Friday, 24 January 2020

2019 THESPIAN SPIRIT AWARDS: The Complete List of Nominations


Behind the Pulpit 
Feminine Justice 
Hell & Powder House 
Jesus Christ Superstar 
Pit to Pulpit 
Special Cuts 
Straight Jacket 


Glen Campbell – Straight Jacket 
Rodney Campbell – Feminine Justice 
Brian Johnson – Yours, Truly 
Stephen-Rhae Johnson – Isaiah 
Francois Medley – Jesus Christ Superstar 
Michael Nicholson – Pit to Pulpit 
Kadeem Wilson – Hell & Powder House 


Crystal Fletcher – Ananda Alert 
Dahlia Harris – Straight Jacket 
Stephanie Hazle – Hell & Powder House 
Maylynne Lowe – Feminine Justice 
Nadean Rawlins – Straight Jacket 
Sabrina Thomas – Special Cuts 
Petrina Williams – Behind the Pulpit


André Bennett – Ananda Alert 
Philip Clarke – Feminine Justice 
David Crossgill – The Windscream Posse 
David Freare – Jesus Christ Superstar 
Brian Johnson – Behind the Pulpit 
Oraine Meikle – Special Cuts 
Courtney Wilson – Straight Jacket 


Dorothy Cunningham – Once a Man Twice a Wife 
Sakina Deer – Straight Jacket 
Shantol Jackson – Ananda Alert 
Angela Jarrett – Face the Truth 
Samantha Thompson – Behind the Pulpit 
Karla Tulloch – Amazing Grace 
Renae Williams – Hell & Powder House


David Freare – Jesus Christ Superstar 
Toni-Ann Johnson – Pit to Pulpit 
Natoya Lee – Pit to Pulpit 
Dacoda Mitchell – Prayer Partner 
Maxann Stewart-Legg – Ruckshon Junction 
Devon Tattle – Schampagne Popping 
Miguel Williams – Behind the Pulpit 


Fabian Barracks – Ananda Alert 
Suzanne Beadle – Yours, Truly 
Patrick Brown – Straight Jacket 
Basil Dawkins – Once a Man Twice a Wife 
Brian Johnson – Behind the Pulpit 
Rashiem Shepherd – Special Cuts 
Mikhail Solomon – Pit to Pulpit 


Peter Abrikian – Feminine Justice 
Fabian Barracks – Ananda Alert 
Patrick Brown and Trevor Nairne – Straight Jacket 
Akeem Mignott and Brian Johnson – Behind the Pulpit 
Mikhail Solomon – Pit to Pulpit 
Greg Thames – Isaiah 
David Tulloch – Jesus Christ Superstar

The Louise M. Dunk Lifetime Achievement Award – Oliver Samuels 

>> Winners will be announced on Feb. 25.

2020 GRAMMY AWARDS: Koffee, Third World among contenders for Best Reggae Album

REGGAE GOLD: The five nominated albums represent a mix of veterans and a sensational newcomer.

IS Koffee the frontrunner to cop the golden gramophone for Best Reggae Album at this weekend’s Grammy Awards ceremony? The voting academy was so impressed with the writing and production on her five-track EP, Rapture (only sixteen minutes long), that it earned a place among this year’s crop of nominees, which were announced back in November.

A Billboard chart-topper, Rapture was released last March by Columbia Records and features such crowd-pleasing jams as “Toast,” “Throne” and the infectious title track.

Also nominated this year: the enduring roots-rockin’ band Third World (for their latest offering More Work to Be Done), Sly & Robbie and Roots Radics (The Final Battle: Sly & Robbie vs. Roots Radics), Steel Pulse (Mass Manipulation) and Julian Marley (As I Am). 

Meanwhile, hip-hop sensation Lizzo leads the overall pack with eight nominations, including bids for Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Best New Artist. The other top nominees include pop-rock bad girl Billy Eilish, R&B phenom H.E.R and bonafide breakout star Lil Nas X, whose smash “Old Town Road” (with Billy Ray Cyrus) was one of the most streamed singles of 2019. 

