Whoever he is to you, William Shatner reaffirmed that he is one classy guy when he joined crooner Brian Evans at The Hard Rock Café on Maui, Hawaii for the first “Maui Celebrity Series,” being produced by Evans, Arman Zajic, and Andrew Biltz. Evans opens for various stars ranging from Jay Leno to Joan Rivers, and convinced many of his friends to appear at the monthly series.
“It wasn’t hard to convince them,” says Evans. “It’s Maui, the most beautiful place on the planet,” says Evans. “The stars and The Hard Rock are trying to bring attention to the island again since tourism has been down due to the economy, and these stars recognize that without Hawaii, many of them wouldn’t have the careers they have today.”
The press it has generated has been beyond what was anticipated.
“Brian is working on his own major label debut, and decided to put this together with the help of some friends,” says co-producer Arman Zajic.
Evans wanted Shatner first, according to Zajic. “The concept is simple… about 300 people who live or visit Maui can see a major star perform with an upcoming one, Brian Evans, every month,” says Zajic. “Brian has always admired William Shatner. They have performed together in the past, and Brian wanted him again for Maui and Bill (William) said yes.”
“For me, William Shatner has always been a hero of mine. People were calling the venue asking what he was going to be doing at the show, and I just explained that it’s not about what he was going to do, but about what he’s already done,” says Evans. “He’s a worldwide icon, and this was a moment for people to see the show, and meet Bill Shatner, where he autographed books and talked to the crowd one on one,” Evans says.
Evans originates from Haverhill, Massachusetts, and is the creator of a new comic book series entitled “Horrorscope,” being created for Zenescope Entertainment, the force behind the “Final Destination” and “Seven” comics, also major motion pictures. Evans is also recording his major label debut, being produced by Chris Walden, whose latest work was on Barbara Streisand’s latest CD. Evans wrote most of the CD, though it will feature a duet with Kelly Osbourne.
“If it weren’t for Royal Lahaina Resort, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, or Hawaiian Airlines, we’d of had a tough time doing this,” says Evans. “They really helped make this a reality, and The Hard Rock has been extremely supportive even when the numbers didn’t make sense because they understand the long term goal,” Evans says. “It has been a long time since a star of the caliber of Roseanne has played a 300 seat venue.”
The next show for The Maui Celebrity Series will be on January 15th, 2010 when Brian Evans and Roseanne Barr appear in concert. Barr will perform an entire show. For more information on the series visit www.themauicelebrityseries.com. Evans’ website is available at www.brianevans.com. Tickets for the Roseanne Barr performance are available at www.groovetickets.com.
Upcoming stars that intend to perform at The Maui Celebrity Series at The Hard Rock Café include Joan Rivers, Jake Shimabukuro, Hal Sparks from the hit Showtime series “Queer As Folk,” and others.
“We intend to go after everyone from Elton John to Paul McCartney,” says Zajic. “Hawaii has been an important place for them all.”
Evans performs a solo concert at Harrah’s Laughlin on Valentine’s Day.