comscore Next project for alumnus of Mid-Pac a real 'Stretch'
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Next project for alumnus of Mid-Pac a real ‘Stretch’

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Rob Letterman, a Mid-Pacific Institute grad, is the director of 20th Century Fox’s current "Gulliver’s Travels," starring Jack Black, which was a box-office disappointment during the holidays.

Is it a stretch, then, to think his next could be a blockbuster? Letterman is set to direct Universal’s 3-D, live-action "Stretch Armstrong," produced by Brian Grazer, with Taylor Lautner (the hunk from the "Twilight" franchise) as the title character, based on the ’70s action figure with elastic limbs that stretch.

Letterman’s previous DreamWorks hits — "Monsters vs. Aliens" and the Oscar-nominated "Shark Tale" — buoyed him into the mainstream. …

HOLIDAZE: Kailuans might have mixed feelings about the winter presence of President Barack Obama and ohana, who annually rent a beachfront estate to escape the mainland snow and chill, equally inconveniencing and thrilling some residents.

It’s exciting to have the first family down the street, and particularly satisfying to see the commander-in-chief, wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia slurping shave ice at Island Snow. But the visit comes with the usual challenges to daily life: restricted strolls on the beach close to the president’s rented house, traffic delays while his delegation wheels by in routine treks to the beach or to bowling.

A tip about the 2011 holidays: The first family will skip Hawaii next year and spend Christmas and New Year’s in Iowa. At least that’s what Michelle leaked to an islander before returning to D.C. Stay tuned. …

ABOUT PEOPLE: Juan de Marcos, the producer of the sizzling Buena Vista Social Club sessions, brings his band, the Afro Cuba All Stars (which provides the vibes in all the recordings), to the Blaisdell Concert Hall at 8 p.m. April 16. Expect throbbing big-band (Cuban style) sounds, from seductive rumba to romantic bolero, along with a supporting set from islander Rolando Sanchez, who’ll dip into his "Vamonos de Fiesta" song bag. …

Yoko Matsui and Richard Ball celebrated their recent marriage with a midmorning classical concert Wednesday at the Dragon Upstairs. A noted pianist, Matsui relocated here from Japan with her new husband. Two of her Japanese classmates, Reiko Formella (flute) of Calgary and Yukiko Okugawa (violin) from Switzerland, participated. …

NOTABLE ‘N’ QUOTABLE: So how does Alex O’Loughlin, the Steve McGarrett on CBS’ "Hawaii Five-0," feel about amore? Here’s a quote from him from Vanity Fair Italy: "The woman I’ll give my heart to, and my fidelity, must love me as much as I love her. If she doesn’t love me as I love her, I don’t want her: I don’t accept to be, in the couple, the one who loves the most."

Not elegant, but honest. While he hasn’t discussed a significant other, photo postings of O’Loughlin curbside at Los Angeles International Airport last week show him snuggling with girlfriend Amber Clayton. Go to

AROUND TOWN: Martin Wyss, who was the Kahala Hilton’s executive chef for 18 years, will join current chef Wayne Hirabayashi in a one-night celebration Jan. 22 to mark the 47th anniversary of the Kahala Resort and Hotel. They’ll cook at the Plumeria Beach House, where diners can reflect on yesteryear and enjoy the ambiance of the present, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Reservations: 739-8760.

Looks like the Avex Honolulu recording studio at the Hawaii Kai Shopping Center has a new owner (name not disclosed), so it won’t be shutting down as feared last month. Avex has become a destination for studio work not only for local musicians, but A-list mainland and Japanese acts. …

Faith Thompson Ako, a Kahuku grad who now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and promotes island music there, will be back home to do an OC16 "Live Pakele!" show with Tony Solis Jan. 20 at the Ala Moana Hotel. …

And that’s "Show Biz." …

Wayne Harada is a veteran entertainment columnist; reach him at 266-0926 or; read his Show and Tell Hawaii blog at


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