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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Amado Cacho 1st 'Al Waterson' semifinalist

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

NAMES 'N' FACES: Amado Cacho, one-time "Miss Saigon" performer and ex-member of the reorganized (but since dissolved) band called Honolulu, is the first of 10 semi-finalists in the "Star Search"-style karaoke contest under way at Don Ho's Island Grill.

It's part of "Al Waterson and You," which is seeking finalists in competitions every Tuesday and Wednesday.

The competition leads up to a trip to Las Vegas and a chance to sing on Don Ho's holiday show, plus a recording contract with Mountain Apple Company. ...

Tiki Lounge Thursdays at Anna Bannana's will incorporate retro Hawaiian decor from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. March 27, with the upstairs space at the Beretania Street watering hole expected to be a hot spot.

What's more, Mr. Retro Man himself, Don Ho, will meet and greet folks in an autograph session from 11 p.m. to midnight. Inasmuch as he's now an MTV star (doing Peter Gabriel's "Shock the Monkey" in an animation flick produced by Ray and Andy Bumatai), he's right for the mission. Surf sounds from The King Pins, with DJ Ginger spinning the likes of "Hawaii Five-O," and DJ Mary Ann sharing "Exotica" and more, make this the destination for lounge lizards.

A $5 cover prevails; open to those 21 and older, and hey, you can indulge in a Blue Hawai'i and other tropical drinks. ...

You might have heard that Jason Scott Lee had to withdraw from the cast of Joe Moore's play, "Dirty Laundry," because his filming schedule for "Prophecy" in Romania was moved up from May to April. Moore was lucky to enlist James MacArthur, Danno of "Hawaii Five-O," to join the ensemble in the role of Father Madison.

"It's not a starring role, but it's an important one, and to have a distinguished actor like Jim playing the part is a real thrill for me and our entire cast," Moore said.

The play runs April 18-20 at the Hawai'i Theatre, with Karen Bumatai directing. ...

• • •

STAR WATCH: About 160 folks turned out for "Hawai'i Stars" auditions last Thursday at the Sheraton Waikiki's Esprit lounge, but only 100 could be accommodated, said Carole Kai.

"The turnout was so incredible, we had to turn people away," she said.

Of those who were heard, 15 were selected, and additional tryouts will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. tomorrow at the same place. A third audition is set from 7 to 9 p.m. March 26 at Dot's in Wahiawa. The runoffs start March 30 at Ala Moana Centerstage. ...

Out Maui way, actress Kristy McNichol dined at James McDonald's Pacific 'O restaurant a few nights back. Across the way, at I'o, Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen and his fiancée ordered up the same dinner on two nights. ...

When Honolulu ophthalmologist Jorge G. Camara is honored with Maryknoll Schools' Monsignor Kekumano Award April 13 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, he'll be entertained by Nina Keali'iwahamana, pianist Chris Cerna, pianist Kit Samson, singer Charles Degala and the Pearl of the Orient Dancers. For ticket information, 952-7310. ...

• • •

SHORTS OF SORTS: Chef Sam Choy appears with chef Emeril Lagasse on the Food Network's "Emeril's Aloha Challenge" April 12. The culinary pals will make such 'ono grinds as duck chow mein, oriental duck salad, hoisin pork chops and Hawaiian-style poke. Yums! ...

Theater types here are mourning the death of casting director Vinnie Liff, a stage veteran connected with such hit shows as "Cats," "Miss Saigon," "The Phantom of the Opera," "Les Miserables" and "The Producers." He died at his New York home Feb. 25 and was a true fan and friend of Hawai'i theater. ...

And that's Show Biz. ...

Reach Wayne Harada at wharada@honoluluadvertiser.com, 525-8067 or by faxing 525-8055.