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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, January 26, 2006

Augie given more time to 'integrate' audiences

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Columnist

Augie T.

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Edwin Ramones

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Annamarie Love

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Kit Samson

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ESPRIT DE CORPS: Augie T., the radio dude and stand-up comic attraction Wednesdays at the Esprit lounge of the Sheraton Waikiki hotel, has been extended for six months. "We've had half-visitor, half-local audiences the past few weeks, so I'm trying to integrate both audiences," said Augie. He said he admires Don Ho's longevity and popularity across the street at the Ohana Waikiki Beachcomber hotel's Hoku Hale showroom, "because of his setup — to call up all kinds of people from the audience to the stage. I'm gonna be like that someday." Augie's been doing career-day talks with high-schoolers (he was at Radford earlier in the week) to persuade them that even he, a "bad kid growing up," can be motivated to take a detour to success. When Augie played Cobbs Comedy Club in San Francisco recently, he drew big crowds, so the club is eager to book a weeklong commitment this summer. ...

And the Esprit is set to launch The Krush for a Friday-Saturday gig starting Feb. 10. For original member Edwin Ramones, it's a return to Waikiki for the updated group, which, of course, now features a female lead singer in Annamarie Love. The Krush has been Island-hopping these past few weeks, doing convention shows at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay resort and a Lana'i Community Association show for the first group of Filipino "sakadas" marking the centennial. ...

WHEE, THE PEOPLE: Kit Samson, the pianist, was flattered to be invited to perform at the First Philippines Music & Jazz Festival in Manila last weekend. Alas, the busy entertainer already had a previous commitment to entertain at the O'ahu Country Club's Centennial Celebration on the same dates. "It's still a blessing to have been chosen to perform with my Sound Advice," said Samson of the hometown gig. Nice to be asked, though. ...

"The Three Phantoms" — that would be Craig Schulman, Cris Groenendaal and Kevin Gray — gave master's classes on Maui and in Hilo when not staging their concert on the Neighbor Isles. The show bows tonight at the Hawai'i Theatre, repeating Saturday and Sunday, and will be a Ballet Hawai'i fundraiser — which is why the ballet company's Steve Knox flew to Hilo to preview the show. The trio also will join singer Rex Nockengust and keyboarder Don Conover in their "Broadway at the Shanghai Bistro" tomorrow night. The entourage includes accompanist Sue Anderson, who is Mrs. Groenendaal, and Dodie Pettit, who was an original cast member of "Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway and Mrs. Gray off stage. ...

IN RETROSPECT: That "New Traditionalists" concert Friday night at the Hawai'i Theatre, pairing Kaumakaiwa "Lopaka" Kanaka'ole of Hilo with Raiatea Helm of Maui and Moloka'i, had a pulse of its own — young performers carrying the torch of their kupuna. His mele and oli that were exquisite and gutsy, occasionally with contemporary nuances of his generation. She has the voice of an angel, sweet and lovely and even ethereal, particularly in the leo ki'eki'e (falsetto) tradition. He's 23, she's 21, so they're both still in the learn-as-you-go phase. While their zest to please is tantamount, there were elements that begged for tweaking — like a modest script to shape their journey and minimize the lulls. When they're singing, however, they're remarkably affable and unquestionably gifted. ...

HERE 'N' THERE: Jun Polistico, formerly with the Society of Seven, will sing a couple of tunes at the Santo Ni–o Festival on Saturday at Kapi'olani Park. The event, part of the continuing Filipino Centennial Celebration, features a parade from 9 a.m. beginning at Fort DeRussy, with music from 1 p.m. at the park. Polistico also performs Monday and Tuesday at the Fil-Com Center in Waipahu. ...

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.