The Grammy trophies, honoring the best in music on the industry’s biggest night, will be handed out during a star-studded ceremony, chock-full of performances, at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, on Sunday, Jan. 26. The telecast will be broadcast live on CBS.

>> For the full list of nominees, visit

Thursday, 23 January 2020

NEWS FEED: The death of Barry Moncrieffe CD / Sagicor/Sigma Run set for Feb. 16 / The latest on the Edna Manley College saga

TRUE ORIGINAL: Legendary dancer and former Artistic Director of the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) Barry Moncrieffe has died. Moncrieffe passed away last weekend after losing his battle with cancer. He was 78. His successor at the NDTC, Marlon Simms, hails him as an incomparable contributor to the world of Caribbean dance and creative expression. “As a mentor and quintessential teacher, his authority and scope of influence extended far beyond the NDTC,” Simms says. “He was a masterful gentle giant who created significant and lasting impact on the entire Jamaican dance community.” Moncrieffe, who also earned renown as a couture designer who has exhibited work at Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW) and other platforms, received the National Order of Distinction (in the rank of Commander) from the Jamaican government in 2012. 

CROWD SUPPORT: Come Sunday, February 16, the Sagicor Group hopes to announce that they have raised upwards of $55 million, proceeds from the 2020 Sagicor/Sigma 5K Run, to donate to charity. This year’s three main beneficiaries are the Clifton Boys Home (Manchester), the Special Care Nursery of the Bustamante Hospital for Children (Kingston) and the Savanna-La-Mar Hospital’s Maternity and Newborn Unit (Westmoreland). “Last year, we received $52 million, and so this year we are hoping for $55 million because we try to step it up a little every year,” says Sagicor Foundation Chairman, R. Danny Williams. “With these funds we hope to raise, we will procure much-needed medical equipment for [these facilities] and [for] rebuilding efforts at the Clifton Boys’ Home.” Registration for participation in the 2020 run closes on January 31. 

>> Quote Me! 
“It is likely that the principal will remain on leave, and the process is expected to be (completed). Within two months, we will have it completed.” – Minister Karl Samuda, giving an update on the probe into allegations of sexual harassment and cover-up at the Edna Manley College

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Talented rising star Dacoda Mitchell is theatre’s new ‘it’ girl

STAR QUALITY: “I like when a get a job and I deliver,” says Mitchell, 34.

YEARS from now when Dacoda Mitchell looks back on her acting career she can boast that she was a member of the cast that gave the final performance inside New Kingston’s popular Phoenix Theatre. A few weeks ago, Mitchell inhabited the pivotal role of Sister Grace in David Tulloch’s remount of Prayer Partner, which played to exuberant audiences for two weekends before bringing the curtains down on the playhouse for the final time in its years-long history.

For Mitchell, the moment marks a bonafide résumé highlight, but it’s hardly a cause for celebration when one considers the bigger picture. “It’s bittersweet because I’m happy that I got to be a part of the theatre’s legacy but, at the same time, I’m sad because as theatre practitioners we are losing a very important space,” she told TALLAWAH on closing night.

Mitchell, a Kingston Technical alumna, got her start in theatre years ago at the EXED Performing Arts College, going on to work with the LTM National Pantomime and such directors and filmmakers as the late Paul Beale, who cast her in his television series Joint Tenants, Domino Effect and The Student.

But it wasn’t until she scored a role in Dahlia Harris’ Country Wedding (2017) that Mitchell got properly noticed. The experience served as a launching pad, leading to parts in other stage hits like Trudy Bell’s Schampagne Popping, to which she brought a curious mix of the edgy and the daring as good-girl-gone-bad Meeka. 

“I like when a get a job, people entrust me with that job, and I deliver,” says the five-foot-eight actress, who has also done work with the UK’s Blue Mountain Theatre Company and also graced stages in North America. “That’s always been something that resonates with me.” 

