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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, October 3, 2001

Show Biz
Show-biz manager gets star-studded farewell

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Editor

MAHALO TO MILLIE: Nearly 200 friends, entertainers and family turned out at Don Ho's Island Grill Sunday for a belated (her birthday was Sept. 12) celebration and mahalo party for Millie Fujinaga, longtime manager of Frank DeLima and former hotel manager. To allow the crowd to assemble, Fujinaga was deployed to Chai's Island Bistro, where Robert Cazimero (on his night off) sang "Happy Birthday" to his own piano accompaniment and Jerry Santos (a Sunday regular at Chai's) offered his birthday hellos.

While Fujinaga was munching on her favorite prawn pupu, a contingent of well-wishers descended upon on her (Andy Bumatai, Bobby Hall, Peter Moon, scores more) all singing the birthday song.

The party then moved to Don Ho's, where a Chinese lion dance unfolded and industry types assembled, with many taking the stage, including Roland Cazimero, Audy Kimura, Tito Berinobis, Sheri Berinobis, Greglinn Ramseyer, Kevin Mau, David Kauahikaua, Robert Nishida and more. Imaikalani and Company — Sunday regulars at Don Ho's — provided much of the accompaniment. The gallery of well-wishers included Alan Yamamoto, Annette Peterson, Neal Nakasone, Jack and Maydell Cione, David Talisman, Pearl DeLima, Dean Lum, some with connections to DeLima's stint at The Noodle Shop of the Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel, where Fujinaga was manager. The restaurant's David Nagaishi provided a substantial buffet, too. And everyone received a keepsake "I'm a Fujinaga Fan" fan, an appropriate party favor, since Fujinaga always is fanning herself, with or without air-conditioning. The celebration wasn't for a particular "milestone" birthday, just a means of saying mahalo for years of support to the show biz industry. "It was great to get together, following several weeks of depressing events," said Fran Kirk, in light of the layoffs and fallout from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 ...

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OFF THE RECORD: Koa Siu, son of veteran entertainers Leon and Malia, is the latest Islander to launch tribute songs linked to the events of Sept. 11. A three-song CD collates "Inside Out," "Hope Will Find a Way" and "Run to You," melodies (from Koa's forthcoming second album, "The Kairos Project") intended to heal the wounded spirits of Americans. Koa debuted the songs at a rally last Saturday at the Waikiki Shell and will also share them in Neighbor Island concerts this month, including one Oct. 20 in Hilo. More gigs will be added ...

And Allison Chun, a 7-year-old student at Kahala Elementary School, sings her heart out on a home recording of patriotic songs. It's not intended for commercial release, but the youngster has been singing at veterans' events in the past and also has had exposure on 'Olelo TV ...

• • •

SHOW BREEZES: "The Odd Couple" was a comedic triumph for newscaster Joe Moore and game-show host Pat Sajak, who were audience favorites as Oscar Madison and Felix Unger, the mismatched divorced duo in Neil Simon's enduring comedy in the brief Hawai'i Theatre run. In one scene, Moore flipped a plate from the hand of a poker partner, and a pickle wedge flew right into the crowd, providing an unscripted chuckle. Manoa Valley Theatre handily proved it can stage two shows simultaneously. Its "Smokey Joe's Cafe" still is playing in Manoa ...

Moore and Sajak dined at Aaron's atop the Ala Moana last week, and maitre d' Skip Lambert held up a photo of the pair from an '80s visit. "Oh, that's not us," Sajak quipped. "Those are our children." The pair posed for new pictures and signed autographs ...

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 at 525-8055.