Learning / “Our islands are currently the world’s most significant center of biotechnology seed experiments,” according to Jeri Di Pietro, president of Hawaii SEED, a nonprofit organization that aims to educate islanders about the threat posed by GMO agriculture, and one of the organizers for Dr. Vandana Shiva’s anticipated upcoming visit to Hawaii.
Stage / Dance performances can leave an audience asking itself, “Was that a story, or was that guy just showing off the whole time?” With Keigwin + Company, it’s a mixture of both. The dance group, founded in 2003 in New York by Artistic Director Larry Keigwin, balances physical strength and prowess with cohesive storylines that take admirable skill to execute.
Stage / Manoa Valley Theatre flies audiences back to the mile-high era, when air travel and highballs were mixed at the highest altitudes of glamour, with the opening of a terrifically funny 1960s French farce, Boeing, Boeing, by Marc Camoletti. “The script was originally translated from French into British English and now we are performing it as Americans, so there are some fun translations that we are working with,” says Dusty Behner, who doubles as Boeing’s costume designer and Janet, the American in the play.
Films / Liz Schwartz, owner of Coffee Talk, had noticed how many talented people, especially of the film industry variety, were drinking her coffee while laboring over their Apples. To give them a chance to showcase their work, she has organized a new monthly event, Film Fridays at Coffee Talk, beginning this week with Break Through, a black-and-white film that tells the stories of five different women as they each try to break out of some sort of urban Honolulu trap.
Fashion / When Caleb Shinobi says, “I consider fashion a form of standing out and being unique,” the creative director wins the award for understatement of the year. An Abstract Noir Fashion Show by Caleb Shinobi turns the volume up on his talents with an avant-garde catwalk presentation that seeks to tilt the perspective on the local fashion scene with personal creations Shinobi calls “conceptualized prototypes of wearable art.” It’s a descriptor immediately titillating to anyone already accustomed to his au courant style.
Stage / If you thought last year’s closing of Laughtrack Theater in Chinatown (or Pipeline Café before it) was any indication of Honolulu’s current local comedy scene, fear not! Well, first of all because Laughtrack only moved down the street into the Mendonca Building, but also because there has been a noticeable uptrend in comedic events over the past year (Hell knows we have plenty to satirize).
Stage / Let me lay it all out for you right away, so you know what you’re in for: Naked Girls Reading is exactly what you think: books being read aloud by libidinous women clad in a uniform that is nothing more than a “birthday suit with heels, hair and makeup.” Lola Love, one of three performers and the producer of Honolulu’s first affiliation with the nationwide program–a series based on the valid point that you can’t spell “literature without T&A”–says there’s more to this idea than skin. “That is only interesting for a few minutes.
Art / The Bridge Gallery, within the Hamilton Library at the University of Hawaii’s Manoa campus, will exhibit photos chronicling the bloom of The White Rose, a gentle, nonviolent resistance movement during Nazi Germany. In 1942, a group of young college students and their philosophy professor stood up against Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich.
Concerts & Clubs / Big Island band Pepper finally returns to Hawaii after more than a year away to perform hit songs from their albums Stitches and Pink Crustaceans and Good Vibrations. Since Pepper’s formation in 1997 they have released six albums and have attracted a loyal fan base with their “shock and ah” rock and island rhythms akin to that of Sublime and Slightly Stoopid.
Stage / Bill Maher is reverently cocky, quick-witted, loudly and articulately opinionated and hilarious, and he’s aware of it. As the host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher and Politically Incorrect, he’s made a career satirizing our government, the mass media, greed and those culturally illiterate political honchos in Washington.
Festivals & Fairs / Everyone has their New Year’s tradition, whether it’s setting off illegal aerials and blaming it on your neighbor, making resolutions that you swear will last longer than last year’s (four days), staying up to watch the first sunrise with someone you love or going to a temple to receive your fortune. As the most important holiday in Japanese culture, it comes as no surprise that Honolulu residents celebrate oshogatsu, Japanese for the New Year, with hatsumode, a visit to a shrine paid within the first three days of the year.
Concerts & Clubs / You wouldn’t know it for all the John Cruz sightings and performances around the island lately, but Cruz has been hard at work in Nashville, Tennessee on his new album (his first since 2007’s One of These Days) set to come out sometime early next year. (No title, yet–Cruz waits until the album is done to give it a name.) To preview some of the new songs and round out the year, he’ll be doing a few shows both town and country side.