THAT TIME AGAIN: Rucktion Junction is the title of the 2019/2020 LTM National Pantomime. Promising another helluva serving of vibrant entertainment for the entire family, the show (now well into rehearsals) is fusing community drama, family life and politics with ample humour. According to showrunner Anya Gloudon, the new production recalls such classic pantomimes as River Mumma and Man Deh Yah, and will feature a special tribute to icons like the recently departed Noel Dexter. One of Dexter’s songs, Gloudon tells us, is being freshly arranged for the show, which opens, as is the custom, on Boxing Day (Dec. 26), with a cast of seasoned veterans, recent additions and fresh faces.
THE FINAL ACT? Is the Phoenix Theatre really closing its doors for good? As industry people come to terms with the heartbreaking news, theatre manager David Tulloch and his team are gearing up for their swan song: two productions that will bring the curtain down and signal the end of an era. Up first is Jamaica Sweetest (Dec. 13-15), the third slice of Tulloch’s uber-popular musical revue, featuring Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis, Rashiem Shepherd, Danielle Shepherd, Deanne Logan Johnson and Kathy Grant. A remount of the domestic dramedy Prayer Partner opens on Dec. 27 (for a brief run ending Jan. 5), with a cast comprising Tulloch, Ricky Rowe, Kathy Grant, Trishana Wright and Michael ‘Stringbeans’ Nicholson.