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Thursday, July 31, 2014         

SHOW BIZ


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'Concert King' to live dream in summer stand with SOS

By Wayne Harada

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Martin Nievera, billed as the "Concert King of the Philippines" despite his growing-up-in-Honolulu roots, will team up with the Tony Ruivivar-led Society of Seven Classic this summer. A lively and luminous coupling unfolds June 14 through July 12 at the Main Showroom of the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel.

The homecoming fulfills a lifelong dream for Nievera because his dad, Roberto Nievera, once sang lead vocals for the group in an early era of the SOS' 40-plus-year tenure. Martin has wanted to sing with his "uncles" for decades, since he hung out in the showroom as a youth. The gig has the blessings of Ruivivar's SOS co-founder Bert Sagum. While Martin has performed with the SOS in a handful of mainland shows, he's never had a Waikiki co-starring slot.

For play dates and reservations, call 923-6408. ...

Meanwhile, the SOS LV (Latest Version) will hold court till the June special engagement. Glenn Miyashiro is back in the lineup, which means guest soloist Ryan Gallagher is pau. ...

HOLDING COURT: Jason Tam, last seen on Broadway as Paul San Marco in "A Chorus Line," literally goes to court -- make that a basketball court -- as an ensemble actor in Transport Group Theatre Company's "Lysistrata Jones," a new musical opening June 5 (previewing from May 15).

The show, by Douglas Carter Beane (book) and Lewis Flinn (music and lyrics), will be staged on the basketball court of the Judson Memorial Church gym at Washington Square South. Tam plays a character named Xander in a tuneful version of the Aristophanes comedy "Lysistrata."

The site is important, since the musical is about a university basketball team with a 30-year losing streak. Director-choreographer is Dan Knechtges, Tony-nominated for "Xanadu" and "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."

The play runs through June 19; for a schedule and ticket information, go to www.transportgroup.org or call 866-811-4111. ...

HITHER 'N' YON: Maile, the pooch who was Toto in Diamond Head Theatre's "Wizard of Oz," now has quite a presence in the Actors Group's "The Miracle Worker," in production at TAG's Dole Cannery theater space. Maile's owner, Patricia Ferraris, says the canine has six scenes in the story about Helen Keller. For play dates and tickets, go to www.taghawaii.net. ...

Sheldeen and Bobby Takeo, retirees from Molokai, had never seen a production of "Miss Saigon," so when they learned that granddaughter Kaylee, 6, was cast as Tam in a Colorado high school production, they attended -- and were surprised. "We thought she was going to be in one scene, running across the stage to Mom, so when the scene was over, I breathed a sigh, thinking, 'OK, she did well,'" said Sheldeen as Kaylee enacted the son of Kim in the Vietnam-linked Broadway musical. "When she came out again in another scene, I got nervous again. I had to stay nervous for the entire play." ...

WHEE, THE PEOPLE: Connie Kehaunani Kissinger, who splits her time between here and Chicago, entertained Pohai Nani residents with pianist Ron Miyashiro recently. She called up her 89-year-old mom to hula, then both shared the spirited Kamehameha Schools fight song, "Imua Kamehameha."

Kissinger and Miyashiro will join the likes of Dennis Kamakahi and Keith and Carmen Haugen in the Fifth Annual Peace on Earth Concert at 6 p.m. May 10 at the Hawaii Theatre, in a freebie supported by the National Kidney Foundation. ...

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

Wayne Harada is a veteran entertainment columnist; reach him at 266-0926 or wayneharada@gmail.com; read his Show and Tell Hawaii blog at www.staradvertiser.com.






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