Arts and Culture / Best 2011 theatre production: Hairspray, Diamond Head Theatre
Tracy Turnblad (Stacy Pulmano) and her mother (Randl Ask) are dynamite in this year’s “Best Of the Best” theatre productions. The cast is perfect, the set is bold, and the subject matter is timeless. The good news is that they’ve extended their show two weeks. The bad news is that it’s already sold out.
Best place to find affordable Island art: Nohea Gallery
There’s a certain kind of energy that Nohea gives a person who hesitantly walks into the gallery thinking “I can’t afford a damn thing here.” This energy stays with you, and, eventually, you realize that nearly everything in this creatively guarded space is within your budget. Artisan jewelry, handmade pottery, prints of island artwork–these are among the hundreds of items that’ll cost you less than a nice dinner for two.
Best arts community comeback: Hawaii Symphony
The closing of the Honolulu Symphony was incredibly sad. But money can’t keep these guys down. They’re planning their first season as the Hawaii Symphony this fall. Stay tuned…
Best new bands of summer: Coral Stabz, Animal Mother, The Blue Ribbons
There have actually been a crap-ton of new local bands popping up this summer, so this list should probably be longer. Anyway, here’s a quick run-down: Coral Stabz is made up of Portland transplant and art student Travis Wiggins and i tramonti drummer, Alex Nagata. Catching even the last song of a set will have you kicking yourself that you didn’t get to the bar earlier for this surf-pop band. Animal Mother is made up of current and former members of GRLFRNDS and Falcon Lord. It’s nice to see these musicians spread their wings musically and rock out without a care. The Blue Ribbons includes Golfcart Rebellion’s Brian Hogan and Pimpbot’s Nic Ramos. An old-school reggae and rock blend, this newcomer keeps it Hawaii-friendly while still sounding fresh.
Best room to scream into a microphone: Exclusive Music Studios (EMS)
Let it be known that winning American Idol is not the only way start a music career. Future songbirds can rehearse with a full band and record a demo all in one spot. In a padded room on top of a Midas service station, Exclusive Music Studios offers a PA system and full backline (amps and drums), so no one can hear you scream.