestival.com, TIX.com or 951-696-0184
SATURDAY, NOV. 3
Charice to show Hawaii why she’s a website star
Singer Charice Pempengco packs a powerhouse voice in her 5-foot-1-inch body, and it has propelled her to worldwide fame.
Now known simply as Charice, she’s been championed by Oprah Winfrey, who set her up to sing with Celine Dion at Madison Square Garden, and she had a recurring role on “Glee.” Her dynamic voice, which shows surprising power through broad range, will be on display Saturday at Blaisdell Arena as part of her “Infinity” tour.
With the posting of a few videos in 2007, she became a YouTube sensation. Charice subsequently has been invited to appear several times on Winfrey’s show, where her rendition of “Note to God” became a top 10 iTunes hit. “That voice comes from something bigger than yourself,” Winfrey said.
Grammy-winning producer David Foster has taken her under his wing, inviting her to perform on his PBS special with such stars as Michael Buble, Dion, Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli, with whom she performed in Tuscany. Charice also has two film appearances (“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel” and “Here Comes the Boom” with Kevin James and Salma Hayek).
Hawaii native Cheesa Laureta, who made a splash in the first season of “The Voice,” is on the bill as well.
Where: Blaisdell Arena
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Info: ticketmaster.com or 800-745-3000
SATURDAY-SUNDAY, NOV. 3-4
Ethnic minorities of China stand out in troupe’s shows
The Splendor of China lives up to its title this weekend with performances by the Yunnan Honghezhou Performing Arts Troupe.
The troupe features performers from many of China’s ethnic minorities, such as the Hani, Yi, Miao, Dai Zhuang and Bai groups. (The majority ethnic group is Han.) Many of the groups are easily recognizable for their colorful costumes and live in semiautonomous regions in Yunnan province, a region in southwestern China known for its rugged terrain and jade deposits.
The troupe also performs at the Hawaii Theater on Monday.
The Splendor of China also features food stalls, martial arts exhibitions, lion dances, fashion shows, calligraphy exhibits and arts and crafts. Traditional arts of lantern-making and paper-cutting will be demonstrated by experts He Weifu and Wang Jianzhong, both declared national living treasures in China.
Where: Blaisdell Exhibition Hall
When: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday
Cost: $3 (children under 9 free)
Info: www.splendorofchina.com or 533-3181
Also: The Yunnan Honghezhou Performing Arts Troupe performs at 7 p.m. Monday at the Hawaii Theatre; $11-$21. hawaiitheatre.com or 528-0506
– Steven Mark