>> Comedy team from the South pokes fun at Southern stereotypes
With political and cultural conflict riding high these days, it might be a relief to find someone who can straddle the line with humor and grace – and lay it on with a funny accent to boot. So it is with the Liberal Rednecks, a comedy team from the South who poke fun at Southern stereotypes and enlighten others about their culture while scoring political points.
Trae Crowder, pictured from right, Drew Morgan and Corey Ryan Forrester are standup comedians and co-authors of the best-selling book “The Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin’ Dixie Outta the Dark.” Crowder, who grew up in rural Tennessee, originatedthe Liberal Redneck persona with a series of Youtube videos on hot-button issues like transgender bathrooms and race, sometimes finding a way to mix the two.
THE LIBERAL REDNECKS
Presented by Blue Note Hawaii
>> Where: Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort
>> When: 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday
>> Cost: $25 to $50
>> Info: 777-4890, bluenotehawaii.com
“This transgender bathroom deal just won’t go away,” he says in one video, “and you know it’s getting out of hand, because now you got white people boycotting Target.”
Crowder and fellow Tennessee natives Morgan and Forrester have been touring nationally, appearing on several shows commonly seen as liberal such as “The View,” “Real Time with Bill Maher,” and “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.” They sometimes havefound themselves offering a defense of the South.
“The biggest misperception (about the South) is that we’re any more dumb than any other region of the country,” Crowder said, on “The View.” “There’s stupid people everywhere. I’ve been everywhere, I know. Ours are louder, that’s the thing.”
>> Nathan Aweau headlines Mele on the Marina concert
Add some music to your shopping and dining fun at Mele on the Marina, which presents the second of three summer concerts at Hawaii Kai Towne Center Stage on Saturday.
MELE ON THE MARINA
Presented by the Hawaii Kai Towne Center
>> Where: Hawaii Kai Towne Center
>> When: 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday
>> Cost: Free
>> Info: hawaiikaitownecenter.com/mele
This event features Nathan Aweau, who’s won nine Na Hoku Hanohano awards in categories including contemporary Hawaiian music to top vocalist to best jazz album. Trained to play keyboards, brass and plucked instruments, he is known not only for his richvoice but also his innovative stylings on seven-string bass guitar. Aweau performed with Don Ho for 16 years and was part of Hapa for 7 years, winning three of his Hoku awards with partner Barry Flanagan.
Aweau is scheduled to appear at 6 p.m. Halau Hula O Napunaheleonapua opens the entertainment at 3 p.m., followed by slack-key guitar specialist Dayton Watanabe.
The Mele on the Marina series continues July 28 with headliner Kupaoa and Aug. 25 with the Makaha Sons.
>> Singer Luisito Rosario provides that salsa heat
Salsa the night away on Saturday with Son Caribe and guest vocalist Luisito Rosario at Hawaiian Brian’s.
As a salsa performer, few can claim a higher pedigree than Rosario. For more than 20 years, he has been the lead singer for Larry Harlow and the Fania All-Stars, probably the most prominent salsa band to emerge from New York, the birthplace of the energetic Cuban-Latin-African music.
With special guest Luisito Rosario
>> Where: Hawaii Theatre
>> When: 8 p.m. Saturday
>> Cost: $35 to $85
>> Info: 528-0506, hawaiitheatre.com
A New Yorker with Puerto Rican roots, he’s released five albums that feature the range of salsa styles, including songs in English. More recently, he’s returned to traditional salsa.
He’ll perform with Eddie Ortiz and Son Caribe, the Latin specialists established here 17 years ago. The band is a favorite among Latin music fans in Hawaii, appearing regularly at Honolulu venues and opening for visiting Latin musicians including Tito PuenteJr. and Grammy Award winner Celia Cruz.
Latin dance groups Brava Queens, Linda Melodia Dance Company and Fuego Y Agua perform that evening, too, with more music and video from DJ Judah.
>> Mexican standup Franco Escamilla brings the laughs
Want to sharpen up your Spanish language skills? Check out Mexican standup comedian Franco Escamilla, who comes to Hawaii Theatre this weekend.
Escamilla, known as the Master of Sarcasm and El Diablo (The Devil) in Mexico, has been taking his act away from home country in recent years, with performances in the mainland U.S., Canada, Japan and Hong Kong scheduled for this year.
>> Where: Hawaiian Brian’s
>> When: 8 p.m. Sunday
>> Cost: $25 to $30
>> Info: hawaiianbrians.com
Although he said this show will be “100 percent” Spanish, maybe he can be encouraged to do a few bits in English – he’s done so for routines in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, having been invited to perform by his friend and fellow comedian, Gabriel Iglesias.
To see a bit of what he’s up to, check out his subtitled video where he talks about the three neurons that control men: one each for eating, sleeping and sex.
“I’m talking about a certain type man, a basic man, and I’m a basic man, so Iuse myself,” said Escamilla, 37, calling from Mexico last week.
Escamilla said much of his humor stems from his childhood, when his parents split up and he began to make self-deprecating jokes to lighten the mood. He didn’t get his formal start in comedy until 12 years ago, when he was a musician performing atcomedy clubs and had car trouble one day. Rather than playing music, he got up and started complaining about his mechanic’s attempts to overcharge him for the repair.
“People started laughing because they were thinking, ‘Yeah, that’s happened to me,’” he said. “I felt great!”