It's not our usual territory here on Movies Blog, but sometimes it's nice to celebrate the little guys, right?
Most Hollywood insiders will argue that if an event is not happening in either L.A. or New York, it doesn’t exist. Not so, if you ask Canadian-born entertainer/crooner Brian Evans, creator of the suddenly star-studded and much buzzed about Maui Celebrity Series (this weekend's shows brought to you by Tom Arnold and Mos Def!). Evans is proof positive that not everything must occur on one of the two coasts to draw A-list talent and/or sold-out crowds, and therefore worthy of a larger audience.
What started with a desire for better nighttime entertainment and William Shatner, is now a platform for the likes of Tom Arnold, David Spade, Tom Green, Mos Def and more. A couple years back, Evans -- who has opened for Jay Leno in Las Vegas and Joan Rivers -- left Hollywood for the island of Maui, only to discover there wasn't a lot going on in the nightlife scene.
He stumbled upon a small 680-seat theater in Lahaina and inspiration struck. The first act he booked was his friend William Shatner, followed closely by a slew of other a-list comedy and high-profile acts. Evans and his Maui Celeb Series are currently in preproduciton on a reality TV show based on the success of past acts, spearheaded by Tom Arnold.
"It’s the most beautiful place on the island, in the world in my mind," Evans said of Maui's appeal. This weekend (August 7-8) Evans welcomes the talents of Tom Green and Mos Def.
"Who doesn’t love Tom Green? Maui is the perfect funky eclectic kind of place where he fits in," Evans explained. "He’s a perfect fit to do a gig on Maui. If you lived here and you saw how people are, Tom Green is like the logo to a certain market."
"With Mos Def," he continued, "he’s sort of that low-key brilliant type. … He’s a brilliant writer. Again it’s another eccentric type of act that caters to the way people think on Maui," he said.
Can't get to Maui? Don't worry, the small-scale performances will be available via basic cable (pending Arnold's reality TV negotiations).
Until then, let Evans leave you with two excellent Bill Shatner anecdotes.
"The last time I had dinner with William Shatner, he started talking about his salad that was just delivered. There was a jalepeno pepper on it and he stopped the conversation we were all having and said, 'Look at this! This is the perfect jalepeno pepper. This is the true essence of a jalepeno pepper,’ and he went on for about 40 minutes on the jalepeno pepper. What was amazing about it is that you were captivated by the topic."
Evans said he still isn't sure if Shatner was serious or just messing with them. Also during that same trip he and Bill ended up jet skiing. Hilarity ensued.
"He went way past the buoys where you’re supposed to go," Evans explained of Shatner's daring on a jet ski. "The security jets went out there to get him, telling him he couldn't be out that far. 'Yes I can,' Shatner reportedly told the enforcers, 'I’m Bill Shatner.' He refused to go back and they didn’t make him," Evans said.