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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, April 11, 2006

SHOW BIZ
Fun of playing 'Pageant' judge back with twist

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Columnist

Randl Ask

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Mary Ann Changg

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Kevin Gray

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Eric Manke

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BEAUTY SPOT: When Manoa Valley Theatre revives the musical spoof "Pageant" on June 28, audience members again will be selected to be part of a judging panel at each show. Director Randl Ask was a member of the original off-Broadway cast, playing Miss Bible Belt then and doing more than 600 performances, some of them on a Japan tour. Andrew Sakaguchi will choreograph and Melina Lillios will conduct the orchestra. The audience-as-judges element was so popular in the 1998 production that this time around MVT is incorporating fund-raising with the fun. For those who really want to be one of the four judges, a $100 donation will assure a slot. To apply, call 988-6131 or go to www.manoavalleytheatre.com. ...

Ask also stars in Diamond Head Theatre's "La Cage Aux Folles," opening May 19. ...

PERSONALITIES: Mary Ann Changg, the professional photographer who also lives a life as Sparkles (a clown, balloon artist and face painter), won first place in the full-face painting contest at the Clowns of America International Convention in New Orleans.

"I was speechless; about 30 from all over participated," she said. Changg also placed fourth in the cheek art division. ...

Have you seen "Wake Up," the music video from Imua Garza and Kamu Sing's "Harmony City" CD? The cleverly mounted mini-show has spiffy special effects and wit and invention to spare. It's been a hot pick on OC16's "Overdrive Live" and should bring added oomph to the album. For airing times, go to www.imuaandkamu.com. ...

WHEE, THE PEOPLE: Kevin Gray, who was in town in January for "The Three Phantoms" concert at Hawai'i Theatre, will portray Scar, one of the secondary leads, in a touring production of Disney's "The Lion King." Now if only another Phantom, Craig Schulman, can regain the Jean Valjean role in "Les Miserables" in the New York revival. ...

Eric Manke spent his fall semester working as a character performer at Walt Disney World as part of the theme park's college program and took a spring break to visit tutu and family, detouring to Chicago. He took in the musical "Wicked" and swapped hometown talk with Castle alum Mahiai Kekumu, who's in the "Wicked" ensemble in the Windy City. ...

Stuart Chafetz, principal timpanist with the Honolulu Symphony and music director of the Maui Symphony Pops, conducted five concerts in Baton Rouge, La. Later this month, he will helm the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra with violinist Regina Carter. And next February, he'll conduct a family concert with the prestigious Chicago Symphony. ...

AROUND TOWN: With the arrival this December of Nobu Waikiki at the Waikiki Parc hotel, it's likely that the namesake chef, Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa will eventually grace the premises and establish a new culinary standard for the rebirth of that area of Waikiki. The Rockwell Group will give Nobu's an Island motif combining bamboo, water, fish nets and more, and the brand surely will lure visitors. Nobu's opening will only enhance the Outrigger's ongoing project to revitalize Lewers Street. When it's pau, there will be lots of dining options including a new Roy's and a new Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. ...

Nake'u Awai has a couple of fashion flings coming up. He provides the wear and a musicale, "Raid on the Cabbage Patch," from 11 a.m. this Saturday at Daniel Thiebaut Restaurant in Waimea, Big Island. It's a Hawai'i Island Humane Society benefit; tickets are $45 at Thiebaut's restaurant, (808) 887-2200.

Nake'u also holds a Mother's Day fashion show, with music and Ni'ihau shell lei, from 1 to 3 p.m. May 14 at Ward Warehouse amphitheater; music will be by Pa'ahana; the show is free. ...

And that's Show Biz. ...

Show Biz is published Tuesdays and Thursdays. Reach Wayne Harada at 525-8067, wharada@honoluluadvertiser.com or fax 525-8055.