Acting is Her Passion — Onstage and Off

Alan Suemori
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

In the 1970s and ’80s there erupted a remarkable celebration of local culture and identity whose echoes are still being felt today. Some called it the “Hawaiian Renaissance,” but it went beyond any easy label and overflowed its boundaries constantly and effortlessly. If you lived in it, you felt like it would never end and all things were possible.

Musically, there was Gabby Pahinui, the Sunday Manoa, Olomana, the Beamer brothers, Cecilio and Kapono and Kalapana. Culturally, Höküle‘a was sailing to Tahiti in the way of the ancients, and the contemporary hula of Aunty Maiki Aiu Lake. Politically, there were efforts to end the military’s use of the uninhabited island of Kaho‘olawe for target practice and the eviction struggles at Waiähole-Waikäne and other communities in Hawai‘i. The trio known as Booga Booga was making us laugh until we cried, and local actor-playwright-comedian James Grant Benton had just written his pidgin adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Twelf Nite O Wateva! Ed Sakamoto was busy composing “Manoa Valley,” the first written of his trilogy of Hawai‘i plays.

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