Archive for September, 2016

Series regulars celebrate "Hawaii Five-0" premiere

By
September 28th, 2016



CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

For the seventh straight year, thousands of “Hawaii Five-0” fans showed up to welcome the show’s stars to the annual Sunset on the Beach season premiere in Waikiki.

San Diego resident Kailey Koons was among those who lined a security fence Friday afternoon more than two hours before series regulars Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, Daniel Dae Kim, Jorge Garcia and Chi McBride made their appearance on the red carpet.

Armed with a poster that featured pictures of the entire cast — plus herself — she hoped to celebrate her 21st birthday with a greeting from her two favorite law enforcement officers, Steve McGarrett and Danny Williams.

“I started watching during season one,” said Koons. “Being in Hawaii and all is just amazing, but being able to watch the (premiere) episode with the cast is so cool.”

The season premiere screened after red carpet arrivals by the show’s stars along with local actors Taylor Wily, Dennis Chun and Teilor Grubbs, who have been shooting episodes since July and were on set earlier in the day before getting changed and making their way to Sunset on the Beach.

Every year fans travel to Hawaii from all over the world to catch a glimpse of the cast, who sign autographs and pose for photos before making their way down the red carpet.

Approximately 7,000 people were on hand by the time Grammy Award-winning artist Darius Rucker performed prior to the screening of “Makaukau ‘oe e Pa’ani.” He had been spotted earlier in the afternoon on the red carpet happily accepting an invitation from Lenkov and Guggenheim to get in touch about a future guest appearance on the show.

“I like the show a lot,” Rucker said afterward. “I do watch it. We’ve been talking about if I wanted to be a bad guy. We just don’t know what we’re going to do yet.”

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser spoke with a number of cast members as they made their way down the red carpet before the season premiere screening. Here’s what they had to say:

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PETER LENKOV

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Q: How does it feel that seven seasons in, thousands of fans still want to watch the season premiere on the beach with you?

A: We never take anything like this for granted. It’s amazing. We’ve got a very loyal fan base who still like the show. Every year I drive up here and I’m very nervous nobody is going to be here. We’re very lucky. I’ve never had this kind of experience before. It amazes me. Seven years later and I’m still blown away.

(The best part) for me (is) meeting the fans. It really is. We usually actually come in a little earlier. We come in at like noon. For me, that’s the real treat. (We brought) footballs and bags and banners and umbrellas (and) challenge coins. We had a lot of stuff this year. Some scripts. We bring the Coco Puffs, too.

Q: Now that the first episodes of both “MacGyver” and “Hawaii Five-0” are finished and on television, what do you think of the one-two punch the shows bring to CBS on Friday nights?

A: I think they complement each other. They’re pure entertainment. If you’re a fan of “Five-0,” I think you’ll like “MacGyver.” Very similar. They’re like brother and sister. They belong together. And that’s really what I set out to do, something that’s very Friday-friendly, something that could be something the family watches together. I’m really excited.

Q: Any thoughts about ABC’s plan to reinvent “Magnum P.I.” with Thomas Magnum’s daughter as the new main character?

A: I’m glad it’s coming back. I’m a huge fan of it in any incarnation, so I’m excited. I’ll watch.

ALEX O’LOUGHLIN (STEVE MCGARRETT)

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Q: How has your approach to playing McGarrett changed from the first season compared to now?

A: I’ve never played a character for this long. The thing I really like about it that I’m really starting to see is that you get an ease that is very hard to find right away in film. You start a movie and once you start really getting comfortable with your character, you’re done.

Q: A lot of fans love the “cargument” scenes that have become a staple of the show. Do you love filming those scenes as much as fans love watching them?

A: It doesn’t take me any effort at all to yell at Scott on a regular basis. I take great pleasure in it. For some reason, we’re both outspoken people anyway. So once we start arguing, it kind of comes to us naturally, which is funny.

The first time it happened was when we read the pilot. We just started arguing and it was great.

DANIEL DAE KIM (CHIN HO KELLY)

BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

Q: “Lost” filmed in Hawaii for six seasons before that show came to an end. What is it like making it to a seventh season with “Hawaii Five-0?”

A: If you would have told me the next series I did was actually going to be longer than “Lost,” I would have laughed. It’s very rare to have a show go 100 episodes, and now on “Hawaii Five-0,” we just finished shooting our 150th.

Q: How different is working on season 7 from previous seasons on the show? How do the two experiences compare?

