Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Corporate Calypso Monarch to be crowned
Excellent calypso is expected to be the main ingredient on May 24, when The Vintage Kaiso Brigade (VKB) hosts the fourth edition of the Corporate Calypso Monarch competition, at 6 pm, at the Central Bank Auditorium, Eric Williams Plaza, Port-of-Spain. Led by veteran calypsonian Bro Superior (Andrew Marcano), this competition has grown by leaps and bounds, featuring bards who eventually entered the mainstream calypso arena to go on to much success in the art form.
Former extempore monarch Lingo is one of the calypsonians already registered to compete. He will represent The Blind Welfare Association, along with sight-impaired calypsonian Prakash Jaglalsingh.
Other contestants signed up and their organisations are Claire Williams (Ministry of National Security); Alisha Williams (Ministry of Judiciary); Glenroy Williams (WASA); and, E Yorke (Rhand Credit Union).
The main organisers of the Corporate Calypso Monarch are Bro Superior, a bard who has not only carved a name for himself in the calypso world, but also in the communication field; Mervyn Telfer who has more than 50 years experience in broadcasting which includes, seven years at Radio Trinidad, six years at TTT where he had the distinction of being the first local person on television; and, Ronnie Joseph who has 30 years of events planning and has managed calypso tents and shows.
Superior battled for many years to secure a radio licence and was eventually successful.
Those efforts led to the opening up of the electronic media and the many broadcast stations operating in T&T. He is a director/shareholder of radio station 94.1 FM.
Superior has also assisted several artistes in establishing themselves and the Corporate Calypso Monarch competition is another initiative which will continue to provide such assistance.
Superior’s career included stints in Africa, Europe, Brazil, US Virgin Island and the United States where he performed several times on television.
These appearances brought him to the attention of key members of US President Barack Obama’s administration, as a result, he was invited by Obama’s administration to attend the inauguration and the Commander-in-Chief Ball which took place on January 21, 2013.
Telfer produced several memorable programmes including The Lime, which stimulated national interest in parang music.
He was also the producer of the International Soca Monarch competition in its seminal years, establishing it as a fixture on the Carnival calendar.
Joseph has also managed the International Soca Monarch competition and Under the Trees productions at The Normandie, St Ann’s for five years.
This year, competitors will come from a wide variety of organisations including new comers from the Judiciary of T&T and The Blind Welfare Association.
Tickets will be available at Crosby’s, Cleve’s and other outlets to be announced.
Mistah Shak and more calypso treats coming
On the topic of good calypso 2014 National Calypso Monarch finalist Mistah Shak will be the featured artiste on May 12 when Care holds an evening of entertainment at the Royal Airforce Club, Queen’s Park East, Port-of-Spain at 8 pm. An array of guest artistes are also on the cast including southern rapso queen Shakeela.
In other upcoming calypso action Rudy Ottley, bossman of Divas Calypso Cabaret International, will showcase an all-female cast at De Nu Pub, Woodbrook, on May 14, at 8.30 pm.
Billed as Calypso on D Avenue, this event is described as a Divas Mother’s Day Show highlighting the calypsoes of Calypso Rose, Singing Francine, Singing Sandra, Lady B, Denyse Plummer, Twiggy and other iconic calypso queens.
Billed for the show are former calypso queen Karen Eccles, Stacy Sobers, Dilena Diamond, Crystal Charles, Kerice Pascal, Sharon Alexis, Tenaj Smith, Vornique Benjamin, Sancha Scipio and Jillian Smith.
Nikki’s midlife crisis
Twenty-odd years ago, at my usual Friday evening after-work lime at the now defunct Upper Level Club in West Mall I was thoroughly entertained by the most unlikely of people. Unlikely because back then she was working as a “serious” fast-rising accountant in a pest control company.
At the club’s amateur comedy contest Nicole Nathaniel turned the venue on its head with her refreshing repertoire of comedy. She won the final by a mile ahead of her rivals. Shortly after, Nathaniel got a chance to make her professional debut on the big stage, as a guest artiste at the Comedy Festival at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port-of-Spain. Backstage I pulled the newbie comedienne aside and advised her to change her stage name to Nikki Crosby. The rest is history as 20 years since that night, she is one of the most popular comediennes in the region.
To mark 20 years of consistent professionalism and achievement on the stage, Crosby, the winner of numerous Cacique Awards for her acting prowess, will celebrate her milestone with a one-woman show, tentatively scheduled for next month. Right now plans are being made for the event which might be billed as Midlife Crosby. Like she did in the much acclaimed Hotmout’ Granny production, Crosby is expected to invite a few of her thespian friends to share the stage with her.
Chefs compete at Caribbean cuisine fund-raiser
The Lions Club of Port-of-Spain Central’s annual fund-raising Gourmet Evening will be held at Lions Cultural Centre, Fitzblackman Drive, Woodbrook, on Saturday, May 24 from 6.30 pm.
Caribbean Gourmet Flavours will showcase cuisine with that unique Caribbean flavour by a variety of amateur and professional chefs. Patrons will be exposed to an array of fare prepared by locally represented embassies/high commissions, restaurants, amateur chefs, Lions club members and alumni from district schools, including Queen’s Royal College, Belmont Secondary School, Fatima College, St Mary’s College, St Francois Girls’ and Catholic Religious Education Development Institute (CREDI).
Chefs will compete for prizes in friendly rivalry where the criteria are taste, humorous dish names, unique presentation and more.
All-inclusive tickets are $300 and entertainment will include WasaFoli dancers and drummers; the T&T Chinese Steel Ensemble; and a St James tassa group, as well as performed excerpts from the Phantom of the Opera. Door prizes and hampers will also be raffled at the event.
A desserts category has been introduced this year and the judges’ panel will include Irma Hannays and members of the media.
In keeping with Lions Club International charter, proceeds from all events are channelled back into the communities. Based on the financial success of this event, participating schools will benefit from a contribution by the Lions Club of Port-of-Spain Central.
• For more info contact Gourmet Evening Committee chairperson Wendy Imamshah (678-6363).