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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, June 14, 2009

John Rowles is returning for a fall gig in Waikiki


By Wayne Harada

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

John Rowles

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Remember "Cheryl Moana Marie," a hit in Hawai'i in the 1970s? If so, you also remember John Rowles, the New Zealand native who put the song on the map and his career in high gear.

The Down Under veteran still very active in the club and concert circuit is in Honolulu this week to announce his comeback/homecoming gig in Waikiki sometime this fall.

Rowles was a hottie 30 years ago, thanks to the entrepreneurial prowess of the late Kimo McVay; Rowles headlined at three top Waikiki showrooms: Duke Kahanamoku's, the Outrigger Waikiki's Main Showroom and The Royal Hawaiian's Monarch Room. See Rowles performing at the Royal at www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPaCjrJkPt4 ... and kia ora, bro. ...

CURTAIN CALLS: Ann Harada is set to rejoin the cast of "Avenue Q" on Broadway next month as Christmas Eve, the role she originated in New York and played in London. Harada (no relation) is a Punahou grad who is currently in the Dolly Parton Tony-nominated musical "9 to 5," but rejoins the Tony-winning "Avenue Q" on July 6. ...

Fans and friends of Honolulu native Jason Tam, a Broadway actor by trade who portrayed Paul San Marco in the 2006 New York revival of "A Chorus Line," will have to wait a few more weeks to see him in the acclaimed documentary "Every Little Step," which chronicles "Chorus" actors auditioning, then performing in the Tony Award-winning musical. Tam earned raves, on stage and in the flick, so go see it, root for a local, and experience his dream and achievement. ...

Bob Billig, a Broadway musical director, now is at the baton of the "Wicked" production in San Francisco. Locals know him through his "Miss Saigon" ties here. Billig and partner Richard Vida are frequent Island visitors and had a reunion at town, the Kaimuki restaurant, with a pair of "Miss Saigon" alumnae, Rocky Brown and Jade Stice, and publicist Lisa Josephsohn. Billig previously conducted the work for "Saigon." ...

ITEMIZATIONS: Jordan Segundo, spokesperson for Adult Friends for Youth, has completed tours for AFY and D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), which made the former "American Idol" finalist somewhat of a grade school and middle school sensation. Segundo gives mini-concerts on the tours, creating waves of deafening screams from the girls who seek his autograph and/or a quick touch.

At one O'ahu concert, Segundo "was caught off-guard when an excited young female fan ran onstage and tackled him," said manager Nancy Bernal. He managed to sing, hold her hand and "kissed her hand and she literally fainted on stage." Ah, stardom and youth. Last night, Segundo hosted the Miss Hawai'i Outstanding Teen Pageant at Leeward Community College, which airs later on OC16 presumably without hysteria. ...

AROUND TOWN: Kupaoa and Manoa Voices, emerging talents who won a Hawaii Book & Music Festival contest recently, have earned slots at Kani Ka Pila, the Outrigger Reef on the Beach's hot spot for open-air lunch and dinner. The standbys (Manoa DNA, Cyril Pahinui, Martin Pahinui, Kaukahi, etc.) still perform, but the two new finds have upcoming slots: Kupaoa this Thursday, Manoa Voices June 22. And beginning Tuesday, Kani Ka Pila will operate from 6 to 9 p.m. daily. ...

Stuart Yamane, TV director, just completed "Roots in Water," a short film on the Sumida Watercress Farm in Pearl City that's airing national on Comcast Cable (not available here). He's also in the midst of a second "Artist" installment for PBS Hawai'i, which airs this fall. ...

And that's Show Biz. ...