Sunday, November 29, 2015         


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Singer gets morale boost from Depp's double visits

By Wayne Harada


Local singer Tahiti Rey, daughter of entertainer Augie Rey, is thrilled beyond words that Johnny Depp, Capt. Jack Sparrow of Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, visited Apartment 3 two Wednesdays in a row for dinner. Depp, in town filming the fourth installment, "On Stranger Tides," listened intently to Tahiti the first time, then asked her to chit-chat about her music and future plans. He complimented her voice and composing savvy; she gave him an autographed copy of her "Acoustic Beauty" CD.

When he returned, Depp told her how much he loved her CD, particularly her "You Give Me Butterflies," which sums up her happy nervousness about how they bonded through her music. She's already writing new tunes for a new CD, to be produced by Shawn Pimental and Michael Grande, and Depp's encouragement has buoyed her confidence. And her prolific pal Colbie Caillat ("Bubbly," "Lucky" with Jason Mraz) popped in at the RumFire at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel where Tahiti performs periodically. She's regularly at Apartment 3 on Wednesdays, the Elegant Dive on Thursdays at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki and at ThirtyNine Hotel on Fridays in Chinatown. ...

BROADWAY CALLS: After seeing an archive video of "The Boys in Autumn," staged at the Hawaii Theatre recently, New York producer Robert Freedman sought to put the play and its co-stars, "Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak and KHON2 news anchor Joe Moore, on Broadway next year. Play investors need a minimum of a 12-week commitment to recoup finances, but the pair informed Freedman they could commit only to a four- or five-week run because of their "real" jobs. "How about that, Broadway calls and we can't fit it into our schedule, lamented Sajak. "Guess they'll have to settle for (Al) Pacino and (Robert) DeNiro," joked Moore. ...

HOPE: Fran Kakugawa, the Honolulu-via-Kapoho poet, author and veteran in care-giving advice, has become the voice of hope in Alzheimer's care. An advocate of writing poetry as part of care-giving, Kakugawa just completed a minitour of Hawaii, drawing folks "who want help and, I think, hope."

With support from the local Alzheimer's Association, she shared her poetry at a Doc Buyers fundraiser, attracted an SRO crowd for the Aloha Chapter on Writing and Caregiving, and tackled another session at the Japanese Cultural Center. On Maui, youngsters worked on poetry at Borders, pegged to her "Wordsworth the Poet" and "Wordsworth Dances the Waltz" books. Her new "A Caregiver's Voice: Breaking the Silence Through Writing," is due this fall by Willow Valley Press of California. For her blog, go to ...

TALK ABOUT PEOPLE: Jack Thompson, president of Tihati Productions, is back from a lecturing tour in Samoa with teammates Mike Maxon, president of South Seas Christian Ministry, and PLN Murthy, president of International Bible Society. Thompson returns to Samoa Friday, with a team of carpenters from Island Family Christian Church (Honolulu) to repair a school damaged in the 2009 tsunami. ...

Glass Candle, co-starring in the seventh '70s Nightclub Reunion from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Saturday at the Hibiscus Ballroom of the Ala Moana Hotel, is tapping alumni lead singers like Floridian Doug Rivera, ex-Krusher Bobby Gonzales and Artzone's KK Kaminaka. Greenwood, Asian Blend, Power Point and Golden Throat (with Nohelani Cypriano) will supply nostalgia. ...

And that's "Show Biz." ...

Wayne Harada's "Show Biz," a fixture for more than 40 years in the Honolulu Advertiser, appears Sundays in the Star-Advertiser. Reach him at 266-0926 or Read his Show and Tell Hawaii blog at

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