For the past 18 years, Bill Maher has surfed American television waves atop a satirical soapbox of political commentary and unabashed honesty, earning 24 Emmy nominations along the way. After launching his career as a standup comedian in 1979, Maher eventually earned the chance to split the sides of a national audience as host of Comedy Central's Politically Incorrect. Since 2002, the quick-witted quote machine has led a weekly roundtable discussion on HBO's Real Time, which invites a panel of celebrity guests to voice their stances on hot-button issues such as politics, religion, and the marshmallow-to-oats ratio of Lucky Charms. An accomplished author, Maher has also penned several bestselling books, and his 2008 documentary, Religulous, sits among the highest-grossing documentaries of all time. As Maher scatters laugh bombs across the Waikiki Shell, guests will enjoy views of the stage from the venue's lawn, where plush tufts volunteer to shelter bottoms and harbor insect nobility from the comedian's brutally candid views.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partner-less will be paired up with instructors to help assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout group lessons, instructors teach the foundations of dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow. These lessons are then used as a foundation for clients to learn more intermediate and advanced moves.
Hawaiian performer Chief Sielu is on a lifelong quest to educate and entertain the world about Polynesian traditions, a passion that has taken him to appearances on the BBC, MTV, and the Late Show with David Letterman. Dubbed the "coconut man," the chief immerses all comers in island culture at spectacular luaus. On stage, he and his tribe balance revelry and education with high-energy ritual and knife-dancing performances, participatory dances and art making, and a large supper of Hawaiian staples such as poi and braised surfboard fillets. If you can catch his ear, Sielu might have a lot of stories to share: in the course of his ambassadorial travels, he's lit the Olympic torch in Salt Lake City by throwing a flaming spear and been the subject of the documentary film Chief, which screened at the Sundance Film Festival.
The inaugural Roots by the Sea festival invites more than 20 of the island’s most popular reggae bands to converge upon Makapu’u Meadows in an all-ages jamboree honoring the birthday of rasta legend Bob Marley. Grassy meadows give way to gorgeous island views as eight hours of mellow Jamaican beats fill two stages. Headlining the rock-steady brigade, celebrated Oahu sextet The Green lets loose with the uplifting harmonies and dancehall hits that put it on Billboard’s Top 10 reggae chart. Among the score of other artists, in-demand Hawaiian party band Natural Vibrations, known to fans as Natty Vibes, produces positive energy with wind-powered dreadlocks, and Father Psalms lays down straightforward tributes to reggae greats and the spiritual life. The University of Hawaii cheerleaders inject the blissed-out atmosphere with the excitement of a dance-off, paying tribute to Bob Marley’s groundbreaking if subtle use of pom-poms in the recording studio.
The Kamehameha Lions Club Foundation, a registered charitable organization, harnesses chuckles and world-class entertainers to benefit its scholarship fund for the Sacred Hearts Academy, the La Pietra: Hawaii School for Girls, and Kalani High School Leo Clubs Community Service Programs, as well as other statewide community-service projects.
One of Hawaii’s most expansive block parties delivers thunderous beats and intoxicating rhythms from more than two dozen musical acts sprawled across three venues. After checking in at Gordon Biersch, Groupon holders can bop between three Aloha Tower alehouses, sampling sonic entertainment at harborside spots such as Don Ho’s and The Waterfront. Tunesmiths drum out reggae and island rhythms from the plateau of four stages, while DJs spin house, hip-hop, and disco remixes of Ezra Pound’s The Cantos. Join Positive Motion for a celebratory spin at their CD-release party or float away on the eddies of Tribal Seeds' beguiling reggae-infused roots rock.