Wednesday, January 31, 2001
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Posted on: Wednesday, January 31, 2001

Show Biz
Former Castle actor in Disney's 'Aida' tour

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Editor

BACKSTAGE BITS: Alex Selma, former Castle Performing Arts Center singer-actor who currently resides in New York, has been cast in the touring ensemble of Disney’s "Aida." His mom, Coying Selma, is crossing her fingers that the production eventually makes it to our shores. Selma last played Broadway in the musical revival of "Jesus Christ Superstar" and has toured, as a dancer, with the J. Lo girl herself, Jennifer Lopez . . .

And at Diamond Head Theatre, where "Chess" is prepping for a Feb. 16 debut, a party spirit prevails backstage. Take the cases of Katherine Clifton and Misaki Kawachi, alternating the role of Young Florence: They encountered two backstage birthdays to-dos last weekend, so they think the party’s the thing. First, Kristin Ing brought a cake to celebrate Andrew Sakaguchi’s birthday; he’s the director-choreographer-props master. Then it was music director Jeffrey Cooper’s birthday, so the cast sang "Happy Birthday" and partied, too. Sounded great — and the cake wasn’t bad either . . .

WHEE, THE PEOPLE: Hoku Ho, who performed at Saturday’s Hula Bowl on Maui, is joining dad Don Ho in selected shows at the Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel. She performed last night and will again take the spotlight tonight and tomorrow night (showtime: 7 to 8:30 p.m.) . . .

Chef D.K. Kodama, proprietor of Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, realized a long-standing dream of creating the world’s longest California Roll recently, when his Maui Sansei chefs teamed up with Maui Community College Culinary Arts faculty, staff and students (even including MCC provost Clyde Sakamoto and Maui Mayor James Apana), assembled on the sidelines of the Hula Bowl field at the Maui War Memorial Stadium. The crew created the 100-yard-long roll, which was then sliced into sections and cut up to sell, raising $2,500 for the MCC culinary program . . .

Hawaii Theatre’s Hana Hou series, which was launched by the Makaha Sons last Friday, also is providing a showcase for budding young Hawaiian musicians. Alea did pre-show music for headliners Louis "Moon" Kauakahi, Jerome Koko and John Koko, and the Sons also gave protege group Paiea a boost. After the concert, Paiea members Dean Wilhelm, Barrett Awai and Stewart Kawakami headed for Don Ho’s Island Grill to catch the first of six Friday sing-outs featuring Willie K . . .

RANDOM NOTES: Island Rhythm 98.5 will give away $10,000 at noontime Feb. 25 at Ala Moana’s Centerstage. The way to qualify: Buy a "98.5 Island Rhythm" CD, which features such local acts as Ten Feet, Hawaiian Time, Marty Dread, and Typical Hawaiians, at Tower or Borders locations; if the CD is "gold," you qualify for the Feb. 25 give-a-way . . .

One thing about the dance community: It always shows up in force to check out a visiting company. So it was when Michael Smuin’s Smuin Ballet SF played Leeward Community College Theatre last weekend. The audience included Ballet Hawaii artistic director Pamela Taylor Tongg with board members Susie Schull and Jim Hutchison, plus Peter Rockford Espiritu from the Tau Dance Theatre, Diamond Head Theatre-YWCA dance instructor Deanna Luster (who’s also in DHT’s upcoming "Chess"), and retired Broadway trouper Steve Harmon (who’s performed with a bevy of greats, including Carol Lawrence, Chita Rivera, Ethel Merman and Tallulah Bankhead). He told friends over dinner at Dixie Grill Aiea that the Smuin was one of the best he’s seen . . .

And that’s Show Biz . . .

Wayne Harada writes Show Biz every Wednesday and Friday.

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