And that philosophy extends to her day job as a manager at the Downtown Kingston-based Ribbiz Ocean Lounge. What’s the most fun part of that gig? “It’s entertainment and entertainment is my life,” says the 34-year-old, who loves dancing, teaching and emceeing events. Flashing a megawatt grin, she adds, “I like to see the patrons enjoying themselves.”

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

LIFE & STYLE: Glitzy launch for J’ca Rum Fest 2020 / More seafood, longer life / Fraser-Pryce’s triumphant weekend

>> That’s the Spirit: Sponsors, socialites gather to launch J’ca Rum Festival 
The East Lawns of St. Andrew’s historic-iconic Devon House was all abuzz last Wednesday evening as presenting sponsors J. Wray & Nephew, tourism officials, socialites and rum devotees gathered for the 2020 launch of the Jamaica Rum Festival (now in its second year), which takes place at Hope Gardens on Feb. 29 and March 1. Among the faces in the crowd (from top left): emcee Debbie Bissoon and master blender Joy Spence; entrepreneur Sadiki Bolt; actress Sakina Deer; Festival Director Valon Thorpe; JMEA president Richard Pandohie in conversation.

>> Seafood helps prevent colorectal cancer 
Salmon for dinner tonight! A study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology reveals that investigators found that eating between 3 ½ to 7 ounces of shellfish, lean fish of fatty fish per week noticeably reduces the odds of developing colorectal cancer. Fish is full of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to help inhibit the growth of cancer cells. 

>> Fraser-Pryce hosts successful 3rd staging of 5K Run/Walk 
Mere hours after picking up her fourth Sportswoman of the Year trophy on Friday night, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce was up at the crack of dawn Saturday morning to host the third staging of the Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce/Hugh Senior 5K Run/Walk at Emancipation Park in New Kingston, to raise much-needed funds for charity. The sprint queen was in high spirits at the event, wearing a sporty all-black ensemble, as she rubbed shoulders and posed for pictures with fans and race participants. Perennial contender Henry Thomas (UCT Steppaz) won the Men’s 5K in a time of 15 minutes and 54 seconds, while Jamdammers’ Jozanne Harris emerged champion among the women, clocking 22 minutes and 35 seconds. This year’s long list of sponsors included Grace, Duracell, Wata and Burger King.

AT THE MOVIES: Just Mercy offers compelling testimony of one man’s brave fight for justice

WORK TO BE DONE: Jordan and Foxx have a tough case on their hands.

IF there’s one thing Bryan Stevenson believes in it’s fighting injustice. His fascinating true story gets a compelling cinematic showcase in Just Mercy, in which Michael B. Jordan reveals yet another dimension to his acting chops, as a dramatic lead, portraying this ambitious and driven Harvard Law School grad, who is determined to get Johnny Dee McMillan (Jamie Foxx in an anguished performance) off death row and reunited with his family.

Set in late 1980s Alabama, the film (directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, from a screenplay based on Stevenson’s book) introduces viewers to a bright young lawyer and mama’s boy who decides to take on capital murder cases pro bono. It’s a move that perplexes and ruffles feathers. “Giving legal assistance is one thing, but putting convicted murderers back on the street is another,” he is sternly warned.

But Stevenson will not be deterred, convinced that McMillan, charged with the brutal murder of an eighteen-year-old woman, was convicted and put behind bars based largely on faulty testimony and the absence of hard evidence. 

With the help of a loyal and trusty assistant (played by Brie Larson), he zooms in on the McMillan case, leaving no stone unturned (spending hours with McMillan at the prison, interviewing reluctant witnesses and distraught relatives and friends, and combing through police records) to put together his case – even amidst police harassment and death threats. 

