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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, May 21, 2010

Breathtaking entertainment awaits in Lā'ie

By Dave Dondoneau
TGIF Editor

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Mikaele Oloa of Waialua successfully defended his World Fireknife Champion-ships title last weekend.

Polynesian Cultural Center

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It's not too early to make plans for next year's World Fireknife Championships at the Polynesian Cultural Center.

And before you dismiss it as "too touristy" to be worthy enough for a drive out to La'ie, answer this question:What's wrong with playing tourist every now and then?

Visitors flock to events like this (and pay a lot more than kama'aina to attend), because they are fun, interesting and mostly unique to the Islands.

Thousands of O'ahu residents have never stepped foot in the Polynesian Cultural Center, and that's a shame. Yes, it's touristy, but it's also entertaining. You can take in a lu'au, visit island villages, take a canoe ride, or just check out PCC's spectacular "Ha:Breath of Life" show.

And by spectacular, I mean a visually captivating $3 million extravaganza, featuring more than 100 performers. While it's not as polished as a Las Vegas show, it's about as close as you can get. Many of the actors and actresses are college students, and to see the energy they perform with is worth the price of admission.

It was the best of both worlds last Saturday: The world fireknife finals took place during the intermission of "Ha: Breath of Life," and the sold-out crowd saw Mikaele Oloa, formerly of Florida and now living in Waialua, beat out two other finalists for his second consecutive world title and a $4,000 first-place prize.

I would tell anyone to check out a fireknife show at least once, and I would say the same for "Ha: Breath of Life" which, fortunately, includes some fireknife skits on a nightly basis and some beautiful Tahitian dance. Go to www.polynesia.com for more information.

South Korea's hottest all-girls band,the Wonder Girls, is coming to Pipeline Café for two shows June 25-26. The concert has been in the works for about a month. This is the same group that toured with the Jonas Brothers last summer and played a sold-out Valentine's Day gig with Justin Bieber. Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. tomorrow through www.groovetickets.com and are $32, $75 and $150 (which includes a meet-and-greet with the band, photo opportunity, souvenir and a general admission ticket).

Tickets also go on sale today through www.groovetickets.com for Mutemath's first concert in the Islands on Aug. 5, also at Pipeline Café. Bamp Project is bringing the New Orleans rockers to town. Tickets are $26 and $55.

Dog Chapman and his wife, Beth, are getting to meet some interesting people these days. The stars of A&E's "Dog the Bounty Hunter" reality show were invited by George Clooney and Kaui Hart Hemmings, author of "The Descendants," to the movie's wrap-up party this week.