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Mary Gutzi

By Alana Folen Photos By Lawrence Tabudlo
September 30, 2012

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The spotlight shines on Mary Gutzi, a renowned singer and actress who’s made her mark in musical theater and has shared her talents with audiences across the globe for the past four decades. With an appetite for the performing arts, she also has a real taste for premier cuisine, which led us to Pipi’s Burgers in McCully Shopping Center for this week’s Dining with the Stars.

“Guess what? I’m not a red meat eater, so it’s pretty ironic that I’m at a burger joint,” Gutzi says with a laugh.

Pipi’s Burgers is a recent addition to the McCully Shopping Center ohana, and opened its doors this past July serving up melt-in-your-mouth gourmet burgers and sandwiches that are well worth your buck. While Pipi’s Burger reigns supreme, the restaurant’s friendly and accommodating staff was more than happy to forgo the Angus beef, and instead whipped up a Furikake Ahi Burger and Garden Burger complete with sweet potato fries and french fries for Gutzi to indulge in.

Pipi’s Garden Burger features organic mixed greens, a veggie patty and a spread of onions, carrots, tomatoes and mustard on a brioche bun, while Furikake Ahi Burger presents a fresh slab of ahi coated with panko and furikake, teri glaze and wasabi aioli along with lettuce, tomato and onion, also served on a brioche bun.

“Everything is so fresh and tasty,” says Gutzi, who was born and raised in Detroit, but spent most of her life in The Big Apple and is a self-proclaimed New Yorker at heart. “The Furikake Ahi Burger is so good and you can really taste the freshness of the fish. The seasonings and the veggies are a great complement. The Garden Burger also is very flavorful — it’s fabulous!

“I’ll definitely be back for more. Pipi’s puts a lot of time into everything here. Here’s a place that you can come to with people who eat red meat and not feel left out,” she adds.

Gutzi’s many accomplishments deserve a standing ovation as she starred in the award-winning musical Les Miserables on Broadway from 1990 to 1992, was part of the national tour of CATS in the mid-’90s (which brought her to the Islands) and sang her heart out in Ragtime. Now, this Broadway veteran can be seen in living rooms across the nation as she’s landed a role in ABC’s new military drama series Last Resort, which airs Thursdays at 7 p.m.

“I’ve done theater all my life since I was a child, and I’m always looking for new avenues to express my creativity, so being involved in television has been very exciting,” states Gutzi, who plays Dodds, a mysterious interrogator. “We see Dodds lurking in the background in a few scenes and then we see her interrogating the wife of the submarine commander.

“I’m very proud to be a part of a wonderful company, and we’re hoping that everyone tunes in. Last Resort is one of the real promising shows for the fall season. The cast and crew have been wonderful, and the shooting locations on the island have been gorgeous.”

Gutzi, who was once a backup singer for Cher, also will now lend her voice to March of Dimes 2012 Governors’ Ball honoring Dennis Francis, president and publisher of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The event will be held Nov. 3 at Sheraton Waikiki, and promises to impress with fabulous food, local flair and top-notch entertainment.

“I’m honored to be a part of this event and I want to encourage everyone to attend,” Gutzi says, noting tickets are still available by calling 973.2155.

Despite her many appearances on stage and on screen, Gutzi also makes time to privately coach current and aspiring local talent.

“I try to take every opportunity and really present myself fully. You never know what you’re going to learn and who you’re going to meet,” Gutzi says.

Pipi’s Burgers

McCully Shopping Center
1960 Kapiolani Blvd. #103, Honolulu
946.7474
Sunday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.