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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Show Biz
Local singer catches legendary producer's ears

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Editor

ACROSS THE SEA: Audy Kimura, the Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner who's a longtime performer at Hy's Steak House, got an urgent call from the Experience Music Project Museum in Seattle a few days back, to ask if it was OK to give out his phone number. Johnny Rouse, security director at the museum and a former Islander, had been playing Kimura's tunes during work, when legendary music producer Quincy Jones happened to be there with his family for a book-signing of his autobiography. Jones, whose clients include Michael Jackson and such artists as Bono, R. Kelly, Ray Charles, Gloria Estefan, Chaka Khan and Queen Latifa, hushed his coterie, saying: "Everyone, please be quiet — I want to hear this guy. Does anyone know who this is?" Rouse filled in the blanks and Jones asked if he could keep the CDs and get a contact number. Hmmmm, could Kimura emerge as a Q Records star, as a result? ...

Remember Don Gay, former member of the Society of Seven (pictured here in a vintage photo)? He left the group and the Islands in 1984 and still is involved in music, performing with Artie Perez (former drummer-singer with Redbone and the Righteous Brothers). He'll be visiting here Dec. 14-20, hoping to reconnect with old friends and even fans. He can be reached at dongay@verizon. net ...

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WHEE, THE PEOPLE: With an extended run of the "new" "Flower Drum Song" in Los Angeles, cast member Alvin Ing, who had expected to be available to direct Army Community Theatre's revival production next year, won't be able to come over after all. So Jim Hutchison is directing. Final audition call is from 7 p.m. today at Richardson Theatre, Fort. Shafter. The play opens Feb. 28 at Shafter ...

Tai Jimenez, a principal at the Dance Theatre at Harlem where she has done the title roles in "Giselle" and "Firebird," will dance the "Arabian" when Ballet Hawai'i stages its "Nutcracker" Dec. 21-23 at Blaisdell Concert Hall ...

• • •

HOLIDAZE: Jim Nabors' "A Merry Christmas with Friends and Nabors," a charmer last Friday through Sunday at the Hawai'i Theatre, was again the merriest way to launch Hawai'i's holiday season. Nabors kicked and pranced, along with the Diamond Head Theatre Shooting Stars (choreographed by John Rampage) in the marvelous opening segment that included "March of the Wooden Soldiers," complete with pinwheel formations, that rivaled the Radio City Rockettes. So splashy and wonderful, it's worthy of being a finale. Nabors' duet with Emma Veary ("Silent Night," in English and Hawaiian) surely was a highlight; ditto, Frank DeLima's "Filipino Christmas," as well as the collaboration with marionette marvel Phillip Huber.

Karen Keawehawai'i provided backstage (and backside) drama Saturday, when her zipper didn't go up during one costume change (ask the Honolulu Symphony musicians), and Jimmy Borges was a pleasant "extra" the first two nights. The glue that made it all stick together was director-writer Tom Hansen, with accompaniment by Matt Catingub and the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. And of all the tykes on stage, Trent Nakamura of Carolee Nishi's Hula Hui 'O Kapunahala O Nu'uanu YMCA was the scene-stealer ...

And that's Show Biz ...

Wayne Harada's Show Biz runs Wednesdays and Fridays; reach him at 525-8067, e-mail at wharada@honoluluadvertiser.com or fax 525-8055.