Hoapili and Kiliwehi in New Zealand, 1866.

VISIT TO THE MAORI KING MATUTAERA.

The correspondent of the Southern Cross at Waiuku sends the  following description of a visit recently paid by him to the quarters of the Maori king Matutaera, in company with two visitors from the Sandwich Islands:— Continue reading

Ernest Kaai’s Hawaiian Troubadours in New Zealand, 1925.

AMUSEMENTS.

“NIGHT IN HONOLULU.”

The ukulele, the hula-hula, and the steel guitar, as entertaining products of Hawaii, are known all over the civilised world that comes under the influence of vaudeville circuits, but such segregated examples as have hitherto been shown in Auckland are mere museum specimens compared with the living actuality of the performance given in His Majesty’s Theatre on Saturday night by Ernest Kaai’s Hawaiian troubadours. These minstrels exhibited ukulele and guitar with all the sweet setting of their native haunts, the strains of the strings enriched by vocal harmonising in which the Hawaiian exccels, and the harmonising enhanced by quaint falsetto and yodelling effects that thoroughly delighted a house packed to the doors.

The curtain rose on a pretty palm-fringed beach scene, when it could be seen, for the house was in darkness when a harmonious chorus of Hawaiian voices, with stringed instrument accompaniment, was lifted in song to welcome the doming dawn. It was a native harmonising chorus set to music by Queen Liliuokalani, and entitled “Aloha Oe,” which swells to a paean of joy as the rising sun lights up the expectant world—in this case quite an effective stage scene. A similar characteristic effort of voice, strings, and light, symbolising twilight, with the stage fading melodiously into darkness, marked the ending of the first part of the programme, while in between dawn and twilight came a series of novel, interesting and thoroughly entertaining items. An Island folk-song by eddie Kniley, a ballad by Frank Luiz, hula dances by Gertila Byrnes and Layley Leywood, and a steel  guitar selection by Thelma Kaai were given with effective voice and string accompaniments. It was the part-singing in trios, however that most captivated the audience. One such number by David Kaili, Thelma Kaai and Eddie Kinley was emphatically encored, but when Queenie and David Kaili and Thelma Kaai appeared in whimsical part songs in which Queenie appeared as a soubrette of talent with a quaint gift for vocal ornamentation, the house was so vastly entertained and amused that the party were recalled four or five times. Continue reading