Wednesday, 17 December 2014

COFFEE TALK: What's new, what's next, what's trending on the news and culture radar

WHO GETS YOUR VOTE? Apart from the blue-riband prizes of Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year, the People's Choice award at the RJR Sports Foundation Awards seems to generate the most near-deafening buzz each year. We expect much of the same this time around, given the calibre of the nominees vying for the award on the merit of a singularly outstanding performance in 2014. They include record-breaking swimmer Alia Atkinson (above), Reggae Boyz standout Kemar Lawrence, hurdling sensation Jaheel Hyde, ace runner Andrew Gutzmore, star cricketer Andre Russell and boxing champ Nicholas 'Axeman' Walters. So who gets your vote? The winner will be announced on January 16 when the awards ceremony takes place in Kingston at the Jamaica Pegasus. 

WAR AND PEACE: Jamaica's Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller recently paid a visit to our Caribbean neighbours Cuba, where she was among the speakers at a ceremony in Havana to mark the 118th anniversary of the death of freedom-fighter Lt. Gen. Antonio Maceo, who at one point lived in Jamaica. Simpson-Miller's message, unsurprisingly, touched on ideas of perseverance and rising above insurmountable odds. "Today it is not on the field of battle but on the plains of dialogue and respectful, constructive engagement that we must forge new understanding," said the prime minister, pictured above greeting Cuban President Raul Castro. "It is not through war but rather through love that we advance the progress of the people of Cuba and the Caribbean." 

ON THE MOVE: What's next for Ron Muschette? That's what countless Jamaicans have been left to ponder, in the wake of front-page news that IRIE FM's king of morning radio suddenly quit his job last week. Doubtless one of the most distinctive voices and recognizable household names to rule the airwaves, Muschette's sizeable boots won't be easy to fill. The obvious passion he brought to his work aside, the long-serving media man stood apart from everyone else simply because he never shies from going his own way. We very much look forward to his next act. 

PLAY ON: Rest assured, theatre's rich bounty of new plays debuting over the holiday season are laden with crowd-pleasing brio and fantastic talents. While Keith 'Shebada' Ramsey and the gang will premiere the avidly awaited Bashment Granny 3 this coming weekend at Green Gables, the Pantomime Company's Princess Boonoonoonoos and Jambiz's Saving Alligator High commence performances on Boxing Day, December 26 at the Little Theatre and Centrestage respectively. A day later, as is customary, Basil Dawkins' offering (this year brings the marital saga Divorce Papers) opens at the Little Little Theatre. And word is Aston Cooke's Country Duppy is finding new life. A fresh mounting of the award-winning comedy will keep Nadean Rawlins and the Fairfield poss in MoBay busy for the next couple of months. Come January, Dahlia Harris will debut her latest work, Ole Firestick, costarring Volier Johnson (above) and Deon Silvera

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