Growing up the as daughter of Hawaiian musicians parents “Uncle Larry” and Aunty Irene Asing, Haunani gravitated to stage and music at a very early age. Waikiki was her playground as Uncle Larry performed with many Hawaiian music legends like Kealoha Kalama, Uncle Andy Cummings, Jessie Kalima Jr., Papa Cazimero…and Uncle Don Ho. Music from the backyard nearly always consisted of perfectly blended voices and unmistakable stylings of Dorthy Gillette and the Kamehameha Alumni Glee Club.
As Miss Hawaii 1976 Haunani served as Ambassador of Aloha and traveled extensively with then Governor George Ariyoshi promoting Hawaiian Music throughout the world.
Haunani studied performing arts at Hawaii Loa College and successfully completed an in-depth music appreciation course at Colorado Women’s College. After marrying Haunani moved to Kauai and became a part of the famous Tahiti Nui family where she and her family created a family style luau set in home style fun. Creating more stage opportunity seemed to be a natural next step as Haunani began building the successful Princeville Luau over looking beautiful Hanalei bay. As the hotels first public luau Haunani recalls shower curtains becoming a makeshift dressing room for the entertainers.
As Haunani expanded her events coordinating services, the desire for new theme destinations took off and South Pacific, complete with full grand piano, big band sound and Uncle Al Ropozzo (the actual piano player in the movie no less. Whether it was adapting a script or jumping in to play a lead role performing and producing quality stage events were her passion.
The Luau Kalamaku vision came to Marston and her daughter Nanea and as the script developed so did the excitement of those involved at the onset of conception. All at once scenes of families who endured separation of time and the great unknown to reunite in the new land played in her head. Cultivation, words, music, a different story unfolded about braved through the great Polynesian migration.
As it is with most creative projects the team appeared one by one, Michael Ruff, producer extraordinaire, Halani Boshard Hawaiian language expert, Kumu Hulas Healani Youn, Doric Yaris, Kathleen Woodward, Tahitian choreographer and dancer Pualani Avaeoru and Theatrical choreographer and dancer Stephania Zenato. The cast believed in an all Kauai product and that was the most important element to Haunani. That organic “created here” feeling was key to the spirit of the show and the creative team.