STEPPING UP: Arduously promoting the best of city Kingston and Brand Jamaica as a whole remains atop the tourism and entertainment ministry's February 2014 priority list. "We are saying [to visitors] come to Jamaica not just for sun, sand and sea but for Reggae Month. We are looking at reggae in its broadest form as Jamaica's music," state minister Damion Crawford tells TALLAWAH during a tour of the Devon House-hosted Arts in the Park on Sunday. "As you can see here, we not only have music but also the spoken word. So it's about promoting other forms of entertainment under the reggae theme and the reggae concept. Over time, the plan is for Reggae Month to be like what Carnival is for Trinidad."
PLAY ON: Everyone loves Aladdin? The Disney smash is getting quite a wave of attention these days, to say the least. As the Jamaica Junior Theatre wraps up its fantastic early-year run, it's just been announced that New York's New Amsterdam Theatre is set to commence Broadway previews of their new adaptation of the musical (about the self-described street rat who falls for the princess) on March 20, with a score by Oscar winners Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. "The show delivers all of the things that people love but makes them theatrical," explains director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw.
SCREEN GEM: International audiences have been responding favourably to Kingston Paradise, Mary Wells' gritty cinematic take on the hard-knock life facing those who live in the Jamaican inner-city. And the accolades keep on coming. At the recent 22nd Pan African Film Festival (held in Baldwin Hills, California), the urban drama was bestowed with the Festival Programmer's Award, one of the most coveted prizes going at he fest. In September, the film took home the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Caribbean Tales Film Festival in Toronto, Canada. The story of a small-time hustler and his ride-or-die girlfriend, Kingston Paradise stars Chris 'Johnny' Daley and Camille Small.