Do It! ‘Jake and Friends,’ YG, Gabriel Iglesias

Nov. 29, 2013 | 0 Comments In the Star-Advertiser Friday Print Edition
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–Courtesy photo

Jake Shimabukuro’s concert has a new venue and more musicians

Jake Shimabukuro fans who remember last year’s sold-out “Jake and Friends” concert at Hawaii Theatre remember it as a simple but elegant production, with the ukulele virtuoso playing solo for almost all of the concert, joined by his brother Bruce and singer Paula Fuga for a couple of tunes.

This year’s show promises to be a bigger production, perhaps more suggestive of “Grand Ukulele,” the title of his latest album, which had just been released at this time last year. The album was produced by classic-rock producer Alan Parsons (“Abbey Road,” “Dark Side of the Moon”) and has received some early Grammy buzz.

“We’re going to have a full rhythm section this time, so it will be Noel Okimoto (drums) and Dean Taba (bass) who are going to be performing with me, doing all the songs on the new record and some old ones,” Shimabukuro said. “Also Vernon Sakata, one of my favorite guitarists, is going to be one of the guest artists,” joining in an arrangement of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

“I’m really honored to have these three guys, because they’ve been my mentors when I was starting out,” Shimabukuro said.

The venue, meanwhile, has shifted to Blaisdell Concert Hall, which Shimabukuro admitted is “a little scary because it’s such a big venue. I started out in coffee shops, so I always prefer the smaller, intimate venues. Some of my best memories were playing over at the Willows restaurant or at Chai’s Island Bistro. Growing up playing in Hawaii, I’m used to seeing people’s faces. In between sets I can walk around the room and say hi to everybody.”

He’s had plenty of opportunity to adjust to whatever stage he’s on, though. Shimabukuro featured “Grand Ukulele” on a tour that took him to 140 cities, playing venues large and small.

“It was the first time that I traveled with the crew, and we had a tour bus. We had our own lights and our own sound (system),” said Shimabukuro, who was calling from Shelby, N.C., a night after playing in Louisville, Ky., and just before heading to Washington, D.C., the final mainland stop.

Wherever he is, he seems to be happiest onstage. “It’s always exciting going home and spending time with my family, but I just love playing,” he said. “It’s my passion, and I love being out here as well.”

Where: Blaisdell Concert Hall
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Cost: $20-$60
Info: 800-745-3000,

Steven Mark

‘Nothing’ portrays kids coping with war’s fallout
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Dec. 7, 1941, is a day that changed the course of history. Through the story of four Wahiawa youngsters, playwright Y York examines life after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and Wheeler Army Air Field in “Nothing Is the Same,” opening today at Honolulu Theatre for Youth’s Tenney Theatre.

Adults are completely absent from this powerful yet humorous play. It follows the lives and relationships of George (Junior Tesoro), Mits (Alvin Chan), Bobi (Maile Holck) and Daniel (Kalai Stern) from the day of the bombing through March 1942. The children have their worlds turned upside down and now must face living as kids during wartime.

“This play is extraordinary in the way that it can help today’s children walk in the shoes of those who have come before them,” guest director Mark Lutwak said in a release.

“Nothing Is the Same” is presented in partnership with Pacific Historic Parks. HTY and Pacific Historic Parks have invited Pearl Harbor survivors to attend, share their stories and sign autographs after select performances. The play is suggested for children ages 8 and older.

On Dec. 7, the 72nd anniversary of the bombing, two performances will be staged.

Where: Tenney Theatre, 229 Queen Emma Square
When: 7:30 p.m. today and Dec. 7; 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 and 14
Cost: $10-$20
Info: 839-9885,

‘Fluffy’ aims to pack Blaisdell with fans, laughter
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Everyone’s favorite aloha shirt-wearing comedian is back. Gabriel Iglesias, aka “Fluffy,” makes his return to the islands with a show Saturday at Blaisdell Arena.

If his set is anything like his last Hawaii performance, it will be chock-full of classic Fluffy humor as well as plenty of jokes only kamaaina will get.

His Comedy Central special “Aloha Fluffy” was taped at the Hawaii Theatre last December and debuted during the spring.

It not only included jokes about his life — his anecdotes about helping raise his teenage stepson are classic — but the Latino comic from California also made hilarious and incredibly accurate observations of local culture in Hawaii, with flawless pidgin to boot. His story about trying to understand the subtle difference between the terms “rajah dat” and “shoots” drew thunderous applause and laughter from the audience.

Where: Blaisdell Arena
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Cost: $48.80
Info: 800-745-3000,

Rapper YG to play free show at Republik
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After reaching 100, we stopped trying to count how many times the “n-word” is said in “My N****,” the biggest hit by rapper YG, short for Young Gangsta.

We may not be able to publish the name of the song, the clean version of which is called “My Hitta,” but you can hear it for yourself Thursday night at The Republik when YG performs a free concert presented by RVCA — or check it out on YouTube, where the official Vevo video is closing in on 27 million views.

The 23-year-old rapper from Compton, Calif., signed by Def Jam in 2009, released the single from his upcoming album, “My Krazy Life,” in September. The song, a shout-out to underground Atlanta that includes the line “I’m gonna die with my finger on the trigger,” features Young Jeezy and Rich Homie Quan and peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Admission to Thursday’s show is limited to the first 1,000 people. Lounge doors open at 6 p.m. for those over 21, and hall doors open at 7 p.m.

Where: The Republik, 1349 Kapiolani Blvd.
When: 8 p.m. Thursday
Cost: Free

Stefanie Nakasone


Slide guitarist Rick Smith and the Trailer Park Romeos play in Hawaii Public Radio’s Atherton Studio at 7:30 p.m. Saturday; $15-$30, 955-8821,

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