Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Six soca stars to headline first sit-in Carnival show
A glitzy and high-tech Carnival production, Las Vegas-style, is the newest event to hit T&T. Six of the Caribbean’s top soca artistes will perform every night in what is expected to be a dynamically coordinated and produced show. Each artiste will feature a scintillating performance of the best of their music when they take the stage at Live at The Hyatt—Rhythm Nation, a premier event that will take place at the Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, for 20 days—from February 12 to March 9.
The organisers of the show, Event Managers Ltd (EML), said Live at the Hyatt event was a two-hour, non-stop extravaganza from 8 pm each evening, catering for the capacity audience of 500 guests. The show will feature Bunji Garlin, Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez, David Rudder, Kees Dieffenthaller, Destra Garcia and Rupee. Machel Montano is the only one missing due to other commitments.
There will also be a pre-show featuring Nigel Rojas. This will be further energised by local live dancers from Xtreme Dance Academy. The Hyatt ballroom will be transformed into a custom-built theatre, and the audience will be treated to a blend of the rhythm, sound, dance and colours that is the unique pulse of T&T.
For the first time in T&T, this show will take on a Las Vegas high-quality pyrotechnic show with precision performances every night in every aspect of production—from spectacular lighting, incomparable sound systems, costumes and acts.
Preparing artistes for the international market
EML director John Afoon said the organisers were not going to spare anything in the production of the show. He, however, did not divulge the cost to produce the show. He said the artistes will be doing, in essence, a mini-concert every night as well as getting ready for the international market. Afoon said the show was a launching pad for the artistes ready to go “supernova,” getting their work recognised in international market and their songs in movies and television shows.
He said the show will enable artistes to sell themselves, with a professionally produced item that they can use for their electronic press kits and a DVD from the event. Afoon said, “This is going to be like a new wave of shows opening up for the Carnival, and this is just the start. Other people are going to come and produce shows like that. It’s all good for the country; someone caters to different audiences, fetes, shows, social commentary, rapso, different art forms. We’re developing the show part.”
When asked if the artistes will be giving encores at the shows, he replied that they wouldn’t as the shows will run two hours and 15 minutes tops. Afoon said it was not a fete or Carnival tent, but a sit-in show patterned after the highly polished Las Vegas shows. He said at the Live at The Hyatt show “the artiste will have to perform at his or her best for the audience.” A mix of old and young at Hyatt
Afoon said the show catered to a different market, made up of a mix of old and young and not necessarily the party crowd. He said many people don’t go to fetes: “The fete market might be 50,000 to 60,000 people out of a population of 1.2 million, there may be 60,000 people who may want to go to a show,” and that’s the market they are catering for.
He further emphasised that the Hyatt was the ideal place to hold such an event; “it offered comfort, safety, secure parking and the ambience was second to none.” He said EML had waited three years to secure the venue to do the show and it was not in vain.
On each night for the first week, patrons attending will draw for a door prize of two complimentary rooms at the Hyatt for one night. Tickets are on sale the box office located in the conference level foyer, first floor of the Hyatt, from 10 am to 9 pm, Monday to Saturday, and Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm. Also for the first week of the show, February 12 to February 20, tickets will be sold at $500. From February 21, all tickets will be $700.