Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Hapa is history, but Kaneali'i going strong

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Editor

COCONUT WIRELESS: OK, here's the skinny on Hapa. Though Barry Flanagan maintains the duo is on hiatus, the other member, Keli'i Kaneali'i, makes no bones about the demise of the group after a successful 18-year run together. "It's over," said Kaneali'i, who maintains the act's Thursday-Friday slot at Chai's Island Bistro. "There's no cooling-off period." Without going into details, it's quite obvious now: Hapa is history, so don't expect a reconciliation.

Kaneali'i has regrouped and simply calls his act Kaneali'i; his musicians include Kuhio Yim, guitar and vocals; Jack Ofoia, guitar and vocals; and Kimo Bell, guitar and bass. Healani Youn continues as hula stylist.

Yim is Kaneali'i's nephew; they've been church choir mates for some time. Kaneali'i still lives at Anahola, Kaua'i, so commutes to his Honolulu gig weekly ...

• • •

WHEE, THE PEOPLE: If anyone was the "hit" in Saturday's Kalapana concert at the Sheraton Waikiki's Hawai'i Ballroom, it was comedian Andy Bumatai, whose return to live stand-up was like greeting an old buddy from the past. Quick wit, no obscenity, topical, current, charismatic — he was everything a warm-up act should be, not overstaying his welcome, even making "hana hou" a laughing matter.

Kalapana, of course, was clearly thrilled to renew ties with O'ahu fans, making each song a formidable foundation block for its re-energized future (a new CD will be out by summer), assuring another concert to promote that release. Malani Bilyeu, natch, did his solos, and Maurice Bega handled the late Mackey Feary's leads.

It was a touching moment when Sebastian Feary, Mackey's son, took to the stage, prompting keyboarder Gaylord Holomalia to comment, "We'll have to work on Sebastian's career." And Michael Paulo's sax appeal was remarkable and astounding, just like the old Kalapana days ...

• • •

RANDOM NOTES: Kirk Hammett, lead guitarist for Metallica, dined at Sam Choy's Diamond Head a few nights back and left the chef a fan note scribbled on a napkin, which read: "Dear Sam, our mouths are extremely broken after this fine meal." Hammett's kama'aina wife put it better in pidgin: "Broke da mouth" ... French mime Marcel Marceau will be here this fall to perform at the Fifth Annual French Festival, slated Oct. 27-Nov. 4. Specifics will be announced later, or call the Festival hotline at 1-888-THE-FEST ...

Radio ruled at Don Ho's Island Grill over the Easter weekend. KINE morning personality Brickwood Galuteria and his quartet perform every Friday night at sunset; Kimo Kahoano of KORL danced with the group.

In the audience: KCCN's Keaumiki Akui. The restaurant's "Ambassador of Aloha," Henry Ayau, says he's uncertain where to tune in after this ...

When Michael W. Perry and Larry Price brought their radio show to Las Vegas recently, Hawai'i expatriates paused for chats. Among them: actor Pat Morita, last seen in "Baywatch Hawai'i," and the Rat Pack, actors-singers with Island ties ...

And that's Show Biz ...

Wayne Harada writes Show Biz every Wednesday and Friday; phone him at 525-8067, e-mail at wharada@honoluluadvertiser.com or send fax to 525-8555.