Depending on who you ask, Bryan Stevenson, who went on to win the case and reunite McMillan with his family, was either simply being fearless or stubborn as a mule. Truly, as Jordan’s performance attests, one doesn’t get the sense that he was trying to be a hero at the expense of these convicts. He just comes off as sincere, passionate and willing to go to war for a cause he strongly believes in. Tyrone’s Verdict: B+

Saturday, 18 January 2020

COUNTRY STRONG: ‘A more united, peace-loving nation is the only way forward’ – Bishop Conrad Pitkin

HEAL THE NATION: PM Andrew Holness, Bishop Pitkin, Dr. Peter Phillips, and Rev. Stanley Clarke join hands and minds in praying for Jamaica.

CUSTOS OF St. James, Bishop Conrad Pitkin, believes a primary contributing factor behind the country’s alarming crime and violence statistics is a deep-seated aversion to peaceful resolution of conflicts. 

“We have a profound lack of ability to find resolution to conflict. We have work to do. I appeal to each of us here and across Jamaica to commit ourselves to pursuing peace,” said Bishop Pitkin, who was delivering the keynote address at Thursday’s 40th renewal of the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

This year’s theme is “Pursuing the Power of Peace.”

“Let us be willing to resolve our differences through mediation and not through guns and other weapons of violence. There’s been too much bloodshed in this land. It must be stopped,” he told his rapt audience. “We must stop pointing fingers and say It must begin with me… This should be a personal commitment.” 

According to Pitkin (who also serves as Chairman of the Jamaica Council of Churches umbrella group), Jamaica has a terrible history of hostility and political tribalism, and it has done significant damage to the social fabric, contributing to the widespread corruption and breakdown of family life. “We have come a long way,” he said. “We have to address these challenges and overcome them. Only then can Jamaica become the place of choice to live, to work, to raise families and do business.” 

The huge role our nation’s leaders have to play cannot be understated. “We must put the interest of the nation above personal and partisan interests for the collective good,” Bishop Pitkin emphasized. Governor General Sir Patrick Allen, PM Andrew Holness, Paula Llewellyn and Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange were among those in attendance. 

Now in its fourth decade, the NLPB is an annual gathering of Jamaica’s political leaders and the top brass of the religious community with the core purpose of fostering greater unity across the nation.

YOU DON’T KNOW ME: Harris’ Hell & Powder House delivers pulse-racing entertainment

LOVERS & FRIENDS: Hazle, Williams and Wilson in scenes from the play.

Hell & Powder House (DMH Productions)
Director: Dahlia Harris
Cast: Stephanie Hazle, Renae Williams and Kadeem Wilson
Venue: J’ca Shopping Club Theatre, Kingston 

COUNTLESS women have been in Janet Smith’s size-seven stilettoes. She thinks she’s found real love at long last, only to discover, weeks later, that the dreamboat who has swept her off her feet is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a player. Such betrayal can be gut-wrenching. For Janet, it cuts deep. But she had been warned.

In writer-director-producer Dahlia Harris’ latest offering Hell & Powder House, a frank and frequently funny dramedy, single-and-ready-to-mingle Janet (played by Stephanie Hazle) comes off as a hopeless romantic desperate to make a meaningful connection with Antonio (Kadeem Wilson), the fellow she’s having her first face-to-face date with – at her house!

Alarmed by Janet’s lack of caution and certain that she knows this Antonio by another name, her best friend and hospital co-worker Sasha (Renae Williams) warns her that this charmer is not who he appears to be. Janet, however, dismisses Sasha’s concern as the mutterings of a jealous friend who isn’t getting any. “Plans for my life don’t include growing old and lonely,” she is quick to emphasize. 

But, as they say, what’s concealed in the dark always comes to light, and Janet is in for a rude awakening that flips her world so fast it makes her head spin. 

Updating the script of her powerful 2010 hit Judgement, Harris draws on ample humour and dark realism to spin a provocative, utterly believable tale centred on romantic delusions, trust, vengeance and the true meaning of friendship. You get to see what can happen when loyal friends join forces in a time of crisis. 

