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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 14, 2006

SHOW BIZ
'Geisha' star to join HOT for 'The King and I'

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Columnist

Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

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Gaylord Holomalia

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Ben Gutierrez

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Jimmy Borges

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COCONUT WIRELESS: The Hawaii Opera Theatre launched its 2006 season Friday with "Rigoletto" (closing tonight) at the Blaisdell Concert Hall and already has its sights on summer, when it will put on Rodgers & Hammerstein's "The King and I." Soprano Sylvia McNair will play the British school teacher Anna, and "Memoirs of a Geisha" star Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, who's based in Hawai'i, will appear as The King. "He brings international stature to our production," said HOT general and artistic director Henry G. Akina about the actor. But Tagawa doesn't sing, you say? No matter. The King generally talk-sings, not sing-sings, and Tagawa surely will have a blast delivering the King's key number, "A Puzzlement." Tickets go on sale April 3 for "The King and I," which runs July 21-23 and July 28-30. ...

HERE 'N' THERE: Gaylord Holomalia, who manages the Avex recording studio on the Hawai'i Kai marina, has been trying to keep the site open despite the fact that it's for sale. Many local and high-profile out-of-town musicians have recorded there recently, including Dr. Dre, Jake Shimabukuro, Kapono Beamer, Na Leo, Henry Kapono, Elua Kane, Eddie Kamae, Genoa Keawe, Treble, Status Quo, Exile and Sonia Rosa. When Holomalia's not honchoing recording sessions, he's a member of Kalapana. He's in the Philippines now for a series of concerts, including two shows in Manila last night and tonight, one in Cebu tomorrow, and then it's off to Guam on Friday and Saturday. ...

Ku'ualoha Taylor, now going simply as Aloha Taylor, gave birth to a girl, Taylor Aloha Campbell, on Feb. 4 six weeks early. The tot was 4 pounds, 11 ounces, 18 1/4 inches long and was due March 17. Mom, who is Mrs. Greg Campbell in private life, does weekend weather on WCCO-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul. She used to be at KGMB 9 here. ...

Film historian Steve Fredrick is doing research on the 1931 Charlie Chan flick "The Black Camel," starring Warren Oland as Chan and Bela Lugosi as Tarneverro, for 20th Century Fox's upcoming DVD release of the oldie. Chan was inspired by real-life detective Chang Apana. If you have clues or tidbits, call Fredrick at 395-0674. ...

SHORTS OF SORTS: Ballet Hawaii's Steve Knox is back from San Diego, where he took in Twyla Tharp's Broadway-bound dance musical "The Times They Are A-Changin' " at the Old Globe Theatre. Tharp uses the music and lyrics of Bob Dylan and hopes this will be as popular and successful as her last pop-music-vehicle-turned-Broadway-hit, "Movin' Out," which showcases the songs of Billy Joel. ...

Singers Melveen Leed and Marlene Sai and dancer Cha Thompson returned to the Don Ho show at the Ohana Waikiki Beachcomber (on Ho's invitation), to grace the Hoku Hale showroom stage. ...

RANDOM NOTES: As one of KITV 4's morning anchors, Ben Gutierrez has to wake up early for a 4 a.m. call. Which means directing nighttime rehearsals for Paliku Theatre's "Charlotte's Web," playing Saturday and Sunday, is a challenge. Still, he's finding joy working with an all-Windward Community College cast. ...

Tom Moffatt will recreate his "Uncle Tom's Cabin" radio show with a live broadcast from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Ward Warehouse amphitheat-er. (Hear it on Oldies 107.9.) It's the former site of the White Top Drive-In, where Moffatt held broadcasts decades ago, and the re-creation is a promotion for his "Showman of the Pacific" book detailing his radio and show biz past. Wasabi, a four-member cover band led by Milton Koga, will dispense live nostalgic sounds from its CD, "Wasabi." ...

Tonight's show tip: Singer Jimmy Borges joins the Rich Crandall Trio in a Valentine's concert at 8 p.m. today at Studio 6, in the Musicians Union building at 949 Kapi'olani Blvd. Tickets are $8. ...

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.