The Isley Brothers Ernie, left, and Ron, a.k.a. Mr. Biggs come to town carrying the rich history of gold, platinum and multiplatinum R&B records and creating new musical waves with their million-selling current release "Eternal," featuring the hit single "Contagious." The Isley Brothers have seen a few different incarnations over the years as they went from doo-wop to pop, rock/funk, R&B and disco. "Eternal" made the music world sit up and listen again as it debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard album chart; Ron Isley is Mr. Biggs in videos of fellow R&B hitmaker R. Kelly, one of several guest artists on "Eternal." The Isleys will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Blaisdell Arena. Tickets are $40 and $50, available at the box office and Ticket Plus outlets. 526-4400; (877) 750-4400 from the Neighbor Islands.
Popster Jessica Simpson, right, will sing the national anthem (and at the Topps NFL Experience today; see below), and popster group Sugar Ray will entertain at half time, when the Pro Bowl lands at Aloha Stadium on Saturday. Simpson's current album is "Irresistible"; Sugar Ray, whose latest album is titled "Sugar Ray," will perform "Every Morning," from the group's 1999 triple-platinum release "14:59." This is the first time in the 23 years of Hawai'i Pro Bowl history that the game will be held on a Saturday and not a Sunday. Kickoff is 11:30 a.m. You'll need a ticket to the football game to hear the music: Tickets, selling fast, are $20 and $50 general admission, available at Ticket Plus outlets. 526-4400, 233-4NFL (4635).
Whether or not you're not going to the football game, you can take part in some of the excitement as the 2002 Topps NFL Experience continues 1-10 p.m. today, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday at Fort DeRussy in Waikiki. The Experience includes games, food, trading cards, a ferris wheel, displays, free autographs from past and current NFL stars, entertainment (such as Jessica Simpson at 9 p.m. today, Kapena at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Reign at 3:30 p.m. Sunday), prizes and more. A fireworks show is scheduled for tonight. Tickets are $2-$5 a day, available at the activities desk of the Hale Koa Hotel and at Ticket Plus outlets ($1 discount for those who bring canned food donations for the Hawai'i Food Bank). 526-4400, 233-4NFL (4635).
Then there's the Pro Bowl Post Game Block Party, 7 p.m.-midnight Saturday at Aloha Tower Marketplace. There'll be giveaways, stages of entertainment, keiki activities, face-painting, magicians and balloon artists, NFL player autographs (7-8 p.m. and 9-10 p.m.) and cheerleader autographs (8-9 p.m.). Admission is free. 566-2337.
Celebration in the streets
OK, so this isn't New Orleans, but you can still get into the spirit of Mardi Gras during a street celebration 5:30-11 p.m. Tuesday (that's Fat Tuesday to you). Among the attractions will be Dixieland sounds by the Swingin' Tradewinds Jass Band; zydeco, blues, jazz, rock with the Northsiders; rock by Enbious; Gypsy-influenced guitar and percussion by Cerro Negro; contemporary, disco, R&B and rock with eight0eight; and DJ Kutmaster Spaz spinning his music. Food booths, full bars, a costume contest, street performers and a parade at 7:30 p.m. are also part of the festivities. It all happens along Nu'uanu Avenue (from Pauahi to King) and Hotel Street. Admission is free; it's a benefit for Victoria Foundation Inc., a clearinghouse for children's charities in Hawai'i. 545-4195.
Plenty of plants
Plant fans, this is your lucky weekend. The Pearl City Urban Garden Center, 962 Second St., is offering a sale of produce and plants with an emphasis on hibiscus 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. Park at the diamondhead end of the Home Depot parking lot. 453-6050.
Hard to believe it's already been a month since the last Brunch on the Beach in Waikiki, but it's true. The next one is 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday along Kalakaua Avenue, complete with the artificial turf, big blue umbrellas, tables and chairs and lots of other spots just don't forget the sunscreen to enjoy the day.
- Food and drink: An array of items such as omelets and french toast, salads, Pacific cuisine and desserts from Waikiki eateries. Purchase your food and drink with scrip, which will be sold from 9:30 a.m.; scrip from previous brunches can be used, too.
