Does she have the vocal and songwriting chops of another Alicia Keys? Or is she yet another glorified back-up singer with a Billboard No. 1 album debut? And why the heck is she playing the 50th State Fair, anyway? Perhaps you'll be able to answer these questions for yourself June 2 when diva-in-the-wings Ashanti returns to Honolulu for the second time in three months (she was last here in March for the 2002 Sports Carnival), this time as part of I-94 FM's Summer Jam. Also on the bill are sometime vocal co-hort Ja Rule and Amanda Perez. Tickets: $26.
- 4 p.m. June 2 / 5Oth State Fairgrounds / 526-4400
CONCERT: June 4-6
The Kingston Trio is coming home, so to speak, to perform for the Class of 1952's 50th anniversary. That is, Bob Shane, a member of the '52 graduating class and one of the three founders of the original folk group (the others were fellow Punahou grad Dave Guard and Nick Reynolds), returns to campus with new partners George Grove and Bob Haworth to sing "Tom Dooley," "MTA" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" songs that laid the groundwork for a future generation of folkies of the '60s, like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Peter Paul & Mary and The Byrds. Tickets: $35, but a Dress Circle ticket, at $75, includes beer, wine and pupu plus a post-concert reception with the stars.
- 7:30 p.m. June 4, 5, 6 / Dillingham Hall, Punahou School / 943-3683
DANCE: May 31-June 2
They've dropped the "Pear" in the company name, but Iona Contemporary Dance Theatre, led by artistic director Cheryl Flaharty, is destined to remain innovative, intense and visual. So "Destiny," the latest evening-length piece in five years, should be provocative and mind-bending, dealing with the changes taking place on the planet and how forces can predict or create our future, blending elements of, yes, Iona's trademark butoh, along with modern dance. Of course, in memorable, vivid costumes. Welcome to the Age of Aquarius. Tickets: $25, $35.
- 8 p.m. May 31, June 1; 4 p.m. June 2 / Hawai'i Theatre / 528-0506
FAMILY FUN: June 5
Kapena will bring out animal instincts, and then some, when it kicks off the favorite family pastime, the "Wildest Show in Town," Honolulu Zoo's nocturnal nicety that's held at pau hana time every Wednesday. It's a relaxing gig for the acts, a neat way to close hump day for the working stiffs, and, presumably, a grand opportunity for the zoo inhabitants to stare back at the sunset crowd. $1 donation suggested.
- Gates open 4:35 p.m, concerts 6-7 p.m., Wednesdays, June 5-Aug. 28 / Honolulu Zoo / 732-3739
COMEDY: June 7
Frank DeLima resumes his "Noodle Shop Days" show at the Palace showroom, bringing along his coterie of characters such as Tita Turner and Imelda Marcus. Yup, there will be oodles of song parodies, reflection, comedic barbs sometimes involving audience members ... all in the spirit of fun. Tickets: $19, includes one drink; children under 12 free with paying adult, but each child admission requires the purchase of two soft drinks.
- 8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, starting June 7 / Palace Showroom, Ohana Reef Towers Hotel / 923-SHOW, 922-6408
CONCERT: June 8
You have to admit that actor Bruce Willis has gusto, takes risks, leads a varied life ... and moonlights. OK, he doesn't really need the money, but he has the party spirit, hitting the O'ahu club scene regularly. Not surprising, then, that he'll sing and blow on his mean harmonica with his band, The Accelerators, in a one-night-only outing, 8 p.m. at World Cafe. Doors open at 7 p.m. And: Willis will have a rooting section in tow his co-stars and crew from the "Hostile Rescue" movie he is now filming here. (Tip: One of the stars is the sultry Monica Belluci, whose last film was "Brotherhood of the Wolf," which happened to feature Mark Dacascos, an island actor; her next is "The Matrix, Reloaded," in which she appears with Keanu Reeves, another actor with some Hawai'i ties). Tickets: $27.50; $22.50 advance.
- 8 p.m. June 8 / World Cafe / 585-2877
PARADE: June 8
The King Kamehameha Floral Parade, from 9:30 a.m., is an only-in-Hawai'i tradition, paying homage to an island monarch, with customary pa'u riders winding down King Street, in front of the Kamehameha statue, on to Punchbowl, then Ala Moana, hooking up with Kalakaua Avenue to finish at Kapi'olani Park. Of course, there will be marching bands and other parade floats and units. P.S.: The lei-draping ceremony, on the eve (June 7) of the parade, offers a Kodak moment, too. Free. Also, the Kamehameha Day lu'au will be held on the grounds of Kawaiaha'o Church on parade day; $10 takeout, $12 sit-down.
