Robin Kitsu of Nanakuli Performing Arts Center Visits the Capitol

On March 23, 2015, the state Senate honored Diamond Head Theatre on its 100th Anniversary.  In attendance was Robin Kitsu of the Nānākuli Performing Arts Center (NPAC), who came to support one of the honorees, Hawaii actress Loretta Ables Sayre.  Sayre has mentored NPAC students over the years, and took them under her wing during part of NPAC’s historic trip to Scotland.

On March 23, 2015, Robin Kitsu of the Nānākuli Performing Arts Center came to the Capitol to congratulate HI actress Loretta Ables Sayre, who was honored by the Senate. L-R: Senator Shimabukuro and Robin Kitsu Click image to enlarge

On March 23, 2015, Robin Kitsu of the Nānākuli Performing Arts Center came to the Capitol to congratulate HI actress Loretta Ables Sayre, who was honored by the Senate.
L-R: Senator Shimabukuro and Robin Kitsu
Click image to enlarge

For more information about NPAC, visit:

Photos from the floor presentation honoring Diamond Head Theater:

Information about Loretta Ables Sayre from Wikipedia:

Early life and career

Ables Sayre was born in Stockton, California to a Filipino father and a mother of mixed Asian and European descent. She has an older sister and brother. Her father was 25 years older than her mother, and eventually the couple divorced. Her mother remarried, and Ables Sayre has two younger half-siblings. She was raised in Hawaii after her stepfather, who was in the United States Navy, was transferred there when Ables Sayre was six years old. She attended Pearl Harbor Elementary School, Aliamanu Intermediate, and Admiral Arthur W. Radford High School in Honolulu, participating in school plays and choirs. As a small child, inspired by her mother’s Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan recordings, Ables Sayre already knew that she wanted to become a singer.

Ables Sayre began to build her singing career immediately after high school while working in hotel jobs. She soon became the opening singer for a hotel performer’s act. In 1979, she sang with Hawaiian musicians Kapono and Keola Beamer on the local pop hit Honolulu City Lights and at the Reef Hotel in Waikiki. In 1981, she became the opening act for comedian Andy Bumatai at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. She went on to perform Jazz and R&B standards at hotels, clubs and conventions throughout the Honolulu-Waikiki area.

In 1985, with Honolulu Theater for Youth, Ables Sayre appeared in Song for the Navigator, which toured Micronesia, Australia and throughout the U.S., including performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 1989, she played Effie White in the Hawaiian production ofDreamgirls at the Hawaii Theater.[2] The same year, she became the featured vocalist at the Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki, where she performed for 10 years. She was voted “Favorite Female Vocalist” by the readers ofHonolulu Magazine in 1993 in its “Best of the Best” issue.

Television, commercials and recent years

Ables Sayre has appeared in various television series filmed on location in Hawaii. She guest starred in the detective series Magnum, P.I., played Parissima Macadangdang in The Byrds of Paradise, and had a recurring role, Aunty Jackson inBaywatch Hawaii. She was Nannie Lee inHawaii (2004), appeared in North Shore(2004) and played the recurring role of Kai’s Auntie in Beyond the Break (2006–2007). She lends her voice to PBS Hawaii and has had additional roles in various local TV shows. In commercials, she played waitress Loretta in the Bank of Hawaii series of commercials called “Harry and Myra” and commercials for State Farm, the Hawaii State Department of Health, Oceanic Time Warner and others. Her voice-over work includes commercials on radio and TV.

Ables Sayre headlined at the Kahala Mandarin Oriental hotel from 1999 to 2006. There, she performed as the opening act for New Year’s Eve concerts by such performers as The Four Tops (2000), James Brown(2001), The Beach Boys (2002) and Kenny Loggins (2003). Ables Sayre released a CD, Dreamy, in 2001, which was nominated for a Na Hoku Hanohano Award. She first starred in the lead role of Pua Ma Lusa in the 2002 Diamond Head Theatre production of musical You Somebody by Lee Cataluna andKeola Beamer. She reprised this role in 2007, winning the Hawaii State Theater Council’s Po’okela Award for Leading Female in Musical.

In 2008, she debuted on Broadway as Bloody Mary in South Pacific. For her performance, she was nominated for Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical and also won the 2008 Theatre World Award.

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