Born and raised on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, Gail grew up surrounded by the rich and eclectic music and entertainment heritage of the islands. She left Hawaii to attend the University of Colorado where she received a degree in Philosophy. After a few years in the Midwest, she moved to Nashville
and for 2 decades was immersed in the entertainment industry as a singer/songwriter and international recording artist.
Through her record label there, she helped launch the careers of a number of talented artists in the indie scene, recorded 3 albums, toured regularly in Europe (as well as performances in Norway and Israel). Gail and the artists on her albums have received reviews in entertainment publications worldwide. And, she has maintained popular blogs focusing on trends in music and cultural events.
For a several years after parting from the label, Gail has been writing/blogging “under the radar” transitioning from Musician to entertainment writer.
BWW Reviews: Fully Immersed with Co-Lab Kaka'ako, Part 2
August 29, 2012
I move ahead now to the final performance, the culmination of two weeks of heroic collaboration in the name of art. Having reviewed performances from the most mainstream to the most avant-garde,I am well aware of the broad spectrum of activity that can be called "performance art".
The process I observed of actors entering into relationship scenarios over and over again in the preceding weeks is imbued with the technique known as "The Method". Seeing the final performances this past weekend, it struck me that what I was witnessing was not so much players acting, but striving to achieve authentic relationships for the purpose
of giving life to the words of the script.
BWW Reviews: Fully Immersed with Co-lab Kaka 'Ako
August 27, 2012
A project created by the Kumu Kahua Theater and organized by Managing Director Donna Blanchard. Quoting the program: "Co-lab Kaka 'ako is the result of a collaborative venture between inter-island Terminal and Kumu Kahua Theater. The goal of the program is to nurture the very best creative theater talent in our community to create an open platform for learning about and discussing Kaka 'ako - an important place for so many generations of Honolulu-ans, and a place to experience great change.
At the center of the web of this creative process was instructor Lisa Formosa-Parmigiano a life member and former faculty member of the Actor Studio Drama School. She is currently the Director of Education at Chicago Street Theatre and an adjunct Professor at Columbia College in Chicago. Her courses have included ensemble development, collaboration techniques, film casting, directing and The Method.
"It is the allowing of chaos in, and knowing how to work with it."
~ Lisa Formosa-Parmigiano
BWW Reviews: Wash Your Cares Away with Singin' In The Rain
August 12, 2012
... The other impression I got from "Singin'" was the incredible depth of talent required of all the actors. The legendary Gene Kelly was the original choreographer, setting a high bar for anyone to follow (or vault over), to belabour the metaphor. This performance is meant to be extremely high intensity; highly athletic. To pull it off, actors must have a huge vocal range, a powerful voice, be highly gifted dancers in a number of genre's including tap, flamenco, ballet, have the agility of an acrobat, be incredibly funny and posses the ability to act !
They were all so physically beautiful, (or perfectly caste, befitting their role). One imagines a vast pool of players and an extreme vetting process to have achieved so many creme de la creme in one show.
BWW Reviews: Experiencing the Future at the 20th Annual Hawaii Conservation Conference, Part 2
August 7, 2012
This is the second part of my review of the Hawaii Conservation Conference.
Venturing back upstairs, I was just in time to hear Wyland give a brief speech from the stage, delivering the most quotable line of the evening: "If we're not going to get support from our government, we're gonna get it from each other !" Rousing cheers greeted this declaration.
There was still a little time before the headline music (Na Hoku Hanohano award winner, Anuhea) and so I took a deeper turn into the myriad of crafts and science booths in the upstairs conference hall....
BWW Reviews: Experiencing the Future at the 20th Annual Hawaii Conservation Conference
August 6, 2012
Over the years, the HCC has relinquished its exclusivity to those who could afford it's pricey entrance fee. Today, it embraces a commitment to community by offering a jewel of an event as the center piece of it's three day long extravaganza, which is free to the public. It is this commitment to inclusion of all the people of Hawaii which will insure it's success in the future, and it is to this day I turn my attention for my review.
Good fortune smiled upon me as I entered the vast prism-like structure that is the Hawaii Convention Center [http://www.hawaiiconvention.com/], for I bumped into one of the "movers and shakers" of the Hawaiian environmental community (Annette Kaohelaulii), who pointed me in all
the right directions and then told me she would hunt up VIPs for me to interview. I didn't see her again but I made the acquaintance of a lot of wonderful, caring people. At an event like this, anyone who shows up is a VIP in my book.
We rode the escalator up to the 4th floor, and stepped into a spacious, sun-dappled expanse filled with the rich and melodious tones of the afternoon's first entertainer, Kawiko Kahiopo...
BWW Reviews: Captured in Time with Cymbeline
July 25, 2012
As one steps around the dark, velvet curtain at the entryway to the theatre, one beholds a festive and lively group of actors in the center of the room, chatting, tuning instruments and warming up their voices. Several turn and welcome each of us warmly as we enter, as if we were family members or friends. The setting is intimate, only three tiers of benches wrapped around a small square stage that is open on all sides. I first notice the age range of the actors that seem to span several generations. They are clad in simple medieval attire suggestive of the time period.
BWW Reviews: Seeking 'Courage' at Kumu Kaheo Theatre
July 18, 2012
The tre' avant-garde Dark Night Series at Kumu Kahua Theatre, presents "Courage", part of the "Ruinedmap" dance performance series. Featuring the fierce and penetrating stone flute maestro Kazuya Yokozawa who provides the sole musical accompaniment and Dancers Gwen Arbaugh, Spencer Garrod, and Junco Mizumochi.
A spotlight follows Yokozawa as he gains the stage, and one gets the disturbing impression (based on his garb and artifacts on the mat he sedately sits upon) that we are about to observe a Samurai committing Hari Kiri.
The stage is again shrouded in darkness, and the piercing notes of a flute sound. The dancers appear in a circle of light. They seem haunted, wraith-like with scant leotards and shredded white cloth, faces smeared with translucent white paint. Beautiful, strange and distant, their expressions offer no emotion, lost in a trance (or dream). They move. An untrained eye may consider their performance stilted and random, but I can see the discipline, focus and skill....
BWW Reviews: BRIDGES - An Exploration of Chinese Culture Through interpretive Dance
July 2, 2012
Performed at the glorious Hawaii Theatre in historic, downtown Honolulu, Bridges explores the connections of past, present and future through interpretive Chinese folk dance. The Phoenix Dance Chamber featured this evening was founded by Diane Letoto, and inspired by folk dance specialist of the Beijing Dance Academy, the late Professor Liu Youlan. Youlan's vision, that dance would build a bridge between eastern and western cultures, comes to fruition in this luminous production.
BWW Reviews: Soaring with Mark Yamanaka, SUNSET SERANADE at Hawaii Kai Center
June 27, 2012
Think: if Elvis where a Japanese, Filipino, Buddha with a Hawaiian soul... and you begin to get an appreciation for Mark Yamanaka.