Saturday, 25 October 2014

CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK: Pierre LeMaire won't direct 2014 pantomime + Cherry Natural readies poetry collection + JMTC planning big summer splash

REVIVAL MODE: Hard to believe, but the Jamaica Musical Theatre Company (JMTC) hasn't put on a major production since 2009's Dreamgirls, while their younger counterparts over at Jamaica Junior Theatre continue to churn them out in rapid succession, mounting in recent times crowd-pleasers like Aladdin and Alice. But, as it turns out, the seniors refuse to be outshone and are presently getting their mojo back. Enter David Tulloch, who has been appointed the JMTC's new Artistic Director — and he means business. First up on the agenda in "reviving" the troupe is overseeing the crafting of At the Barricades, a loose adaptation of Les Miserables, scheduled to take the theatre world by storm next summer. "I'm in the hot seat," the super-busy director tells TALLAWAH. No kidding. Meanwhile, the pace-setting junior theatre is maintaining their lead with the much-anticipated Nesta's Rock (currently in rehearsals), chronicling aspects of the Bob Marley story, set to premiere in Kingston in January. 

LYRICAL WARRIOR: You can say this for Cherry Natural: she's ever embarking on bold new pursuits as she keeps the creative juices flowing. The outspoken poet-performer known for her hard-hitting lyrics and passionate performances, informs TALLAWAH that a to-be-published collection of her poems is well in the works. Though the release date is yet to be decided on, the anthology could be headed to bookstores by early 2015. Cherry Natural's last release, the hit CD Intellectual Bad Gal, featured rousing fan favourites like "Long Time Poets Ah Write" and "Fight Back." 

ON THE MOVE: MoBay's Fairfield Theatre community has received an injection of vibrant new blood, with the arrival of actors/codirectors Nadean Rawlins and Suzanne Beadle — both of whom we hear now live and work in the west. Already the ladies' collaborative efforts have borne fruit, thanks to the success of their version of Her Last Cry (running through month-end), Dahlia Harris' provocative domestic drama, which had a sold-out run in Kingston a few months ago, with a cast including Harris herself and Tesfa Edwards, as a couple whose rocky marriage takes a violent turn..... In other theatre news, Pierre LeMaire says he will not be calling the shots on set for this year's LTM National Pantomime, Princess and Boonoonoonoos. Without going into details in his recent chat with TALLAWAH, the director (who helmed last season's The Golden Macca Fat), pointed to "creative differences" among the factors influencing his decision. 

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