If your clients think Oahu’s live entertainment consists of hula
girls and ukuleles, tell them to guess again. In recent years,
island stage shows have broadened their scope and professionalism,
enhancing the nightlife scene and appealing to thousands of
ticket-buying visitors each month.
Take “Creation, A Polynesian Journey,” Sheraton Princess
Kaiulani’s live production. It’s far from your average Waikiki
Polynesian revue, according to showroom manager Chuck Lee.
“‘Creation’ stands out in the way it mixes drama, illusions,
sound, light and lasers,” Lee said.
On average, 300 people each night see the show, which follows
the earliest Polynesians on their travels through the Pacific.
Since opening in 1998, the show has been fine-tuned at least once a
year to keep it fresh.
“We’ve taken out sections that slowed it down, and made it more
upbeat,” Lee said.
On June 1, the show schedule grew from three to five nights a
week to meet demand. Held nightly except Monday and Wednesday,
“Creation” costs $62 including dinner, or $32 with cocktails. Call
Society of Seven, a group that blends Broadway and Las
Vegas-style numbers with Hawaiiana and comedy, has headlined at the
Outrigger Waikiki Main Showroom for 33 years. About 20,000 people
see the show each month.
“SOS is always adding new, topical material, and they can be
counted on to do the unexpected,” said Outrigger showroom
spokeswoman Fran Kirk. “Shows are lavishly costumed, and they often
include mini-Broadway productions.”
The seven-man act has grown more polished over the years, Kirk
said. “They’ve developed better skills and thrown out stuff that
didn’t work.” A younger version of the ensemble called SOS Las
Vegas debuted in June 2001, and the two groups now alternate as
headliners. Shows are Tuesday through Sunday ($57, dinner show;
$39, cocktail show). Call 800-923-7469.
“Magic of Polynesia,” starring illusionist John Hirokawa, began
12 years ago at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Dome and moved to the
Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel in September 1998. The $7 million theater
built for the new show features high-tech lighting, sound, seating
and staging, according to spokesman Deems Narimatsu.
“Our goal was to bring the highest quality of production to
Waikiki entertainment,” Narimatsu said. “From January to August
2002, we averaged 17,000 people per month, and in June we grew to
two shows nightly.” Featuring the largest performance cast in
Waikiki, the show celebrates Hawaiian legends and Polynesian
cultures through music and dance while showcasing Hirokawa’s
A deluxe dinner show package costs $137, with the regular dinner
show for $69 and the cocktail show for $41. Call 877-971-4321.
Each week some 15,300 people see “Horizons, Where the Sea Meets
the Sky,” the evening extravaganza at the North Shore’s Polynesian
Cultural Center since 1996.
Like the center itself, the 90-minute song and dance show
focuses on traditions from Hawaii, New Zealand, Fiji, the
Marquesas, Tahiti, Tonga and Samoa.
“Many of the performers in the show are students from the
neighboring Brigham Young University-Hawaii campus who have come to
Hawaii from the various Polynesian islands represented,” said
Polynesian Cultural Center marketing director Ray Magalei. “By
sharing their culture, they are able to help fund their education
and gain work experience, while also learning a little about
themselves and others, too.”
Rates depend on the seats and packages purchased, ranging from a
$29 per person show-only ticket to the $165 Super Ambassador