New cultural show to resemble Kodak
By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer
By Wayne Harada
New Polynesian-themed activities are planned for the former site of the Kodak Hula Show and Pleasant Hawaiian Hula Show starting Feb. 1.
A newly formed organization, operating as the South Pacific Cultural Center at Waikiki LLC, plans to stage a nightly Polynesian revue, featuring Hawaiian, Samoan, Tahitian, Fijian, Tongan and Maori music and dance, with pre-show dinner service. During the day, the site will host 30 to 50 arts, crafts and food vendors in an Artisans Village.
"Right now we're focusing on authentic Hawaiian and related cultures," said South Pacific Cultural Center LLC chairwoman and CEO Jane Iida, who runs an island tour company on O'ahu, Mai-Kai Enterprises Inc. "In Waikiki, everything is in concrete, yes? Later on I'd like to include some Asian (material)."
Admission to the grounds will be free, said general manager Kawika Cameron, who is producing the 7 p.m. show. Food and beverages will be sold, and the company expects revenue from sales to cover the cost of producing entertainment.
Entertainment director "Chief" Sielu Avea, a two-time World Fireknife Championship winner who worked for the Polynesian Cultural Center for more than 22 years, is finalizing a cast of singers and dancers. The site has bleachers that can accommodate 2,000.
"Dinner will be local favorites, like kalua pig and teri chicken, that sort of thing," Cameron said.
On nights when shows are booked at the Waikiki Shell, such as May Day with The Brothers Cazimero, the center will be closed.
John Fuhrmann, city events and services manager with the city's Enterprise Services department, confirmed that the new tenants at the park site have a permit for the site.
"Food services will be done through our concessionaire, Centerplate," Fuhrmann said. Centerplate has a liquor license to provide beer and wine. The arts and crafts booths and food stations will be set up so that they can be removed if other events are staged in that location.
Live entertainment and events are planned seven days a week, with hula, lei-making and other Island-style activities on the agenda as a daytime attraction.
Iida said she first contacted the operators of the Waikiki Shell about three years ago with the idea of mounting performances there. As the concept took more definite form, she was able to get the required permissions.
"This whole purpose is not really to make money," Iida said. "It is to make people know more about the real Hawai'i."
For more information on the South Pacific Cultural Center, call Cameron at 922-0939.
Reach Wayne Harada at email@example.com.