Hazle and Williams are superb in their roles, ideally cast opposite Wilson, who brings some of that same rude-bwoy swagger and edginess that made him such a standout in Sprinter. But it’s Hazle’s nuanced and committed portrayal in the lead that is the show’s biggest revelation. 

As Janet Smith vividly demonstrates, in this post-Me Too era, the damsel-in-distress is turning the tables and taking zero prisoners. Tyrone’s Verdict: B+

Thursday, 16 January 2020

FILM REVIEW: Three short films explore the intersection of fate and family

DADDY ISSUES: Where does a father end and a son begin? Such complicated family dynamics play out in Code, a terrific 12-minute film from writer-director Sarah Manley (and co-producer Darin Tennent) exploring independence, identity and complex father-son bonds. Kaleb D’Aguilar stars as Judah, an ambitious high-school kid who has a knack for computer programming. When an opportunity comes to enter and win a contest at school, Judah (whose struggling parents do farming) jumps at it. Trouble is, his strict Rastafarian father (Carl Davis) wants him to come home straight from school to help in the fields with the reaping. Hence, Judah is torn between chasing his dream and obeying his daddy. What should he do? His mother is equally torn, but firmly tells her husband that the boy “deserves a chance at his own life.” In the end, Manley’s film is really about following your heart and the price we often have to pay. [B+]

CARRY ME HOME: The suspense builds to an edge-of-your-seat climax in Passage, a captivating short made by Kareem Mortimer. It’s about a bunch of Haitian refugees – thirsty, hungry, hot – cramped below deck on a vessel headed for a better life in the US. But not everyone will make it to dry land. The boat’s ruthless crew members are not above throwing overboard anyone who has become sick – fearful that they will infect everybody else. So you feel for young mother Sandrine (Dana Ferguson), who quietly steals a bottle of water from the crew’s ice-box for her son Etienne (Lorenz Wright), who has started coughing up blood. Uh-oh. What plays out is a devastating, gut-wrenching sequence steeped in panic, desperation and cruel fate. [B+]

SKY’S THE LIMIT: Boys will be boys. Best friends and primary-age kids Kemar (Roheim Phillips) and Roshane (Craig Robinson) are on the house’s zinc roof with a makeshift telescope checking out the stars. Other times they lie on their backs just gazing up, dreaming of becoming astronauts exploring the celestial unknown. To wit, sometimes the boys dress up in full play-time astronaut costume. In Kia Moses’ fascinating effort Flight, such sequences set up a stunning contrast to the harsh socio-economic realities of surviving in the ghetto, where Kemar’s father, Clive (Jermaine Nelson) makes a living as a bus driver and a gang of hoodlums want to recruit and train Roshane. A no-nonsense father figure like Clive abhors the idea of his son having his head in the clouds instead of his schoolwork, but Moses succeeds in showing how a parent supporting a child’s dream can deepen that bond in the face of great odds. A well-made little film that deserves five ‘stars’. [A-]

GOOD SPORTS: The new-look Sunshine Girls / Intervention needed for U-22 Reggae Boyz / Can a foreign coach brighten the future of Windies cricket?

>> TAKING STOCK: What’s wrong with Jamaica’s junior Reggae Boyz programme? 
Rightly so, the public is seeking answers in the wake of the Under-22 Reggae Boyz performing so poorly in the recent Kirin Challenge Cup, losing 9-0 to Japan. Dalton Wint, general secretary of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), has responded, admitting that the country’s youth football programme is in tatters, in need of serious attention, especially when compared to other nations. “The truth is that these countries are far ahead of us. The sort of investment they are making into their youth programmes, we are not even putting in ten percent because of our inability to do,” Wint said in a recent interview. ‘We are not doing the sort of investing that we should.”

>> SOS: Cricket West Indies looks to foreign coaches 
According to recent reports, a lack of expertise in the region has left Cricket West Indies (CWI) with no option but to look overseas for qualified persons to fill coaching positions. “The reality is that we do not have the required persons with the requisite expertise in white-ball cricket, and so we had to look outside the region to fill those positions,” CWI President Ricky Skerritt recently told Lennox Aldred. “The persons that we have brought in like Chris (Barbazon) are internationally qualified, and we believe they will help us to get to where we want to be.”

