Say it ain’t so! Centrestage Theatre is closing down its New Kingston playhouse, located at Cinema 2 on Dominica Drive. TALLAWAH got the scoop on Saturday afternoon as workmen carried out major removal work at the premises. When TALLAWAH arrived at the scene, seats, props and stage woodwork were being removed. According to an inside source, Jambiz International, operators of the Centrestage Theatre, have been given notice by the owners to vacate the property. Said source also revealed that the multi-award-winning team (including Admin Director Lenford Salmon, co-directors Trevor Nairne and Patrick Brown and veteran leading man Glen Campbell) will be on the hunt for a new home in the Corporate Area to mount their annual productions.
>> Stephen Marley, Pharell and John Legend score collabos on Buju’s new album
Scoring a guest spot on one of the most hotly anticipated reggae albums in modern history – Buju Banton’s comeback record, Upside Down – is certainly a hot ticket. As expected, the Gargamel meticulously selected his creative collaborators for the project, opting to work with fellow Grammy winners Stephen Marley, Pharell Williams and John Legend and hot British newcomer Stefflon Don. Due out on June 26, it’s Banton’s first album in a decade and the follow-up to Before the Dawn, which copped the Grammy for Best Reggae Album. Dave Kelly, Donovan Germaine and Banton himself are among the producers featured on the disc, which will also mark his first major project since being signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label.
>> Big names bring major star power to J’ca Festival Song finals
“When that [winning] song is selected, we want to hear that song on the lips of every Jamaican,” says culture minister, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, making refrence to the finalists vying for top honours in the 2020 Jamaica Festival Song Competition. The competition got a mjpr dose of (super)star power this year. Among the top 10 contenders are Buju Banton (“I Am a Jamaican”), Toots & the Maytals (“Rise Up Jamaica”), Freddie McGregor (“Turn up the Sound”), LUST (“Wave the Flag”) and Sakina Deer (“We Are Jamaica”). Rounding out the list are Shuga (“One People”), Papa Michigan (“Jamaica Dance”), Radix OD (“Place to Be”), Xtra Bigg (“Jamaica Ah Paradise”) and Oneil ‘Nazzle Man’ Scott (“Jamaica Nice”). The grand finale is slated to take place in mid-July. The overall prize package amounts to a $3 million purse.