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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hapa 1,000th concert will come on Mainland tour


By Wayne Harada

Following its sell-out Kahala Hotel & Resort supper club gig, Hapa, the duo comprised of Barry Flanagan and Nathan Aweau, is off on its annual Mainland winter tour, which began Wednesday in Chicago and will include 30 shows in 28 cities. Along the way, group founder Flanagan will mark a milestone: Hapa will log its 1,000th concert somewhere though he wasn't able to pinpoint precisely where or when.

"All I can say is that it feels good to be blessed with the privilege of having a job that is, in large part, producing shows in beautiful theaters in places far away from Hawai'i," he said. The tour "has enabled us to present some of the greatest Hawaiian cultural ambassadors," referring to chanter-storyteller Charles Ka'upu and hula dancer Malia Peterson. ...

Stops include Phoenix, Cambridge, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Portland, concluding April 10 in Whittier, Calif. Then Hapa returns home for an April 17 show at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

Meanwhile, Keli'i Kaneali'i, who preceded Aweau in Hapa, is prepping to release a new solo CD. ...

NAME-DROPPING: "South Pacific," the hit musical at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre with localite Loretta Ables Sayre still portraying Bloody Mary, will close Aug. 22. "By the time we finish, we will have done over 1,000 performances" during its 2 1/4 years on Broadway, she said.

"We are the longest-running revival of a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical in history," said Ables Sayre. "An incredible success for all of us." A tangential thrill: meeting composer Stephen Sondheim when she did a benefit for the Westport Country Playhouse the hometown theater of the late Paul Newman and wife Joanne Woodward in Westport, Conn. ...

RANDOM NOTES: The tsunami-didn't-come parody by singer Frank DeLima and composer Patrick Downes, using Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" melody and names-and-places format, is out their latest disaster ditty on a list that includes earthquakes, blackouts and furlough Fridays. Hear and download it at www.frankdelima.com. ...

Two "Lost" actresses have roles in the season's best films Evangeline Lilly (Kate) plays Connie James, the stay-at-home spouse of Jeremy Renner's SFC Williams James character, in the best picture winner, "The Hurt Locker." Michelle Rodriguez (Ana Lucia Cortez) portrays Trudy Chacon in "Avatar," soaring in that chopper. ...

Kani Ka Pila Grille at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach marks its first anniversary this Thursday. Royalty dropped in a few nights back: Princess Abigail Kawananakoa, escorted by Clayton Hee, enjoyed Kaukahi before heading to Ocean House for dinner. Brother Noland plays tonight and March 21, with Keli'i Kaneali'i on stage March 28, April 4 and 11. ...

ITEMIZATIONS: Notables have been frequenting Wolfgang's Steak House at the Royal Hawaiian Center. Besides "Lost" troupers after the Sunset on the Beach season-premiere screening last month, the likes of ABC-TV president Stephen McPherson, L.A. Lakers owner Jerry Buss, Nintendo of America founder Minoru Arakawa, "The Fast and the Furious" actor Paul Walker (a sometimes resident here) celebrating a family birthday, "The Unit" actor Dennis Haysbert (also the Allstate commercials guy), Memphis Grizzlies basketballer Steve Francis, Duane "Dog" and Beth Chapman of "Dog the Bounty Hunter," and Jeff Van Vonderen of "Intervention" have popped in. ...

And that's Show Biz. ...