A: We’ve really grown to become a family. When you first start working with a group of people, you’re getting to know them and everyone’s got a different energy. Everyone is coming together behind the scenes as well.

But now, after seven seasons, we shot a scene today where we were playing poker and the smiles were so natural. The ease with one another was just very comfortable and very organic. That’s the kind of thing you can’t manufacture.

Q: Peter mentioned in a recent interview with the Star-Advertiser that contract negotiations are underway with all of the main cast. Can you see yourself signing up for a longer run in Hawaii?

A: It’s an interesting question. I think Chin’s storyline has been great and I love the fans. Anything can happen.

CHI MCBRIDE (LOU GROVER)

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Q: Now that filming is underway, what are you most excited for fans to see coming up during season 7?

A: What’s not to love? You’re in Hawaii and having a good time. I can’t think of anything better than us going into this seventh season and who knows how many more.

Q: Do you think your character has found his niche with the Five-0 task force?

A: That pretty much happened in season number five when we started. It’s pretty much old hat now. We all get along quite well both on and off camera. Grover is just as much a part of the fabric as anyone else, thank goodness.

Q: CBS is known to not shy away from crossover episodes. Would you want to see the cast of “Macgyver” and “Hawaii Five-0” share the screen?

A: Hey man, you never know. But they gotta come here. I’m not packing up any bags to go anyplace that gets cold. I don’t have any clothes for cold weather, so they have to come out here.

JORGE GARCIA (JERRY ORTEGA)

BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

Q: “Lost” filmed in Hawaii for six seasons before that show came to an end. What is it like taking part in a seventh season with “Hawaii Five-0?”

A: Well, we knew “Lost” was ending at that stage of the game. With “Five-0,” who knows how long it can go?

Q: Will Jerry ever become a full-fledged member of the Five-0 task force?

A: Good question! So far, there’s no prop badge that I get. Or gun. But we’ll see. We will see. There’s going to be some moment when Jerry goes on strike because he’s not getting the appreciation he deserves.

TEILOR GRUBBS (GRACE WILLIAMS)

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Q: Longtime fans of the show have watched you grow up on TV. Has your portrayal of Grace changed at all as you’ve gotten older?

A: I’m starting to get a lot harder roles. I’m growing as a character and it’s getting easier to relate to my everyday life than I was. It’s exciting.

Q: What’s the hardest part about living in Hawaii while starring on a hit TV show that films here?

A: I don’t know. I think I have it all. Most people want to live here and I’m on a hit TV show. It’s pretty great.

TAYLOR WILY (KAMEKONA)

BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

Q: How does it feel to represent the local acting community on the show?

A: Well, first of all we have to give props and respect to Al Harrington. That’s the OG. I’m just under him trying to represent our people.

Q: If you had creative control, what would you want Kamekona to do next with his character?

A: I’d open up a club. Then I could put all the local entertainers on the show.

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

FOLLOWING THE beach premiere, nearly 400 VIP guests made their way to Sky Waikiki for the official Sunset on the Beach afterparty. CBS executives along with cast and crew from the show walked a 60-foot red carpet outside the club and were treated to exclusive new “Five-0” footage screened on Sky Waikiki’s 30-foot 4KHD media wall.

Sky Waikiki’s resident mixologist, Jenn Ackrill, also created a specialty cocktail for guests that celebrated the 150th episode being filmed and executive chef Lance Kosaka was on hand to supervise food service during the party.

“Hawaii Five-0” airs at 8 p.m. Fridays on CBS.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

Posted in Movies & TV | Comments Off on Series regulars celebrate "Hawaii Five-0" premiere

Hawaii dancer joins Bieber on European tour

By
September 20th, 2016



CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM Jasmine Perri poses for a photo at Kapiolani Park. The Hawaii-born dancer is currrently on tour in Europe as a backup dancer for pop star Justin Bieber.

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Jasmine Perri poses for a photo at Kapiolani Park. The Hawaii-born dancer is currrently on tour in Europe as a backup dancer for pop star Justin Bieber.

After a childhood stint on Broadway and a teenage modeling career in Japan, Hawaii-born dancer Jasmine Perri continues to pursue her passion for performance as a backup dancer for Justin Bieber.

“I was doing a lot of one-offs, like music videos, awards shows and TV shows,” Perri explained during an interview last month in Honolulu before departing for last-minute tour prep in Los Angeles. “But in this industry, the job you want is a tour. They don’t come around every month.