>> GAME TIME: Francis and Sunshine Girls ready for first test 
Connie Francis’ first big assignment as the recently installed head coach of the senior Sunshine Girls team arrives next week with the Vitality Netball Nations Cup, which takes place from January 19 to 26 in England. “I’m very satisfied with the group that we have. It creates a very nice balance because we have the youthful players who are ambitious and want to go out there to show the world that they can play, and I like how they gel with the senior players,” she noted in a Gleaner interview. “To prepare a team to go into such a tournament within three months is very challenging, but I’ve embraced it. I think we have a good squad, and the training has been going well enough.” The Jamaicans are currently ranked fourth in the world behind Australia, New Zealand and England.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

LIFE + STYLE: Kicking off 2020 in ‘brilliant’ style / The best tropical fruit / (Musical) memory lane

>> Hello, Sunshine! 
Stylish women from Barbican to Bluefields are looking on the bright side as they step boldly into 2020. So far the party scene has been awash in a lush colour palette, with hypervivid shades of yellow, in particular, upping the ‘wow’ factor. Above, some highlights.

>> #InTheKitchen
Refreshing (and healing) Mango Magic!
When was the last time you added a mango to your smoothie? You’d be amazed at the benefits, says Dr. Mehmet Oz. According to the good doc, blending one cup of the tropical fruit (fresh or frozen) into a smoothie energizes a weary thyroid, easing fatigue and super-charging weight loss in as little as a week. Researchers credit the polyphenols present in a mango for its gland-healing benefits.

>> Press Play!
Turn up the Dennis Brown! According to some British-based scientists, listening to the music you enjoyed as a teen triggers fond and nostalgic memories, which activates the reward centre in your brain for a feel-good mood boost.

LOVE TAKES A HOLIDAY: Dawkins turns up the heat with Once a Man, Twice a Wife

WE NEED TO TALK: Byron (Brown) and Abi (Harriott) discuss the state of their marriage.

Once a Man, Twice a Wife (Basil Dawkins Productions) 
Director: Douglas Prout 
Cast: Earle Brown, Karen Harriott and Dorothy Cunningham 
Venue: Little Little Theatre, Kingston 

IT’s about time the longsuffering husband broke his silence and shared his story of abuse – to kick-start the #HeToo movement. In Once a Man, Twice a Wife, you feel the pain and frustration of Byron Steele (Earle Brown), the play’s central male character. 

Now in his second marriage, his wife Abigail (Karen Harriott in a brassy performance) treats him with such scorn, ridicule and callous disregard that he’s constantly punching the sofa cushion to let off the volcanic steam that’s been building up inside him. Is this well-deserved punishment being meted out to him? What did he do to her? We don’t get much backstory. 

According to Abigail (a busy career woman), her husband is dark, his limitations have finally caught up with him and he’s taking it out on her. According to Byron (a sewage plant worker), he’s an innocent man. He pleads with her but to no avail. 

Their housekeeper Miss Enid (an excellent Dorothy Cunningham) does her best to ameliorate the circumstances and defuse the tension in the household, but the last thing Abi wants is to reconcile with Byron. She wants out. 

Written by ace playwright Basil Dawkins, the production presents Mr. Steele (convincingly played by Brown) as a good man – honest, hardworking with a modest occupation – who is getting a raw deal in his own house. Abigail, meanwhile, comes off as a bitter and unreasonable spouse who is running the risk of losing her husband to another woman – a nurturer like Miss Enid. 

Once a Man, Twice a Wife, full of dramatic tension, gripping dialogue and observations about matrimony, class and status, marks the reunion of Dawkins and longtime directing partner Douglas Prout. While the play is by no means their most sterling effort together (I’d reserve that honour for works like For Better or Worse and Divorce Papers), it’s certainly a solid entry in their collaborative canon. 

