Monday, 31 December 2012

TRUTH & JEST: Though clever-funny in parts, Krosses fails to hit home

MAIN COURSE: Ramsey and Bellanfante catch up on the hottest suss.

Krosses (Stages Productions) 
Director: Bunny Allen 
Cast: Keith Ramsey, Maxwell Grant, Dainty Bellanfante and Junior Williams 
Venue: Stages Theatreplex, New Kingston 

Krosses, the newest offering by Stages Productions is a slight, sporadically entertaining show that moves at a leisurely pace. It’s funny in its genuinely comedic moments, but seriously disappoints in its overall lack of worthwhile message and substance. My main grouse with the production is that it squanders valuable opportunities and the bulk of the running time by repeatedly rehashing the same bits of what Jamaicans would refer to as “mix-up.” As a result, the show offers very little in terms of a concrete storyline to interest, satisfy, let alone challenge its viewers. 

Which is kind of a surprise, given that with such previous efforts as October’s Scandal and Di Weddin’ Scamma earlier in the year, the dynamic and resourceful pair of writer Michael Denton and director Bunny Allen satisfactorily weaved together solid plot points with wit and humour and fun “gossip” with pretty decent results. 

As far as Krosses goes, the audience is transported to a rough-and-tumble community where Lashie’s Café (run by Lashie, played by Ramsey) is the local hotspot to hear all the latest community drama discussed and ridiculed at length. And that includes the sordid lives of such residents as Mavis (Bellanfante), caught in the midst of a love-triangle/baby-mama drama with local Rastafarian Sammy (Junior Williams) and the fresh-from-foreign Dave (Calvin Carty). Throw into the mix Maxwell Grant as Tippo, a loose-tongued old-timer who has his eyes on fiery, non-nonsense street-side vendor, Kim (played by Etesia Ramsey). 

While the actors (and indeed their thinly drawn characters) get ample turns in the spotlight, they unfortunately spend most of the time engaging in extended verbal clashes (read: tracing). That’s not to say that the big laughs are scarce. In fact, Ramsey, as expected, delivers some of the play’s most hilarious lines with punch and precision. Special mention must also be made of Williams for fiercely attempting to imbue his conflicted character with some degree of gravity. 

Overall though, while Krosses doesn’t skimp on the undiluted Jamaican humour, the show comes dangerously close to falling flat and, substance-wise, leaves a lot to be desired. Tyrone’s Verdict: C+

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