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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Jason Tam makes Broadway's 'Chorus' lineup

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Columnist

Jason Tam

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Terry O'Quinn

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Eddie Kamae

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Troy Polamalu

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SINGULAR SENSATION: Jason Tam, 23, who played Gavroche in "Les Miserables" here and on Broadway, is returning to the Great White Way. He's just been cast as Paul in the 30th anniversary revival of "A Chorus Line," which opens this fall after a pre-Broadway run in July at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco.

Tam's dad, attorney Jim Tam, said Jason is ecstatic about landing the Paul role due to a personal connection. Tam was inspired to pursue a theater career by the late Tommy Aguilar, a former Honolulan, who created Paul in the London launch of the Michael Bennett musical. About dance wannabes auditioning for a show, "A Chorus Line" includes a wrenching monologue by Paul moments before the "One" finale.

Jason, a Punahou graduate, finished his New York University studies in December 2004. He since has completed filming 20 episodes of MTV's Hawai'i-based "Beyond the Break" (he plays a board shaper), shot here last year and scheduled to begin airing in June. He had auditioned for the lead role of "Tarzan," a new Disney musical opening this year, but was deemed "too young looking." In addition to "She Loves Me" for the Guthrie Theater, Tam appeared with the Sacramento Music Circus in such productions as "West Side Story" and "The King and I." Last Christmas, he was home to perform in Ala Moana Center's holiday show, "Christmas Gift of Aloha."

Tam pere and his wife, Linda, are making plans to attend the "Chorus Line" opening. According to Playbill.com, the show also will star Charlotte d'Amboise ("Chicago," "Contact," "Cats," "Sweet Charity") as Cassie; her lover, Zach, will be portrayed by Michael Berresse ("The Light in the Piazza," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Chicago"). ...

WHEE, THE PEOPLE: Terry O'Quinn, who is Locke on "Lost," dined at Ola, the new hot spot at the Turtle Bay Resort, recently. ...

Eddie Kamae, the singer, composer and filmmaker, is working on another documentary but takes time out to screen his award-winning "Keepers of the Flame" at 6:30 p.m. today for students and alumni at the Punahou School chapel. Kamae and Ocean Kaowili will perform, too. At 6 p.m. Thursday, Kamae appears at an "Author's Night" event at Waialua Public Library to promote and sign his book, "Hawaiian Son: The Life and Music of Eddie Kamae." Authors Peter Maguire ("Facing Death in Cambodia") and Tammy Yee ("Baby Honu Saves the Day") also appear. "Keepers of the Flame" also will be shown at 6:30 p.m. March 7 at the Hanalei School cafetorium; Hanalei 'ukulele kids will perform from 6 p.m.; the free event is open to the community. ...

Footballers Troy Polamalu (Pittsburgh Steelers), Kynan Forney (Atlanta Falcons) and Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala (Jacksonville Jaguars) recently took in Tihati Productions' "Creation" show at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani showroom and marveled at the physicality of the performers. Polamalu and Fuamatu-Ma'afala played football with Afatia Thompson of the Tihati 'ohana, who accompanied the group to the show. ...

DATES TO CIRCLE: Kamaka Hawai'i, makers of the celebrated Kamaka 'ukulele, marks its 90th birthday this year. And what better way to celebrate than with a concert, from 6 to 10 p.m. March 18 at the Hawai'i Convention Center, with proceeds benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hawai'i. Among the performers: Jake Shimabukuro, Auntie Genoa Keawe, Ho'okena, Bryan Tolentino and the Side Order Band, O'Brian Eselu, Byron Yasui, Benny Chong and a few surprise guests. Co-emcees will be Karen Keawehawai'i and Ku'uipo Kumukahi. Tickets: $30, at www.honoluluboxoffice.com. ...

Reservations are being accepted for the March 4 Na Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Honorees are Dick Jensen, Leila Kiaha, George Naope, Herb "Ohta-san" Ohta and Palani Vaughan. Call 235-9424. ...

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.