Two veteran events producers — logging more than 100 years of staging shows in separate platforms in Hawaii — continue to keep ’em coming.
Jack Cione, 93, has decided to launch “One More Time,” in February, rekindling his trademark “Follies” after three years in mothballs. He had staged 10 lavish annual revues featuring the seniors at Arcadia, where he is a resident after more than 60 years of producing and directing a myriad of shows, including iconic nightclub extravaganzas.
Nake‘u Awai, 81, a Waikiki entertainer before becoming a pioneering designer of Hawaiian wear, will mount his 44th holiday fashion show, entitled “Star,” Dec. 1 at the Pomaika‘i Ballrooms at Dole Cannery in Iwilei. He’s assembled a network of musicians and models for the gala. …
‘ONE MORE TIME’
Cione currently is on a six-week busman’s holiday; in the weeks ahead he’ll script a new “Follies” show, appropriately dubbed “One More Time,” since arbitrarily calling it quits in 2016.
Several diehard show troupers approached Cione to get back in the saddle, mostly since they missed the joy of the spotlight, so he agreed to do a hana hou.
Before his Arcadia productions, Cione was a nightclub operator in showplaces from Nimitz to Waikiki; he has plenty of memories about his prior work with the likes of Tempest Storm, Sal Mineo, Judy Garland and Prince Hanalei, in venues like the Forbidden City, the Dunes and Le Boom Boom Club, all gone now.
Before returning in mid-November, he’ll be hard at work, polishing and shaping a script — on land, on trains and at sea — since his itinerary includes a shipboard cruise from the West Coast to Miami via the Panama Canal, a train ride to New York to catch the latest Broadway musicals (the pause enabling him to energize his batteries). There’ll be another train ride from New York to the West Coast before boarding a flight home.
With committees in place, “casting will be completed Dec. 1,” said Cione. He’ll tap 25 performers who will stage five performances, with opening night set for Feb. 14. The show is free to Arcadians and their guests.
Clearly, this is a valentine to seniorhood, theater and the spirit of sharing; and Cione is at the heart of this endeavor. “It keeps me young and active,” he said. Indeed. …
Awai, creator of timeless alohawear for women and men, shelved a show biz career spanning Waikiki, Hollywood and Broadway in his youth, to return home to stay. Island fans and friends may recall his presence in the “Paradise Found” revue at the old Hilton Hawaiian Village Dome, where he was billed as Joel Awai.
His Nake‘u Awai Designs, the hub of his fashion plate, is headquartered on Houghtailing Street not far from Kamehameha Schools, his alma mater. The tiny shop is awhirl in prepping for the annual to-do on Dec. 1.
“The company of performers, other than the featured guests, have gotten older along with me,” said Awai. “For example, my current pianist-performer is Aaron Sala. For years, I had Randy Hongo (as accompanist), and before Hongo, Charles K.L. Davis and Mahi Beamer.” The earlier keyboarders, now deceased, must be having a heavenly grand time Up There.
Awai’s guests will include Starr Kalahiki, Desiree Cruz, Nicholas Navales, Mark Tang and Pakala Fernandez.
A marketplace of Hawaiian goods is set from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., followed by the fashion show. Tickets: $80 single, $800 for a table of 10.
In line with his old-school tradition, reservations will be via phone (Keane Akao at 561-1244 or Awai at 841-1221), or checks sent via snail mail to Nake‘u Awai Designs, 1613 Houghtailing St. #5, Honolulu HI 96817. …
So what is, and who are, “The Illusionists — Live From Broadway,” coming to the Blaisdell Concert Hall for a brief run Wednesday through Oct. 27?
It’s a roller-coaster ride of mystifying acts, ideal for family audiences and promising unexpected thrills.
The production has had intermittent runs on the Great White Way, with acts filling “role” models. Check ’em out:
>> The Manipulator, An Ha Lim, an award-winning sleight-of-hand wizard.
>> The Daredevil, Jonathan Goodwin, a master knife-thrower, escape artist, archer and fakir.
>> The Trickster, Paul Dabek, a magician whose showmanship taps comedy.
>> The Unusualist, Raymond Crowe, whose spell embraces puppetry, mime and ventriloquism.
>> The Sorceress, Sabine, specializing in mind games, illusions and escapes.
Tickets and showtimes: ticketmaster.com. …
Added note: If you’re Broadway-bound this fall, “The Illusionists — Magic of the Holidays” will run Nov. 29 through Jan. 5, 2020, with a totally different cast, at the Neil Simon Theatre. …
“Grease” is the word at HBO Max, the cable network launching in the spring. It has ordered from Paramount Television “Grease: Rydell High,” based on the 1978 flick starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The spin-off means hand-jives, poodle skirts and leather jackets — staples of the fab ’50s — will be fashionable again, with casting TBA. …
And that’s “Show Biz.”
Wayne Harada is a veteran entertainment columnist. Reach him at 266-0926 or email@example.com.