They have a knack for elevating everyday stories (rocky marriages, broken people) into parables about humanity and fighting for your survival. Tyrone’s Verdict: B+

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

THE BEAUTY PAGE: Leading lady Stephanie Hazle talks about her current favourites – and supporting local brands

DREAM GIRL: The actress frequently opts for made-in-Jamaica products.

IN her latest stage production, Hell & Powder House, Stephanie Hazle plays Janet Smith, a hopeless romantic who wises up when she discovers that her newfound Prince Charming is a creep and a criminal with a capital C. To say the least, Hazle (recently seen on the small screen in Ring Games) gives a butt-kicking performance, and she does so looking super-gorgeous, with a svelte physique, a sleek, shiny cut that frames her face, and a fab wardrobe. How does the 31-year-old actress (communications specialist by day) stay on top of her beauty game off-stage? What are the go-to products that give her those ooh-la-la results? She recently chatted with TALLAWAH. 

> FACE: The Nature Elements line has a turmeric-and-lime mask that I use in the night-time. I also like the aloe vera-based moisturizer by Irie Rock. I like to support local brands. 

> BODY: Shea butter is my go-to. It’s great for my skin, and I find that it’s also good for removing marks on the body. 

> HAIR: At night I use natural castor oil, and I prefer to wrap my hair before bed. Otherwise, I tend to use the Soft Sheen Carson line of products. 

> FRAGRANCE: My favourite brands are Juicy Couture and Estee Lauder. 

** D.I.Y – Getting rid of the lines between your brows ** 
Try this: Press and index finger between your brows then push it up in a diagonal line toward the right side of your forehead. Do it 5 times then repeat on the left. This relaxes the glabellar muscles between brows to help ‘iron out’ the creases – and greatly improve your smile!

Saturday, 4 January 2020

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS: Barita’s Ian McNaughton resigns … Household Worker of the Year winners announced … Lorna Goodison to be honoured by Queen Elizabeth

LITERARY LIONESS: The honours and accolades keep pouring in for Lorna Goodison. Jamaica’s Poet Laureate is to be presented with the Queen’s Award for Poetry, according to a recent announcement by Buckingham Palace. Goodison, whose previous honours include the Gold Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica and the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, will receive her medal from Queen Elizabeth II during an audience with the monarch on an upcoming date to be announced. She is the first Jamaican to receive such an honour. “Lorna Goodison has come to be recognized as a hugely significant and influential contemporary author both at home and internationally,” says the Poetry Medal Committee, which selected the multi-award-winning author and educator on her repute and the strength of her body of work.

JOB WELL DONE: St. Ann native Ingrid Grant-Smith and Tremaine Cunningham, a HEART Trust/NTA graduate, have won the 2019 Grace Kennedy/Heather Little-White Household Worker of the Year Championships. The winners, both parents of very young children, took home trophies and $500,000 cash awards. Nominated by their employers, seven women and three men earned places on the list of ten finalists. At the ceremony, keynote speaker Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange reiterated the government’s commitment to enacting the Decent Work Act to bolster efforts to protect the rights of these and other hardworking Jamaicans. The Household Worker of the Year Awards is now heading into its sixth year.

ON THE MOVE: Ian McNaughton has resigned as General Manager of Barita Investments Limited. His successor is Paula Barclay, a former GM at First Global Bank. According to a release, McNaughton exited his Barita post on December 24 to pursue other interests, but “will remain accessible to the board for the remainder of the current financial year ending September 2020.” … And in other corporate news, Mark Williams will take over as CEO of Kingston Wharves Limited, effective January 6, succeeding Grantley Stephenson, who is retiring from the shipping industry after more than 40 years.

