The Wizard of Waikiki

March 19, 2014 | By Matthew Wells

See what John Hirokawa has up his sleeve during Magic of Polynesia.

Magic of Polynesia is one of the longest-running shows of its style in the world and moves with a practiced speed that defies you to spot its secrets. Performing for kama’aina and visitors alike since 1990, Magic of Polynesia was originally designed to bring the theatrics of a David Copperfield-style performance to Hawai’i under the guise of a produced Polynesian stage show. What it has evolved into is a combination of three main elements to the overall set. First is the Polynesian-influenced dance and performance numbers. Second, are the over-the-top, stage-spanning illusions. Finally, there are plenty of interactions with the audience for close-up magic and more than a few jokes.


The host for the 75-minute performance is Hawai’i-born-and-raised illusionist John Hirokawa. His goal is to guide his international audience through a performance that entertains while challenging your expectations. And Hirokawa has the chops to do just that. The master illusionist is a previous winner of the prestigious Merlin Award from the International Magicians Society (think: Oscars for magicians). Does the guy in the front row look like a bit of a stuffed-shirt? Let John put him on stage with a few props and one of the beautiful assistants and find out just how crazy he can get. It’s all about perception, and like any good magic act, Magic of Polynesia wants to play with how you see things. Whether the surprise comes from the reveal at the tug of a covering sheet or the punch line of a joke, it is genuinely a good time for the entire family.

Set in the Holiday Inn Waikiki Beach-comber, Magic of Polynesia starts every night at 7:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. Dinner and Deluxe Dinner Packages are also available). Go to for ticketing package info and online ordering.

Magic of Polynesia
Holiday Inn Waikiki Beachcomber
2300 Kalakaua Ave. [C:8 Waikiki Map]
(808) 971-4321