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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 25, 2006

SHOW BIZ
Local boy lands key role in 'Les Miserables'

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Columnist

Kreeger

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TX Tario

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Shimabukuro

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Dread

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BROADWAY BITS: Local boy Doug Kreeger, who starred in the Drama Desk Award-nominated "Thrill Me" in New York, has been tapped to portray Jean Prouvaire in the revival of "Les Miserables" (the original closed in May 2003) at the Broadhurst Theatre. Previews start Oct. 24 and the new show opens Nov. 9. Yes, he's thrilled. The casting caps a banner year he just completed a run in Galt "Hair" McDermott's often-neglected "The Human Comedy" at Massachusetts' Barrington Stage Company, where Broadway's current "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" originated.

The limited-run "Les Miz" (actors have six-month contracts) will star Alexander Gemignani as Jean Valjean and Norm Lewis as Javert. Rehearsals start in early September, says Kreeger, who's homesick; it's been five years since he's been here. ...

And Honolulu resident Joy Abbott says that a fall Broadway revival of "The Pajama Game," for which her late husband George Abbott did the book, won't happen, mostly because a suitable theater wasn't available. The production starring Harry Connick Jr. and Kelli O'Hara, which took the 2006 Tony for best revival, closed June 17 and was to reopen with a new cast. A tour is in the works. ...

THE LOCAL ANGLE: It's all in the 'ohana at Hawaii Opera Theatre's "The King and I," with three Tario kids in the cast at Blaisdell Concert Hall. TX Tario, 10, is Prince Chulalongkorn; you may remember him as Colin in Army Community Theatre's "The Secret Garden." His brother TJ, 12 (who was Chip in Diamond Head Theatre's "Beauty and the Beast"), and sister T'L, 5, are also in the ensemble. The Nu'uanu kids' Mom, Karli, is in the ensemble chorus. ...

Robin Campaniano, AIG Hawai'i president and CEO, will host 150 employees and guests at Saturday's matinee of Diamond Head Theatre's "Into the Woods." For Pat Hartnett, vice president of claims at the insurance company, the focus will be on daughter Elizabeth Hartnett, who portrays Cinderella in the Stephen Sondheim musical. Relatively speaking, there may be another Hartnett in the rooting section Clear Channel's Jamie Hartnett, Elizabeth's aunt, who attended opening night. ...

HERE 'N' THERE: Jake Shimabukuro's new CD "Gently Weeps," produced by Mac McAnally (lead guitarist of Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer Band), is off and strumming. It's a solo instrumental but there's one vocal Jennifer Perri sings "Wish on My Star." The repertoire includes "Sakura," "The Star-Spangled Banner," "Misty" and "Beyond the Break" (from The N's show). ...

Kristie Ching is the new entertainment director for Atlantis' Navatek cruises and performs on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. She's also prepping a three-song CD. Other Navatek singers: Noella Querubin on Thursdays and Saturdays, Kanoelani Gibson on Mondays and Tuesdays. ...

AROUND TOWN: Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett's 29th annual Ho'ike, from 5 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Ronald E. Bright Theatre at Castle High School, is themed "Ke Aloha Mapu Mau," or "unceasing love." The lineup includes Jerry Santos and Friends, Sean Na'aua'o and Natalie Ai Kamau'u. Several hula halau will be there, too. Note that this year there will be a single performance only, not two. ...

Marty Dread, the reggaemeister currently touring with Willie Nelson, will have one of his guitars displayed at the Lahaina Hard Rock Cafe. ...

Jack Cione has made his umpteenth trek to Cirque Hawai'i, the spectacle in Waikiki, and learned that the show-biz greeting "break a leg" is to be avoided. Since the show bowed late last year, there have been six major cast injuries (legs, ankles, wrists and muscle strain) among the agile troupers. ...

Michelle Wie, Fiji and Jon de Mello are regular patrons at Ala Moana's Panya Bistro...

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.