THREE FOR 'FOUR': Samuels, HoShing and Titus are together again for Dawkins' latest, opening Dec. 27.
In Jamaican theatre, specifically the Kingston stage, the Yuletide season has a tendency to unleash some of the year's most enjoyable and award-worthy productions that attract patrons seeking the kind of full-throttle entertainment that makes them laugh and feel moved. This year's wonderfully diverse bounty should deliver all that and more.
On the heels of Blind Spot and Duppy Whisperer, Jambiz looks all set to draw more sold-out crowds to the Centrestage Theatre for Frank the Freak, Patrick Brown's latest laught riot, which opens Boxing Day with the company's regular cast, led by Glen Campbell and Camille Davis.
The very next night the curtains go up inside the Little Little Theatre on Basil Dawkins' ensemble drama Four Can't Play, which reunites the troupe that brought us 2014's Divorce Papers, namely Dennis Titus, Maylynne Lowe, Ruth HoShing and Oliver Samuels, under the direction of Douglas Prout. By then, the 2016/17 LTM National Pantomime, The Upses and De Downzies Dem, will be warming up next door, thanks to the efforts of a veteran creative team: Barbara Gloudon (book and lyrics), Anya Gloudon (costumes), Grub Cooper (music) and Robert 'Bobby' Clarke (direction).
Over at the Phoenix Theatre, David Tulloch will reveal what he's been cooking up in recent months, with the premiere of two brand new ensemble works: Bad Breed opening Dec. 16, with Terri Salmon and Michael 'Stringbeans' Nicholson (the director of Tek Yuh Han Off Ah Me, now playng at the Jamaica Shopping Theatre Club) and Across the Bridge, premiering December 23, with Sabrina Thomas among the players.
For Christian audiences, Trust God: The Stage Play (from the Private Pain in Public Pews series) precedes Bad Breed at the Phoenix Theatre, running from December 8-11, with possible remounts in Kingston and across the island.
Meanwhile, diehard Shebada fans are in for a special treat. Friday, December 16 brings the premiere of Chixta at the Crown Playhouse on Molynes Road, just in time for his 10th anniversary as an actor thrilling audiences at home and abroad. But it's not a one-man show. Chixta (RBT Productions), penned by Michael Dawson and directed by Bunny Allen, co-stars Garfied 'Bad Bwoy Trevor' Reid, Carline Brown, Luke Ellington and Suzette Barrett.