Friday, July 25, 2014         


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Singer Mars set to tour with Maroon 5 and McCoy

By Wayne Harada


Bruno Mars, the emerging hip-hop popster with the sweet voice, looms as a Top 10 star while his "Doo-Wop & Hooligans" solo CD is poised for an Oct. 5 release. You may remember him in Hawaii as the littlest Elvis Presley impersonator whose formal name is Pete Hernandez Jr., the son of the Love Notes founder.

As a build-up to that album, which will include his already charted "Just the Way You Are" hit, Mars joins Maroon 5's "Hands All Over" tour starting Oct. 6 and also tours with Travie McCoy in Europe this year (after all, Mars is featured on McCoy's "Billionaire" hit). Presuming Mars' CD is a blockbuster, he'll then launch his own American tour. Mars — with proper mentoring — would be a solid prospect to portray Michael Jackson, if film producers give him the chance. And you know there will eventually be a biopic on the King of Pop. ...

WHEE, THE PEOPLE: Bill Tapia, the beloved 102-year-old jazz ukulele player, will join Melveen Leed in a jam with local whizzes Byron Yasui and Benny Chong in "The Many Moods of Melveen Leed" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Hawaii Theatre. Philanthropist Dr. Lawrence Tseu is presenting the show, marking Deaf Awareness Month, to benefit the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind. By the way, Da Tita will transform from bag lady to speak-easy sizzler on stage. Tickets: 528-0506. ...

Kristian Lei, who has played Princess Nala and Rafiki the storyteller in a Hong Kong Disneyland production of "The Festival of the Lion King," is taking a breather to return home in October. She's widened her horizons, even learning to sing in Zulu, adding to her credits that already include Kim in "Miss Saigon" and Tuptin in "The King and I." She plans to resume voice teaching and someday revive her "Honolulu Broadway Babies" production. ...

Ben Labrador, who was 16 when he first learned the ropes of doing sound and lights with the Society of Seven at the Outrigger Hotel's Main Showroom, spent two weeks here to kokua and be part of Tony Ruivivar's classic group's homecoming gig, now under way in Waikiki. Nice surprise for those who remember the Las Vegas resident — from his novice years. ...

HITHER 'N' YON: Isle actor Stan Egi has completed a guest role on CBS' "Medium," playing Dr. Mendez, who performs surgery on the badly burned hand of Patricia Arquette in an episode dubbed "Tell It to the Hand" airing this fall. "The fun part is the skin used for the graft is from a deceased person (a murder victim), so after the surgery, her hand starts moving on its own, powered by the spirit of the dead," Egi said. Wooo, chicken skin. ...

John Kolivas, who led the band for Keola & Kapono Beamer at the old Ocean Showroom at the Cinerama Reef Hotel 30 years ago, has continued his musical bonding with Keola Beamer, just completing Beamer's interisland tour (Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island) with Raiatea Helm. Kolivas, a bassist, conducted a mini-orch comprising Spring Wind Quintet musicians. A mainland and Japan tour is in the works. ...

"Lost" is finding its way in music, sort of. Weezer, an L.A. alt-rock foursome, has dubbed its new CD "Hurley" (due this month) in honor of Jorge Garcia's "Lost" character. Could Sawyer — Josh Holloway, who has retained his Hawaii Kai home — be next? ...

TV reminder: "The Brothers Cazimero: At Home in the Islands," airs 9 p.m. Thursday and Saturday on KGMB9. ...

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 wayneharada@gmail.com. Read his Show and Tell Hawaii blog at staradvertiser.com.

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