Polynesian Show to Return to Princess Kaiulani Hotel

By Harada, Wayne | Honolulu Star - Advertiser, August 2, 2015 | Go to article overview

Polynesian Show to Return to Princess Kaiulani Hotel


Harada, Wayne, Honolulu Star - Advertiser


Tihati Productions' flagship Polynesian show, "Te Moana Nui," will move to the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani's Ainahau Showroom beginning Aug. 28, where performances will be staged Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The show originally was created for the Pacific Beach Hotel's Grand Ballroom, where it premiered Feb. 3, 2014, and quietly closed at the end of June. The return of the Tihati brand to the Princess Kaiulani, where it had been in residency with its "Creation, a Polynesian Voyage" for three decades, is an interim move.

Tihati had to hastily relocate since Sheraton was planning a major renovation last year, but plans stalled. Further, the reboot might not include a showroom, so a deal to move to Pacific Beach was cemented.

"We're very excited," said Afatia Thompson, Tihati president, about the return to the Sheraton since the club is in the Waikiki mainstream. "It feels like a homecoming for us. We've had a positive relationship with Sheraton, and the venue is very suitable for us."

It's likely that Tihati will have to vacate again when reconstruction begins.

The Tihati return will bring valuable life back to the Princess Kaiulani, which seemed like a ghost town with the dark showroom and downstairs restaurants shuttered.

"Te Moana Nui" is one of three Tihati endeavors in Waikiki; the others are the Polynesian spectacle atop the parking garage at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, and the premium 'aha'aina luau at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel's beachfront lawn.

The Princess Kaiulani spot is at the center of Waikiki traffic, next door to iconic International Market Place undergoing a total makeover with an opening set for August 2016.

"Te Moana Nui" has been a landmark production for the next-generation team of Tihati producers, led by Afatia and sister Misty Tufono, the son and daughter of Tihati co-founders Jack and Cha Thompson. The offspring team co-produced, mounted and directed the revue, in the tradition of their parents, who are still involved with the family company mostly in consulting and emeritus roles.

The dinner package will be $105 for adults, $78. …

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