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Freestyle: Let the laughs and music roll
BY ELIZABETH KIESZKOWSKI / email@example.com
Honolulu funnyman James Mane is venturing into philanthropy with his Saturday showcase, starring nationally recognized standup comedian Graham Elwood; the show will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, which aids military vets injured in the course of duty.
‘Guys With Issues’ Comedy Showcase
With special guest Graham Elwood
» Where: Hawaiian Brian’s, 1680 Kapiolani Blvd.
Inspired to put on a show that would contribute to the greater good, Mane assembled a show that follows through on its theme: Elwood is a comedian familiar to the troops, who’s done seven USO tours in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq.
Elwood also put together a documentary, “Laffghanistan: Comedy Down Range,” about his experience in Afghanistan. “You can see the emotion. He’s experienced a little of what our heroes go through,” Mane said.
“That’s when it hits you. … You can see it in his eyes. It’s almost like he’s a kid lost in a store, and everyone in that store wants to hit you.”
The film is available for viewing online for a donation.
Mane hosted for Elwood when the comedian performed at Pipeline last year: “Really nice guy,” Mane said. “He’s probably more famous for his podcasts – they get 15 thousand to 20 thousand downloads per week.”
Local comedian Patrick Tyrell, also on the bill, is one of the good guys too; in his other life, he provides service to Marines who’ve suffered injuries and lost limbs, working to provide them with training and equipment that will allow them to enjoy the athletic pursuits they choose.
Similarly, the Wounded Warrior Project helps injured military to regain fullness of life; it’s well worth supporting. Wounded Warriors wristbands will be given out at the event.
Mane, a bus driver in his other life, said he was simply inspired to support the organization one day when he saw a sign for Wounded Warriors on his bus. “I thought it would be nice to support charity,” he said. “I might not be the nicest person or the best, but I want to support the community.” And then he can’t resist joking about it a little bit: “For all the bad that we’ve done in our lives.”
The next showcase from Guys With Issues will be in May. Stay tuned at MarsComedy.com.
MARDI GRAS TIME: Producer Mark Tarone (Hallowbaloo) put out the word yesterday that planning for Mardi Gras Honolulu is well underway, so get ready for the big Chinatown Arts District street party’s trademark mix of New Orleans funk, Brazilian abandon and Hawaii aloha on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 12. DJ Sabo is the headliner, with Moombahton beats from a Brazilian “Tropicalia” float and at NextDoor’s afterparty.
Mardi Gras is all about indulgence, and this year’s event will let the good times roll with music, food, dancing, and even two parades featuring Brazilian batucada and samba dancers, from 6 to 10 p.m.
“We’ve got everything you love about Mardi Gras, right here at your doorstep,” organizers promise: “second line behind the Royal Elephant Brass Band, samba with Timbaloha batucada, toss beads at Cherry Blossom Cabaret’s Burlesque Beauties and scarf down beignets ‘til your hearts content.”
I wanted to get a jump on telling you about it, so you can start sewing beads on your costume now: Beads and costumes are welcomed and encouraged.
More than 10,000 revelers are expected in the streets, based on past attendance. There will be three stages of music, featuring New Orleans-style funk, Brazilian, Latin and African carnaval music, and roots music.
The food vendors list is mouth-watering, too; look for more news soon about the event, which is free and open to all ages; surrounding nightclubs open their doors after the festival to continue the party.
Elizabeth Kieszkowski is editor of TGIF, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s weekly arts and entertainment section. Reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter.