Photos by Aaron Yoshino
Special to the Star-Advertiser
Sakura at Nobu Waikiki. September 25th, 2010.
FL Morris / firstname.lastname@example.org
The scene at LEVEL4 during the club’s grand opening party on July 19, 2008.
This post has been updated. See below.
By Jason Genegabus
Waikiki nightspot LEVEL4 Nightclub and Ultra Lounge held its final parties last weekend and is now out of business, according to multiple sources. Following regularly scheduled parties on Friday and Saturday, the fourth floor space at the Royal Hawaiian Center hosted a final screening of “Princess Kaiulani” tonight before closing down for good.
The news “kind of just hit us” out of the blue, said LEVEL4 public relations director Kenji Matsuzawa, who said he found out “last week” that the club would shut its doors.
“We were doing so well,” he said. “We were riding that roller coaster … (but) business has been booming.”
By Gary C.W. Chun
Photo by Bruce Asato
For the world premiere of the new “Hawaii Five-0,” thousands of visitors and local folks converged on Waikiki Beach on Monday to see the rebirth of a cop show that introduced the islands to millions of viewers around the world more than four decades ago.
Before the evening screening, one of the high points of the night was the stage appearances of Al Harrington, who played the character of Ben Kokua during “Five-0”’s original run, and the three daughters of show creator Leonard Freeman, who, in essence, handed over the legacy of their father and the iconic cast led by Jack Lord to the show’s new producers, Peter Lenkov, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.
Harrington joked that in response to McGarrett’s trademark show closer — “Book ’em, Danno” — he was often tempted to reply, “Book ’em yourself.”
“But the money was so good that I didn’t want to risk it,” he said.
While reading remarks from original cast member James MacArthur, who did not attend, Harrington became emotional when reeling off the names of those who have since died. “I speak for Lenny (Freeman), Kam (Fong), Jack (Lord), Zulu and the rest of the original cast to say it’s very heartening to leave our legacy in your hands,” he said, reading from MacArthur’s statement.
Harrington also said he hopes the spirit of the new show would keep in mind the state’s motto of “Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka Aina I Ka Pono” — the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness — “and may you all enjoy Hawaii and its fabulous people.”
One actor who enjoyed his stay in the islands was special guest Jorge Garcia. The former “Lost” cast member said he moved back to Los Angeles three months ago, and it just so happened his visit back to Hawaii coincided with the “Five-0” public screening.
Referring to fellow “Lost” actor Daniel Dae Kim, who plays the part of Chin Ho Kelly in the new “Five-0,” Garcia said he attended the event because “I wanted to support Daniel in his new adventures.”
Jason Scott Lee also was among the celebrities in attendance.
It was a night to celebrate all that was “Five-0.” The University of Hawaii Warrior Marching Band and Dancers performed their familiar rendition of the show’s iconic opening theme, and both Gov. Linda Lingle and acting Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell offered proclamations that honored the new show with their own month and day, respectively.
There were steady chants from fans close to the red carpet of “Grace!,” “Scott!,” “Alex!” and “Daniel!” as Grace Park, Scott Caan, Alex O’Loughlin and Daniel Dae Kim first spoke with members of the media, and then went to the fans behind the barricade to sign autographs and pose for photos.
Photos by Christie Wilson
Photos by FL Morris / email@example.com
Mexican import Senor Frog’s celebrated its third anniversary in Waikiki with a casino-themed party at the Royal Hawaiian Center.
The tradition of the Society of Seven in Waikiki continues, as the original group returns to its old stomping grounds in the Outrigger Waikiki showroom.
After a nine-year stint in Las Vegas, the SOS Classic is coming back to Hawaii for a five-week run starting Tuesday, Aug. 24. The group will perform at 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays until Sept. 25. After that, the band will alternate nights and perform with their protégés and current showroom regulars the SOS LV (Latest Version), who themselves will be launching a new “Hot, Hot, Hot” show.
The SOS Classic first opened at the Outrigger Showroom in February 1969. “The difference between the Classic SOS before and now is that after nine years in Las Vegas and the mainland, we’ve polished and tightened our show,” said original member Tony Ruivivar in a press release. “We’re more seasoned performers who’re offering our audiences great singing, dancing and comedy, and, of course, good clean fun.”
Special guest performer will be 15-year-old Farrington High School student Arshiel, who performed with the SOS Classic in Las Vegas in May.
The classic lineup of co-founders Ruivivar and Bert Sagum, Hoku Low, Wayne Wakai, Vince Mendoza, Roy Venturina and Elika Santos was last seen in Honolulu in 2008 when they teamed up with the SOS LV for three shows at the Outrigger Showroom.
Kamaaina rates are $29.50, including free parking at the Ohana East; regular rates are $45. For reservations and information, call 923-SHOW (7469).
Photos by FL Morris / firstname.lastname@example.org
Described as “an evening of wine, good times and some unexpected art,” the party featured some of Honolulu’s top artists donating the proceeds from their works to TCM’s Children’s Art Education programs. “Drawn Out” invited local artists to draw simultaneously during the evening, with the finished pieces put on sale for anywhere between $25 and $100.
In addition, more than 25 different wines were available for tasting; food offerings included dishes from Azure, the Beachhouse, Kai Market and Kauai Grill.
Photos by Cindy Ellen Russell / email@example.com
Pua La’a and Kali Kekuku perform hula during Makana’s new show, “Return to Waikiki,” held at the International Market Place. Pictured in back, from left, Lono Kaumeheiwa, Makana and Keoki Lopez.
Review by John Berger
History can be a tough sell in Waikiki. Kathy Paulo did a beautiful one-woman show about Ainahau, the long-since-demolished home of Princess Kaiulani; the show brought some visitors to tears with images of the concrete jungle now in place there — it didn’t last long.
Roy Tokujo tried twice to share the history of Waikiki in “Waikiki nei” without either whitewashing the facts or offending visitor industry power brokers; he failed both times. Makana is doing much better sharing the history of Hawaiian music in his ambitious new dinner show, “Return to Waikiki.” Read more
The Hideaway Bar, a Waikiki favorite amongst nightlife industry and graveyard shift employees and those opposed to over-commercialized watering holes elsewhere in the neighborhood, celebrated eight years in business last weekend with free food, a lion dance and drink specials.
Owner Jonny Hernaez and his staff was on hand to both pour drinks and hang out with regular customers. Read more
Bonafide Sound System DJs Lukas, KonChus and Bone recently launched “Rockers Island,” an evening of dancehall, reggae and soca music with special live guest performances every Saturday at Da Big Kahuna in Waikiki.
Doors open at 10 p.m. every Saturday at the bar, with no cover charge until midnight. Between midnight and 4 a.m. it will cost $5 to get into the party. Read more
LEVEL4 Nightclub and Ultralounge recently kicked off “Swag,” a new Friday promotion at the Waikiki nightspot.
Hosted by Drama-Free Entertainment, the new weekly party is presented in party by local radio station 93.1 The Zone. Read more