“I believe this tour is estimated to be two years or longer. I’ve done two legs so far, so I kind of understand what I need to do. I think it’s really just going with the flow.”

Perri is one of Bieber’s troupe of 12 principal dancers, which also includes two martial arts performers and a pair of breakdancers. Two “swings” also travel with the production, one male and one female, so there is always a replacement dancer available in case of sickness or injury.

“We actually use our swings quite a bit,” said Perri, 23. “We have masseuses and chiropractors at every venue. We’re really lucky with Justin’s camp in that they take such great care of us.”

Perri, who is performing with Beiber at venues in France, Norway and Finland this week, answered a few questions about her dance career and what it’s like to be on tour with an international celebrity.

QUESTION: How did you get hired to be part of Justin Bieber’s dance crew?

ANSWER: I was in South Africa last year when I found out about my first job with Justin. My agent told me I started the next day.

I was, like, kind of confused. Am I auditioning? Normally, you go to an audition and hopefully you get put on hold for the job and just wait with your fingers crossed.

With Justin, it was the first time I was in rehearsal that long. It was like a month in secret and then we did the MTV Video Awards. And then they kept calling me and now I’m on tour.

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Q: What kind of dance background do you have?

A: I started ballet when I was 3 years old. When I was about 5 or so, I started dancing at the Y, which is where I picked up hip-hop and jazz.

We kind of grew up all over the island, but I spent most of my time in town. I actually got my GED, so technically I guess I’m a McKinley grad. But I was taking online classes at Myron B. Thomspon academy.

I also grew up in New York a little bit, which is where contemporary (dance) came into my life. When I started eighth grade, I went to this school called the Professional Performing Arts School. I would go to school in the morning and then in the afternoon I would go and train.

Q: You landed a role on Broadway while living in New York, right?

A: I played a young Chita Rivera, who is a Broadway icon, in “Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life.” She was in the original “West Side Story.” She’s a legend.

That was hands down the best experience of my childhood. It was the first time I was really exposed to a real career in this industry. I thought I wanted to do Broadway, but I kept finding myself learning something new about my passion (for dance).

Q: What made you want to come back to Hawaii?

A: I couldn’t get work as a little kid anymore, but I wasn’t old enough to work in regular productions. And it was really hard for me to adjust. I got really homesick. But I’m thankful for it because the training I received and the things I learned there totally apply to my life now.

Q: How did you end up dancing in Los Angeles?

A: I was in Hawaii and found out about a scholarship program in Los Angeles at the Edge Performing Arts Center that only takes 20 people per year. So I went and auditioned with maybe 500 other people and got one of the spots. It’s such a great program. There’s so much dancing and I learned so much.

At the end of the one-year program, they have a showcase for every agency in L.A. and offer private auditions with each of the agencies, which is your only opportunity to get something like that. Normally a new dancer will go to L.A., attend an open call and hope for an audition.

Q: How did your career take off once you were picked up by Block Talent Agency?

A: They represent me well. My very first job was Chris Brown. And then my second job was Britney Spears — working with her is how I got my signature bangs (hairstyle). My first tour was with Trey Songz.

Q: What is tour life like with Justin?

A: I’ve already done North America and Canada with him. It was a total of four months; we started in January, were in rehearsals for two months straight and then went out on tour.

We have to have a family atmosphere. We have to hold each other down and be that support system for him. Not only are we dancers, but 90 percent of the job is off stage. That goes for social media and just being in public while we're on tour.

He really is an awesome boss and I'm so thankful for this opportunity. I never thought I would be here. Every time we do "Baby," I remember listening to it on the radio and singing along with my niece. If you told me I would be on tour with one of the biggest pop stars in the world, I would have gotten mad and been like, "Why would you say that? It's not going to happen!" But it did.

COURTESY JASMINE PERRIPerri performs on stage with Bieber during an earlier tour stop.

COURTESY JASMINE PERRI

Perri performs on stage with Bieber during an earlier tour stop.

Q: What’s your favorite part about being on tour?

A: There's so many best parts. It's so amazing. You're getting paid to travel the world. I get to go to South America, to India. We're going all over the world.

Seeing the world and experiencing different audiences in different cities, it's a really crazy job. I've never been on the road this long.

Q: Are you on stage dancing the entire show?

A: I'm on stage for maybe 14 or 15 songs out of the 20 in the set.

The longest break I get is maybe two and a half minutes, and that's at the beginning of the show. Otherwise we're running off stage to change costumes, drink some water and then we're right back out there.

Q: What are Justin Bieber fans like?

A: Let me tell you, there are no fans like Justin Bieber fans. I witness the craziness first-hand. His fans are loyal and they mean it. They love him.

I can't fault them. If it wasn't for his fans, I wouldn't have a job.

Q: Would you trade places with Justin?

A: No. I feel really lucky because I get to stand on stage behind him and feel what he feels from the audience, and let me tell you, there's no greater feeling. It's amazing. It's why I do what I do.

But his life is very scheduled and he has a really heavy responsibility. It's really hard to handle. I commend him for being as strong as he is. As much as people read about him, he's a really solid person. It's not easy to handle the type of fame he has. I'm honored to see that part and be on a human level with someone who can't walk around in public.

Q: Do you have any other passions besides dance?

A: I really want to get into styling and personal styling. I definitely have other passions and I'm learning new things about myself. I think that's what is going to keep me sane.

After being on tour this long, it's rare as a dancer to explore other parts of yourself. When you're not on tour, you're job hunting. And when you're not on a job you're unemployed, so you have to have some money saved up for when the phones aren't ringing.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Senia chefs join Bar Leather Apron for Suntory tasting

By
September 16th, 2016



COURTESY BAR LEATHER APRONBar Leather Apron owner Justin Park, center, is flanked by Senia's Anthony Rush, left, and Chris Kajioka behind the bar at Bar Leather Apron.

COURTESY BAR LEATHER APRON

Bar Leather Apron owner Justin Park, center, is flanked by Senia's Anthony Rush, left, and Chris Kajioka behind the bar at Bar Leather Apron.


If construction and permitting is going as planned, fans of former Vintage Cave executive chef Chris Kajioka only have a few more months to go until his next project, Senia, opens for business in Chinatown.

Before that happens, however, Kajioka and his business partner, British chef Anthony Rush, will join forces with Justin Park of Bar Leather Apron to present an exclusive tasting of products from Japan-based Suntory Whisky along with a selection of specialty cocktails paired with dishes by Kajioka and Rush on Oct. 8.

Bar Leather Apron owner Tom Park (no relation to Justin Park), said earlier this week that less than half of the 50 seats for the event remain at a cost of $250 per person.

“The whisky tasting is (probably) worth $150 alone,” he said via text message. “We’re always so honored to work with Chris and Anthony and their team at Restaurant Senia.

“When we were approached by Suntory to put on a very special, exclusive event, Senia was the obvious choice. We can’t wait to wow our guests!”

Tom Park, who also happens to be a graduate of Iolani School along with Kajioka (and this reporter), said both the food and drink menus will remain secret until the night of the event. But he did send the following shot of a dish he described as “smoked kale and truffle lasagna” and added that it will “all be worth it” for guests willing to trust Justin Park, Kajioka and Rush to take them on an unforgettable culinary journey.

COURTESY RESTAURANT SENIA

COURTESY RESTAURANT SENIA

Want to go? The only way to get a reservation is by emailing Bar Leather Apron directly at info@barleatherapron.com. No phone calls.

Learn more about Senia by following chefs Kajioka (@ckcuisine21) and Rush (@chefantrush) on Instagram, or check out the official account (@restaurantsenia). Bar Leather Apron is online as @barleatherapron; Justin Park (@meanshaka) and Tom Park (@shoedaddy) have personal accounts on Instagram as well.

Posted in Food & Drink | Comments Off on Senia chefs join Bar Leather Apron for Suntory tasting

Ocean Cocktail Showdown sets final lineup of contestants

By
September 14th, 2016



COURTESY KA'AI FONGMaui resident Ka’ai Fong’s entry in the World’s Best Cocktail Showdown is called the Keokea Park and includes Ocean vodka, fresh red bell pepper juice, pineapple juice, lime juice and Adobo Loco Mangoes Bumbye syrup.

COURTESY KA'AI FONG

Maui resident Ka’ai Fong’s entry in the World’s Best Cocktail Showdown is called the Keokea Park and includes Ocean vodka, fresh red bell pepper juice, pineapple juice, lime juice and Adobo Loco Mangoes Bumbye hot sauce.

When the third annual World’s Best Ocean Cocktail Showdown returns to the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa on Sept. 24, it will be up to a pair of Maui residents to keep the title in Hawaii.

Entries were accepted earlier this year, and each of the six finalists chosen were paired with a celebrity chef and local non-profit organization. A “table-to-farm” theme will be used to pair each chef’s creations with the cocktail created by each finalist.