- 9:30 a.m. June 8 / King and Punchbowl to Kapi'olani Park/ 586-0333
- 8 a.m.-4 p.m. June 8 / Kawaiaha'o Church / 522-1333
CONCERT: June 8
The Road Runner Tiny Celebration is a montage of Island musical acts featured on Tiny Tadani's "Tiny CD 2," but the appeal is far from tiny. Huge, in fact. Since Tiny plans to do an annual compilation CD, tapping his pals in the music biz, this show is emerging as the summer sizzler, as kind of a replacement for the Makaha Bash. Of course, only time will tell if a tradition really emerges, but a bounty of talent is on the roster: Sistah Robi Kahakalau, The Mana'o Company (left, big winners at the recent Na Hoku Hanohano Awards), Justin, Ernie Cruz Jr., Vaihi, DisGuyz, Tani Lynn Fujimoto, Soul Free, Robert and Tiera Kekaula, Sean Na'auao, Ilona Irvine, Dita Holifield featuring the City of Refuge Choir, Ellsworth Simeona, Jeff Rasmussen, 808, Kata's Bridge Boys, Believe, Namahana, Jan Brenner and Her Engaged Word of Life Dancers and the Halau of New Hope. Tickets: $20 pool, $18 terrace, $12 lawn.
- 6-9 p.m. June 8 / Waikiki Shell/ 526-4400
FESTIVALS: June 11-15
The Mabuhay Festival 2002, a celebration by the Filipino community, will be launched with the grand opening of the Filipino Community Center, at 94-428 Mokuola St., Waipahu. A statue of Jose Risal, national hero of the Philippines, will be unveiled at 10 a.m. June 11. Other events: Pasinaya Reception Night, 7 p.m. June 11; import-export trade fair, June 12-14; a ballroom dance competition, June 12-14; Filipino Fiesta parade, June 15 (Ala Moana to Kapi'olani Park). Most events free.
- Times vary, June 11-15 / Filipino Community Center / 680-0451
WRESTLING: June 15
The Rock, with his chiseled movie-idol looks, is coming home to wrestle for the first time since becoming a screen star. The Rock, of course, is Dwayne Johnson, whose father, grandfather and grandmother were rasslers in the heyday of the bruising bouts; he's emerged as a bona fide action-movie star, thanks to the earlier "The Mummy Returns" and this year's "The Scorpion King." His match mate in the Blaisdell Arena's square circle is Chris Jericho, in a World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly, World Wrestling Federation, which had to change its name because the World Wildlife Fund prevailed in a showdown) visit that will feature seven other bouts and a swimsuit challenge. "I have a feeling we'll sell out in a day," said presenter Tom Moffatt, who normally stages rock gigs, not The Rock. But then again, The Rock rocks and even rolls with the body slam, too and frankly, it's as much entertainment as it is sports. Tickets ($90, $75, $45, $25) go on sale at 9 a.m. Saturday at the box office and Ticket Plus locations.
- 4 p.m. June 15 / Blaisdell Arena / 526-4499, 591-2211
- 23rd annual Pan Pacific Festival-Matsuri in Hawai'i, June 7-10, various venues
- Maui Film Festival, June 12-16, Wailea and the Maui Arts & Cultural Center
- 29th annual King Kamehameha Hula Competition, June 21-22, Blaisdell Arena
- "Taste of Honolulu," June 28-30, Honolulu Hale grounds
- Hawaii International Jazz Festival, July 18-19 at Blaisdell Concert Hall, July 20-21 at Outrigger Wailea Resort, Maui
- Melissa Etheridge, July 19, Blaisdell Arena; July 20, Maui Arts & Cultural Center
- "You Somebody," a comedy by Lee Cataluna with songs by Keola Beamer, July 19-Aug. 4, Diamond Head Theatre
- "Once Upon One Kapakahi Time" trilogy, July 26-Aug. 4, Hawai'i Theatre
- 32nd annual 'Ukulele Festival, July 28, Kapi'iolani Park Bandstand
- Bayfest, Aug. 16-18, Marine Corps Base Hawai'i
- Hawai'i International Film Festival's Fall Film Festival, Nov. 1-10 on O'ahu, Nov. 8-10 on the Neighbor Islands
Stub notes: Tickets go on sale today for "A Walk Down Abbey Road," featuring Christopher Cross, Todd Rundgren, Eric Carmen, Alan Parsons, Jack Bruce and Mark Farner, at 7:30 p.m. June 16 at Blaisdell Arena (7:30 p.m. June 15 at Maui Arts & Cultural Center Amphitheater). $35 ... Seats also are available for a second Wayne Brady show, at 9:30 p.m. today at the Sheraton Waikiki Hawaii Ballroom. $35.
Holiday homecoming: Martin Nievera, popular club and concert singer who grew up in Hawai'i but ventured to the Philippines to become a superstar there, is being wooed to join Ho'okena in the Hawaiian group's Christmas concert, dates and site to be announced.
Sounds amusing: Get out your do-re-mis and start practicing; two theater groups will revive "The Sound of Music" next season. Diamond Head Theatre starts climbing every mountain Dec. 6-22; another group (Castle Performing Arts Company?) also lists it among its favorite flings. Stay tuned.
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The Great Index to Fun (TGIF) four-week guide at least 10 working days before the event. This planner appears weekly, featuring major events only; others are listed in the weekend and daily calendars.
Write: TGIF, The Honolulu Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802, or fax 525-8055.
Schedule is subject to change.