Do It: Lea Salonga, Kamehameha Ho’olaulea, more

Feb. 22, 2013 | 0 Comments In the Star-Advertiser Friday Print Edition
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--Courtesy photo

Lea Salonga is keeping busy with several projects on and off Broadway

Singer-actor Lea Salonga burst onto the world stage as a teenage sensation in the 1990s in “Miss Saigon” in London and then New York, following that up with equally enchanting performances in “Les Miserables,” Disney films and a slew of other shows and concerts. She shows no signs of slowing down.

“Recently I had a Jazz at Lincoln Center performance, and Monday I have another Lincoln Center performance, a concert performance of ‘Ragtime,'” she said last week on the phone from New York. She’s also preparing to bring “Allegiance,” George Takei’s production on the Japanese-American internment, to Broadway after a highly praised run at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego.

“I think it’s officially the most successful production the Old Globe has ever had, as far as attendance records and box-office receipts,” she said.

Salonga is dropping by for a performance here on Saturday, singing show-tune favorites, pop tunes and “one or two” Filipino songs for her local countrymen.

Typically, her shows offer a great variety — her performance at Lincoln Center included Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” — and she’s been singing Adele tunes as well.

“I kind of get that tingle when I feel that a song is something that I would want to sing,” Salonga said.

Early in her career, she was noted for a particularly sweet, angelic voice, but she notices her voice changing now.

“I haven’t lost my high notes, and I actually feel a little steadier in them at the moment,” she said. “But the deeper end, the lower end has gotten more full-bodied, which makes me happy. When I sing lower notes, there’s a ring that wasn’t there before.”

She’s also happy that Broadway has become much more colorblind than it was when she was the first and only person of color in the “Les Miz” production of 1993.

“I thought it was very funny — I’m at the palest I’ll ever be, and I’m a thousand times darker than everyone else,” she said. “Fast-forward many, many years (to 2006), and it was like the United Colors of Benetton. … It was all about the music and about the singing and finding the right voices for these parts.”

Speaking of finding the right voices, she’s a big fan of shows like “American Idol.” Away from her husband and daughter, who were at home in the Philippines, she spent Valentine’s Day evening watching the show. “I scream at the TV when somebody’s out of tune,” she said. “It’s like no, no, stop, STOP!!!”

Where: Blaisdell Concert Hall
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Cost: $35-$125
Info: or 800-745-3000

Steven Mark

Kamehameha Schools’ fest celebrates culture
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If Hawaiian culture has at its heart the idea of ohana, then the Kamehameha Schools’ Ho’olaule’a is one of its best expressions.

That’s because students’ families contribute many of the items available at the event, which is celebrating its 83rd year on Saturday at the Kapalama campus. “We’ll have a silent auction, which is huge, and we’ll have our general store,” said Carol Moore, a parent volunteer with the school. “It’s all from parents who make Hawaiian-themed arts and crafts and donate it to the school, so it’s the kind of things you won’t find around.”

Specialties like kulolo, a dessertlike poi made by parents of students from Kauai, or the Kamehameha School brownies make the event special.

A fried-fish dish from Molokai drew long lines at last year’s event. “They must have sold a couple hundred plates,” Moore said. “People on Molokai love to eat fried fish and rice. That kind of thing that they bring to us in Honolulu on Oahu gives some good exposure for them.”

The celebration is also an opportunity to visit the campus, which used to be open to the public but in recent years has been closed, Moore said. “People can come and take pictures of the beautiful views that we have.”

Taimane Gardner, Naupa Greig, Ben and Malia, Kapena and performers from the Polynesian Cultural Center provide live entertainment. Rides and inflatables will be up for keiki.

The event is run by the sophomore class, and proceeds fund student programs.

Additional parking is available at Damien Memorial School and Kapalama Elementary School, with shuttles running every five minutes.

Where: Kamehameha Schools, 1887 Makuakane St.
When: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday
Cost: Free
Info: or 842-8680

Steven Mark

House singer adds a touch of dance beats
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House music will be in the house at the Sunset Room when singer Lisa Shaw performs on Saturday.

Shaw has gained a following with vocals that somehow seem warm and cool at the same time, with a sound described as similar to Sade or Roberta Flack, “if they were house singers.” She’s popular among the club crowd for working with attractive dance beats, even though her 2005 debut album “Cherry” featured moody, down-tempo works as well.

Shaw, who is of Jamaican descent, grew up in Toronto in a musical family — her father and brother were DJs. She went to New York on vacation and wound up launching a career, releasing the single “Makin Love Makin Music,” by DJ Smash, in 1995. She also produced several collaborations with former husband DJ Swingsett.

Her Naked Music release “Always,” with Dave Warrin, earned global acclaim, and Shaw later joined up with Warrin and Jay Denes to form Lovetronic, which produced the serene hit “You Are Love.”

Here Shaw appears with DJ Jask, an internationally recognized DJ/producer. Of Thai descent, he is known for bringing Asian influences into the house style, while his collaborations with Shaw have a space-disco effect.

Where: Sunset Room, Aloha Tower
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Cost: $15, $10 in advance
Info: or 855-235-2867

Chamber music, ballet join forces once again
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--Courtesy photo

Chamber Music Hawaii and Onium Ballet Project, collaborating together in performance this weekend, have a nice history together.

They’ve co-produced seven programs, with Onium director Minou Lallemand’s choreography breathing life into classic works such as “Appalachian Spring,” the iconic Aaron Copeland-Martha Graham work of the 1940s.

Two new works will be presented Sunday: “Trapeze,” with music by Sergei Prokofiev; and “Clocks,” by Miguel Del Aguila, an Uruguayan-born composer known for his Latin-influenced classical compositions.

“Trapeze” is “a ballet that was long lost,” Lallemand said. “It was originally composed as a ballet piece for a small touring company.”

As the name implies, the original ballet concerned a circus. Lallemand’s ballet keeps that as a background theme for a story about a love triangle. “I just kept listening to the music … to see what story came to my mind,” she said.

Del Aguila’s “Clocks,” composed in 1998, was nominated in 2011 for a Latin Grammy as best contemporary classical composition. It depicts an imaginary visit to a clock museum, exploring the sounds associated with clocks, from delicate timepieces to huge clocktowers.

The work is written for string quartet and piano. Thomas Yee, piano professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, plays the piano with the Galliard String Quartet.

“It’s about different types of clocks. How do you that in dance? Well, you’ll have to come and see,” Lallemand said.

Where: Paliku Theatre, Windward Community College
When: 4 p.m. Sunday
Cost: $30-$35
Info: or 489-5038

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