Maui’s Victor Mendoza was paired with Oahu-based Chef Lee Anne Wong of Koko Head Cafe in Kaimuki and non-profit organization March of Dimes. His Farmers Punch utilizes a homemade puree of beets, pineapple, ginger root, Thai basil and fresh squeezed orange juice with Ocean vodka as the base spirit in the cocktail.

Fellow Maui resident Ka’ai Fong and chef Isaac Bancaco from Andaz Maui at Wailea will present the Keokea Park cocktail, made with Ocean vodka, fresh red bell pepper juice, pineapple juice, lime juice and Adobo Loco Mangoes Bumbye hot sauce.

Other finalists include Southern Carolina’s Rochelle Jones, who will partner with chef Gevin Utrillo of Japengo at the Hyatt Regency Maui, and Megan Descheine, who will join chef Sheldon Simeon in support of Maui-based non-profit Na Leo Pulama O Maui. New Jersey contestant Carlos Ruiz will work with Laulima Events & Catering’s chef Lyndon Honda and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, while New York’s Christina Schurr was paired with Freshbox’s chef Will Chen and the Maui Fishpond.

According to contest organizers, the winning drink will be featured on beverage menus at the Sheraton Maui for one year, and a portion of the proceeds from every drink sold will be donated to the organization paired with the winner. In addition, $15 from every ticket sold to the event will be donated to participating non-profit organizations, with guests given the ability to pick the non-profit that they’d like to donate to.

Tickets for the World’s Best Ocean Cocktail Showdown are $60 in advance; $70 the day of the event. VIP admission, which includes early access with an open bar and light pupu, is $95 in advance and $105 at the door. Visit honoluluboxoffice.com.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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Kona Brewing adds Hanalei Island IPA to its lineup

By
September 1st, 2016



DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM Honolulu Beerworks employee Tash Thanarat pours a glass of Dango Yo Mango at the Kakaako brewpub.

DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

Honolulu Beerworks employee Tash Thanarat pours a glass of Dango Yo Mango at the Kakaako brewpub.

Hot on the heels of two recent limited edition beers spotlighting local mango as the featured ingredient, another Hawaii-based brewery is getting fruity with a new offering that will eventually get national distribution.

Last week, my Barfly column in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (current subscribers can click here to read) shared details about Honolulu Beerworks’ Dango Yo Mango pale ale, which uses fruit from a 80-year-old orchard on Molokai and despite selling out quickly last month will return to the Kakaako brewery’s lineup once owner and brewmaster Geoff Seideman can get another delivery of mangoes.

I also gave readers a heads-up on Lanikai Brewing Co.’s Mango Bomb triple IPA, a one-two punch of sweet mango and bitter hoppiness that clocks in at 11.4 percent alcohol by volume. Family, friends and fans of the brewery from Kailua and Haleiwa crowdsourced the fruit used in this beer, and it’s interesting to see how well the juicy, sweet flavors stand out despite the presence of what tastes like an insane amount of hops added during brewing.

And now it’s Kona Brewing Company’s turn as they pay tribute to Kauai with the release of their Hanalei Island IPA made with a blend of passionfruit, orange and guava juices. Introduced exclusively at the company’s Hawaii Kai and Kailua-Kona brewpubs this week, other local restaurants and bars will get access to kegs of the brew later this year and a national release planned for 2017.

“It was a natural progression to develop a beer that incorporated fruits ... to distinctly represent Hawaii,” said KBC head of brewing operations Sandi Shriver in a release announcing the new beer. “Hanalei Island IPA is an extremely drinkable beer that will appeal to those new to beer as well as the more seasoned connoisseurs.”

According to the brewery, the new beer is sweet — but not too sweet, thanks to a bitterness from the use of Azacca and Galaxy hops during the beer-making process that results in an IBU (International Bitterness Units) measurement of 32 and 4.5 percent ABV. KBC describes it as a “session-style ale” that should pair well with seafood, tacos, pizza or pasta.

Kona Brewing’s Oahu brewpub is located at Koko Marina Center, 7192 Kalanianaole Hwy. Hawaii island residents can visit the brewery’s original brewpub location at 74-5612 Pawai Pl. in Kailua-Kona. Call (808) 396-5662 or (808) 334-2739, respectively.
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Jason Genegabus has covered the local entertainment, nightlife, music and bar scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com.

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