Thursday, 12 May 2016

THE BUZZ REPORT: What’s new, what’s next, what’s trending in Jamaican pop culture

You know your work is well-regarded in academic circles when they start studying you up at the university. Seasoned playwright/theatre producer/JCDC Chairman Aston Cooke must be thrilled that his exuberant play Jonkanoo Jamboree, steeped in island folklore, has been selected by UWI Mona’s Department of Literatures in English for their summer 2016 course West Indian Drama. Cooke’s award-winning stage opus, which was made available in book format last year, will share the syllabus with Derek Walcott’s Pantomime, Ginger Knight’s Whiplash and The Dragon Can’t Dance by Earl Lovelace. According to the university, the course “will consider the difference between the dramatic text as an object of literary study and the play text or script as a blueprint for performance” ….. Also on tab for this summer: the ladies of the Morgan family (Morgan Heritage that is) – fab sisters Sandra, Taliba, Takilat and Una – joining forces to usher in At Home With the Morgans, an all-girls gabfest and web series through which they’ll invite fans into their world, over the course of 12 episodes, as they discuss everything from current affairs to lifestyle and entertainment hot topics. The
family that plays together stays together ….. Meanwhile, all those “changes” coming to Reggae Sumfest have us on edge, to say the least. While we understand the desire to shake things up, the organizers run the risk of ruining a formula that has worked remarkably well for over two decades and that diehard supporters of the festival look forward to every year. Three nights of sensational performances. But Big Joe is now running things at Summerfest Productions and in his numerous print interviews he’s made it clear that they’ll definitely be doing things differently – and that includes whittling down the concert series to a two-night event! For us, the appeal of Reggae Sumfest might never be the same, but it remains to be seen how everything will play out come mid-July …... Pulse is also feeling the winds
of change. New boss lady Safia Cooper (above) recently revealed that Stony Hill’s Villa Ronai will now host the CFW extravaganza, which is paying tribute to Prince next month. While Villa Ronai might signal a change of scenery from old faithful, the National Indoor Sports Centre, it won’t draw the same size crowd as the NISC, which is far more airy and spacious. Still, a test run is the smart move to make ….. Finally, a couple of items top our entertainment watch list at the moment: Inferno, the film adaptation of the provocative bestseller by Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown (check out the intense trailer) and Kevin Downswell’s avidly anticipated new album, All the Way ….. Brawta: We recently heard that Beverley Manley Duncan (right) is thisclose to starting a Part 2 to her juicy tell-all The Manley Memoirs! “She says she is thinking about it,” an impeccable source tells The Buzz Report. You mean to tell us there’s more where all that came from? To Bev, and all those who are about to start writing, we salute you! Stay tuned…..

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