In spite of missing airliners, global warming warnings and other chaos elsewhere in the world, a whole lot of laughing was going on Sunday afternoon in Wailuku. It was the concluding matinee of "The Worthmores," a rollicking farce that felt like it could have been penned in 18th-century England where it's set, but is actually a zany contemporary creation by Maui playwright Tom Althouse. Lisa Teichner directed its world premiere run at the Historic Iao Theater.
I caught up with Maui filmmaker Brian Kohne in the audience and enjoyed Kathy Collins in the cameo that has been played by other "stars," including Mayor Alan Arakawa. She took her place in a stellar comic cast that included the brilliant playwright.
Before the show, Tom brought me up to date on his other work in progress right now - a $300 million lawsuit claiming that Warner Bros.' hugely successful "Matrix" trilogy of films was taken from his original screenplay called "The Immortals." His suit asserts that the studio rejected his script but kept it in its files; his lawyers are citing almost 200 uncanny similarities between his work and the studio's final product.
Although the studio is dismissing the case as frivolous, and Althouse - an award-winning local playwright and longtime teacher and performer of children's theater on Maui - as an opportunistic hack, coverage of the suit has been picked up by national media including The Associated Press and The Huffington Post.
The case is proceeding. Tom's timeline and version of what happened makes for a way better movie in its own right than the one that finally made it to the screen (which, I can now finally admit, I never quite understood in the first place).
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My former student Sterling Seaton has released a new guitar CD. It's called "Simply Sterling," and it is.
Sterling was in my English 100 class at what was then called Maui Community College. I'd like to claim I taught him everything he knows - but actually George Kahumoku Jr. did. Sterling was still a student at Lahainaluna High School when he started jamming on gee-tar with his ceramics teacher, Uncle George.
Sterling went on to be part of the Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key show, which has added Thursday nights to its ongoing Wednesday series, hosted by Kahumoku and featuring most of the best slack key artists on the planet. (For more information, visit www.SlackKeyShow.com or call 669-3858.) Sterling never mentioned it in class, but when he was absent on any given day, he was probably off somewhere playing music or winning another Grammy.
The temptation is to call the new CD slack key, but that's just the beginning. There's Latin passion on "La Cancion de los Paniolos," silky jazzy smoothness on "A Minor Setback " and "Da One Wit da Minah," a rollicking calypso vocal on "Down the Road" before he wraps things up with "Jailhouse Rock."
"It's Hawaiian, I swear," he says into the mic before launching into the undiluted boogie of Elvis' classic, adding a "hana hou!" in the last refrain.
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We've all seen the black-and-white photo of John Lennon in the white sleeveless T-shirt that says New York City on the chest. It's iconic, for oh so many reasons.
Tonight you can meet the guy who shot the image - Bob Gruen - in a reception from 6 to 9 at Celebrites Gallery in the Shops at Wailea. Bob recently wrote about his muddy trek to Woodstock in 1969. He started shooting rock stars before that label was in our vocabulary. Youthful images of 20-somethings, including Elvis, the Rolling Stones, a baby-faced Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and on and on, still make eye contact with us from his contact sheets.
It's hard to believe that he's been on the job for a half-century now. Under the direction of colorful French artist Gerard Marti, Celebrites Gallery is the place where 15 minutes of fame can last forever in our celebrity-obsessed times.
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TEDxMaui speaker liaison Emma White tells me the third annual forum for new ideas and good ideas has announced its first five speakers for this year's event, which returns to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center Sept. 28. Tickets go on sale today via the MACC box office and website.
Taking the stage will be Maui surf icon Dave Kalama; peace activist, educator, children's book author - and Barack Obama's half sister - Maya Soetoro-Ng; community mobilizer and peace builder Kerrie Urosevich; Maui-born-and-raised champion spear fisher, free diver, artist and chef-hunter Kimi Werner;; and senior scientist and cultural adviser at The Nature Conservancy of Hawai'i, Samuel M. 'Ohukani'ohi'a Gon III.
* Rick Chatenever, former entertainment and features editor of The Maui News, is a freelance journalist, instructor at UH-Maui College and Emmy-nominated scriptwriter. Contact him at email@example.com or 344-9535.