Entertainer Shari Lynn anticipated a somewhat quiet December, with only a couple of gigs to wind up the year. Then the phone started ringing, and her calendar started filling up, merrily rolling toward a festive and bountiful season mixing jazz, standards and yes, Christmas fare.
Count ’em; she now boasts four diverse gigs in December.
“Yes, this Jewish girl loves Christmas and is married to a Catholic man (Michael Acebedo); 45 years in June,” said Shari with glee.
Jazz songstress Azure McCall was the first to call, informing Shari she was “doing the Blue Note,” and suggested, “Let’s have a Jive Sisters reunion.” The gig is shared with keyboarder Tennyson Stephens, so he’ll set the tempo with Shari and Annie Renick (formerly, MacLachlan), at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 23 at the Blue Note Hawaii. Tickets: 777-4890.
“Then it was the (Hawaii) symphony, asking, ‘Would you like to be the soloist for our “A Very Merry Holiday Pops Concert?’’” said Shari. She wasn’t about to turn down the invite, so she’ll do a few solos with the Sounds of Aloha Chorus on this journey, at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Hawaii Theatre Center. Tickets: 528-0506.
MERRY AND BRIGHT
Shari previously had scheduled two December gigs:
>> La Pietra’s Annual Holiday concert, at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 11, at La Pietra Hawaii School for Girls. “Fun for all,” said Shari, who is a music teacher at the campus in the shadows of Diamond Head. The event features the Select Choir, Middle School Singers, Dance Club and “even our Faculty Choir,” said Shari. Best part: it’s free. Information: 922-2744.
>> “Not Quite Christmas,” Dec. 14 and 15, at Medici’s at the Manoa Marketplace. On Dec. 14, dinner at 6:30 p.m. precedes the 7:15 p.m. performance; dinner on Dec. 15 is at 5 p.m., with show at 5:45 p.m. This will likely be the season’s biggest little show, assembling a festive and seasoned cast with Shari, the aforementioned Annie, plus Buzz Tennent, Kip Wilborn and keyboardist Don Conover; it’s a reunion of the principals of the “Forbidden Broadway” favorite last year at Temple Emanu-el. “The (Medici’s) show sold out both nights last year and we had a ball doing it,” said Shari. So anticipate a mixed bag of music, from solos to duets, and four-part, a cappella harmony. “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll eat,” she said; chef Tim Stanton’s buffet will complement the evening’s theme. Tickets: $75, at 351-0901. …
These winter gigs have spurred some reflection. “Annie and I are feverishly trying to remember songs that we did 20 years ago, some with our dear friend, the late Rose Marie Barbee!, who became a Jive Sister after Azure relocated for awhile, prompting the trio to redub itself as the Savoy Sisters,” Shari said.
The Blue Note, the previous site of the Outrigger Waikiki’s Main Showroom, was the home of the Society of Seven for three decades, and the Jive Sisters starred at the site when the SOS first started touring.
The Not Quite Christmas concept originally featured Shari, Don and the late Ernest Harada, “and we decided to enlarge it into a show that would work for all of us,” she said of her add-on ensemble this year. Medici’s is attempting to create a chic supper club atmosphere in the expanded reboot.
“I sing this song in the show called ‘It’s Christmas and We’re Jewish’ — really! — and it has a good message, with these lyrics: ‘Christmas means peace and Christmas means love, and these are things that everyone deserves a little of. …”
Shari will have a Christmas tree at home; “I love Christmas, and so does my mom,” she said.
Shari, a music teacher at La Pietra, will even has a tree in her music room at school; “a hot pink one, which my students will help decorate,” she said.
Truly, she embraces the spirit of Christmas. …
>> Rolando Sanchez brings his Latin-seasoned jazz and rock for a one-nighter, at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Manoa Valley Theatre. Tickets are $40; $5 discount for seniors at 988-6131, manoavalleytheatre.com. …
>> Robert Cazimero returns to Blue Note Hawaii at 6:30 and 9 p.m. Dec. 12. Surely, his serenades will include holiday tunes. Tickets: 777-4890. …
THE SUNSHINE BUOYS
KHON news anchor Joe Moore says his pal Pat Sajak (the “Wheel of Fortune” host) is resting at home following an emergency surgery to clear a blocked intestine.
The pair, longtime Army buddies and frequent actors on the local stage, will co-star in “The Sunshine Boys” June 18 through 28 at the Hawaii Theatre Center.
“He will rest at home for at least two weeks, before he starts taping ‘Wheel of Fortune’ again,” said Moore. “It’s the first time he’s ever been hospitalized for anything.”
Sajak’s commitment to do the play is remarkable. “To show you how chipper he’s feeling, when I talked with him on the phone, he told me to tell my news viewers how much he’s looking forward to doing Neil Simon’s ‘The Sunshine Boys’ with me next year.”
Moore told Sajak, “Look at you, selling tickets from your hospital bed,” and Sajak commented, “and don’t forget to remind them that (tickets) are on sale now at the theater website — and they make great Christmas gifts.”
Sajak is 73, Moore is 72, and they’re “seniors” who have a reservoir of energy and desire while still active in broadcasting. It won’t be long before Sajak can return to spin the wheel. …
And that’s “Show Biz.”
Wayne Harada is a veteran entertainment columnist. Reach him at 266-0926 or email@example.com.