Your Guide to the Perfect Weekend in Honolulu: December 1–7, 2021
Start your holiday shopping, listen to some techno and see sculptures made from Hawai‘i-grown wood.
Peruse an Online Photography Exhibit
Through Thursday, Dec. 16
Many of us aren’t familiar with what postwar South Korea looked like in the 1950s, which is why it’s fascinating to see that time through a modern lens in The Feeling of Han: Portraits of Postwar Korea by Honolulu photographer Marie Ann Yoo. Yoo shot hundreds of color photographs that are now accessible online in this debut exhibition. They are divided into categories: Seoul, South Gate Market, Han River, the Countryside, and Postwar Political and Military Life, with photos of Syngman Rhee, the first president of the Republic of Korea.
Upon our first viewing, we were struck by the differences from South Korea today and a closer look brings appreciation to Yoo’s eye for composition and light, and the depth of expression on people’s faces that show a strong will to survive.
You can access The Feeling of Han at marieannhanyoo.com. When you click on the Collections link, enter the password: Koreasociety. For more information about Yoo’s life and photography, you can watch her Artist Talk here.
Go See The Joy Luck Club
Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 2–12
You might remember The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan from your high school reading list. If you never picked it up, here’s the gist of it: four Chinese American immigrant women in San Francisco meet weekly to play mahjong and share stories about the lives they left behind in China. The struggles of adjusting to new life and culture, finding ways to surpass generational differences, and the undeniable connection between mothers and daughters ring true, not just for Chinese American audiences but for other communities in Hawai‘i too. We’re thrilled that Mānoa Valley Theatre is bringing the book to life on stage as a drama by Susan Kim, under the thoughtful and careful direction of local theater artist Reiko Ho.
You can purchase assigned seating tickets to see the play at the theater; proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test are required and masks have to be worn at all times during the show. There’s also the option to pay to watch the play live online from Dec. 3–5, or catch it on demand Dec. 10–12.
$26–$44, Mānoa Valley Theatre, 2833 E. Mānoa Road, (808) 988-6131, manoavalleytheatre.com, @manoavalleytheatre
Listen to Spencer Brown Perform Live
Saturday, Dec. 4, 7 p.m.
We’re excited that the local nightlife scene’s coming back, slowly but surely. HB Social Club has been opening back up with table seating and reduced capacity. This weekend, 27-year-old EDM musician Spencer Brown performs live. If you know, you know—he’s collaborated with big names like deadmau5 and Above & Beyond and opened for Avicii’s True Tour in 2014. Tickets are going fast, so don’t wait until Saturday or they might be sold out.
Meanwhile, you can get into the mood by listening to Brown’s second album, Stream of Consciousness, which was released last year, above. It has a range of sounds: techno, trance and progressive house.
$30, HB Social Club, 1680 Kapi‘olani Blvd., second floor, (808) 946-1343, hbsocialclub.com, @spencerbrownofficial
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Shop at A Pinch of Salt
Saturday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Dear responsible Christmas shoppers who have already started on their gift lists: Salt at Our Kaka‘ako is bringing back its annual holiday shopping experience with local businesses and vendors. In the past, it’s featured unique ocean-inspired jewelry from Tidepool Love, fashionable finds from Ari South, DIY succulent gardens from Paiko, statement pieces from Mango Luxe and stocking stuffers from Island Sea Salts. If you’re hungry after power shopping, check out Salt’s eateries like Hank’s Haute Dogs, Moku Kitchen, Pioneer Saloon and Village Bottle Shop & Tasting Room.
Parking is free for the first hour with no validation required; with validation it’s $2 for the second hour, $3 for three hours and $3 per half hour after that.
Salt at Our Kaka‘ako, 691 Auahi St., (808) 521-4578, saltatkakaako.com, @saltourkakaako
Check Out Hawai‘i’s Woodshow
Through Sunday, Dec. 5
Every year, talented artists come out of the woodwork in this juried exhibition showcasing gorgeous heirloom-quality works using Hawai‘i-grown trees. What’s remarkable about the show is the variety: There are sculptures, furniture pieces, accessories, bowls and even musical instruments. The jurors for this year’s show are Sharon Doughtie, woodturner and teacher; Bundit Kanisthakon, professor and studio founder; and Tanya Rubenstein, cooperative resource manager forester for the Department of Land and Natural Resources. An online silent auction closes Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. with items like a Hawaiian koa charcuterie board, gift certificates for restaurants and hotel stays, and wine. Also, the show includes an online store where you can purchase handmade artwork, furniture, accessories and more: woodshow.hawaiiforest.org.
For the show at Hawai‘i Opera Plaza, on-site parking is limited, so carpool if you’re going as a group and consider street parking, too. Masks are required and visitors will need to show proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test within the past 48 hours.
Free, Hawai‘i Opera Plaza, 848 S. Beretania St., (808) 933-9411, woodshow.hawaiiforest.org, @hawaiiswoodshow
Saturdays, Dec. 4, 11 and 18, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Held in the Downtown Art Center Courtyard Room, Get Crafty is a series of holiday craft workshops to help you deck the halls. Make pop-up paper cards and create festive holiday ornaments with instructors Robyn Malczon, Su Atta, Fae Yamaguchi and Lauren Okano. While there, check out the holiday invitational art exhibition on view through the rest of the month, curated by Gina Bacon Kerr. An artist’s reception will be on Dec. 3 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
$20, Downtown Art Center, 1041 Nu‘uanu Ave., second floor, (808) 773-7339, downtownarthi.org, @downtownartcenter
Groove to Kolohe Kai
Thursday, Dec. 2 to Sunday, Dec. 5
It’s been more than a decade since Kolohe Kai hit the music scene and it’s still one of the most popular local reggae bands today. What started out as a high school band with lead singer Roman De Peralta is now a contemporary mainstay in Hawai‘i’s music scene. This week, you can jive to familiar old-school songs like “Heartstrings,” “Cool Down” and “Ehu Girl.” Leave the board shorts at home though, as Blue Note has a semiformal dress code. There’s also a $10 minimum per person for drinks. You can park at the ‘Ohana East Hotel for $6 for four hours; valet parking is available at the Outrigger Waikīkī Beach Resort for $15 for four hours.
$65–$75, Blue Note Hawai‘i, 2335 Kalākaua Ave., bluenotehawaii.com, @bluenotehawaii
Watch a Family Drama
Friday, Dec. 3 to Sunday, Dec. 19, 7:30 to 10 p.m.
Support the local theater scene by checking out Over the River and Through the Woods, a play directed by Gary Morris. It’s got all the juicy bits: family drama, true love, matchmaking schemes, Sunday night dinners and lots and lots of lasagna.
$20–$30, TAG Hawai‘i, 650 Iwilei Road, Suite 101, (808) 722-6941, taghawaii.net, @tagactors