- Entertainment: Strolling musicians begin with Hawaiian music at 9 a.m. The Royal Hawaiian Band starts up at 10 a.m. with its "Hawai'i Calls" show, followed by surprise musical guests. Headliners are the Divas Melveen Leed, Carole Kai and Nohelani Cypriano.
- Parking: $1 all day at the Waikiki Trade Center, $2 for four hours at Princess Kaiulani Hotel, $1 an hour (five-hour maximum) at Ohana Reef Towers, Ohana Waikiki Hobron, Ohana Waikiki Village, Ohana Maile Sky Court, Outrigger East, King Kalakaua Plaza and the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.
Admission is free. 523-2489, 923-1094. The next brunch is scheduled for March 10.
Don't forget the Sunset on the Beach events, too, 4-9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The featured movies, screening at 6:15 p.m., are "Remember the Titans" Saturday and "Sleepless in Seattle" Sunday. Of course there will be lots to eat and drink as you enjoy Queen's Surf beach at Waikiki. Sunday's event also will feature a Chinese lion dance to herald the Year of the Horse. Admission is free. 523-2489.
"Judge Bao and the Case of Qin Xianglian," a Peking opera, makes its debut at the University of Hawai'i's Kennedy Theatre this weekend. For those of us who can't get enough of a good thing, a concert of Peking opera highlights will be presented at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Kennedy Theatre, too. The concert will feature the guest artists from China who are training the UH students in "Judge Bao" and members of the Chinese Opera Association of Hawai'i. Tickets are $15 general, $12 seniors, military, UH faculty/staff, $9 non-UHM students, $4 UHM students with valid ID, group rates available; at the box office and Ticket Plus outlets. 956-7655, 526-4400. See Page 45 for a story on "Judge Bao."
Valentine's Day is six days away. If you haven't gotten anything for your sweetie, there's still a little time. Restaurant reservations are filling fast, of course, but there are other events around town that might fill your beloved's heart. Among them:
- The 2002 Senior Valentine Dance, with a theme of "Golden Hearts of Hawai'i," takes place 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall. 'Ukulele whiz Jake Shimabukuro offers a pre-dance concert from 8:45 a.m. It's free; 50 cent donations will be welcomed. 973-7258.
- Soulful Derryck Lawrence makes his Honolulu debut, performing in a tribute to Luther Vandross noon-6 p.m. Thursday at Sensually Yours, 1130 N. Nimitz Highway, No. A12 (near Eagle Cafe). It's free. 599-1655.
- The nonprofit Sounds of Aloha Chorus is offering a singing Valentine package as a fund-raiser. For a $40 donation, a barbershop quartet will present a card, a silk rose and two songs at the venue of your choice to the sweetie of your choice. Call 262-SONG (7664) to reserve a time, anywhere from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.
- The Opihi Pickers, Reign, DisGuyz, Toa and Vaihi will perform at "A Local Kine Valentine," 6-10 p.m. Thursday at the Ko'olau Golf Club. The $50 admission includes a buffet dinner, giveaways and picture-taking 236-4653, ext. 241.
- O'Brien Eselu and the Penina Boyz's Band will entertain at a "Be My Sweetheart" dinner and dancing event, 6-11:30 p.m. Thursday at the Polynesian Cultural Center's Hale Aloha Theater. Tickets are $25 per person, $40 a couple. 293-3002.
- Then there's "Zoorotica," whimsical and amorous two-hour tours at the Honolulu Zoo, departing at 6:30, 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m. Thursday. The topic: the mating rituals of the creatures in the zoo. There's also storytelling, music, a glass of champagne, chocolates and dessert and coffee. Tickets are $25, benefiting the Honolulu Zoological Society educational programs. 926-3191.
- "Da Braddahs' Supastah Showcase," featuring the comic duo Da Braddahs and the musical group Ten Feet, includes a 6 p.m. dinner and show at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the South Seas Village/Hawaiian Hut at the Ala Moana Hotel. Tickets are $40, available at Hawaiian Island Creations (Pearlridge, Ala Moana) and Tower Records locations. 566-0644.
- Comic Frank DeLima returns to a regular Waikiki nightclub gig beginning Thursday at the Palace at the Ohana Reef Towers on Lewers Street. The Valentine's Day show is $32.50 per person, including a dinner buffet; show at 8:30 p.m. Afterward admission will be $19.50, including two drinks; show time is 8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 922-6408.