TALLAWAH BOOK CLUB: The fascinating life of R. Danny Williams / Hugh Martin takes us back / Melanie Schwapp’s golden hour

QUALITY OF LIFE: Any conversation about the legends of enterprise and philanthropy in contemporary Jamaica must include R. Danny Williams who, after making significant strides in his professional life with a commitment to nation-building and humanitarian work, is now heading into the golden years of retirement. His remarkable life story is recounted in I Tried to Make a Difference, a thick hardcover biography penned by Sandy McIntosh. This inspiring book captures the eventful journey of a celebrated businessman and pioneer, whose numerous distinctions include the founding of the country’s first local-owned life insurance firm, Life of Jamaica. “One of the things I admire most about Danny is his love, passion and zeal for helping others,” says longtime colleague Christopher Zacca. “He is a true son of the soil, who has created an indomitable legacy that will live on for generations.” 

REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST: Actor, journalist and broadcaster Hugh Martin takes readers down memory lane in Days of Sunshine, Days of Rage, a 363-page memoir in which he reflects on the Jamaica he came of age in (particularly rural JA of the 50s and 60s), while sharing deeply personal narratives sure to amuse and provoke thought. Martin is also the author of the novels Dancing on the Auction Block and All My Pains

>> Second Act: The buzz about Melanie Schwapp’s Lest We Find Gold 

In Lest We Find Gold (Bala Press), the long-awaited follow-up to her award-winning first novel, Dew Angels, Schwapp introduces us to Millicent ‘Milly’ Pratt, a young woman grappling with social prejudices and internal struggles. We journey with her as she strives to move beyond the chains of her past and embrace a renewed life.

Friday, 3 January 2020

IRIE PEOPLE: Fiercely funny Jamaica Sweetest wraps up the series on a high

ONLY IN JAMROCK: The show brings the funny and the familiar in true island style.

Jamaica Sweetest (Probemaster Entertainment)
Director: David Tulloch
Cast: Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis, Kathy Grant, Rashiem Shepherd, Danielle Shepherd and David Tulloch 
Venue: Phoenix Theatre, New Kingston

THE holiday season always brings a bounty of wonderful, must-see new theatre productions, and this time around Jamaica Sweetest was ahead of the pack, first out the gate. In a nutshell, it’s a superfunny, cleverly written musical revenue that reminds us that even in paradise, sometimes you have to ‘teck kin teet’ kibba heart bun.’

It also serves as a reintroduction to the megawatt artistic talents of David Tulloch, who wrote, directed and composed the whole thing. What’s more, Jamaica Sweetest represents the third entry in the series (after Jamaica Sweet and Jamaica Sweeter), bringing it to a triumphant close.

Packed with over 15 sketches, backed by an insistent original soundtrack, Jamaica Sweetest essentially explores what makes Jamaica and its populace so unique among global cultures, resulting in a full-of-life examination of themes and ideas spanning the gamut from relationships and lifestyles to family dynamics and even deathbed confessions. The superb cast is led by veteran comic Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis and all-rounder Rashiem Shepherd.

In one of the funniest pieces – a spin on Adam and Eve’s banishment from the Garden of Eden – Tulloch and Kathy Grant play the first man and woman, who bicker incessantly, curious about the many rules that have been handed down by their Creator. Ellis, in what resembles a reptilian cape, soon appears as the snake coercing Eve into taking a bite of the forbidden fruit, eventually leading to their expulsion. It’s quite an eye-opening sketch.

Meantime, Rashiem Shepherd and Danielle Shepherd play a couple of sightseers at Lover’s Leap. One of them will not make it back home. They also appear in a sketch about a Rastaman giving a restaurant waitress a hard time. Turns out he’s just ashamed to order what he really wants. In one of her best moments, Deanne Logan Johnson plays a precocious little girl whose visit to the clinic with her mom culminates in her discovery of what’s inside a woman’s pregnant belly.

There are tourists getting a taste of Jamrock via river rafting, parents pranking young lovers and a tragicomic hospital-room scene that’s as heartfelt as it is hilarious. Tyrone’s Verdict: B+