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Pulse looks forward to 2014
Plans are apace in the Caribbean Prestige Foundation for Performing Arts (CPF) for the 2014 Play Whe International Power Soca Monarch Competition and Digicel International Groovy Soca Monarch Competition. Launched just a fortnight ago at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain, CPF has already received confirmation for three “celebrity guests.” They are Hollywood actor Anthony Anderson, star of police drama The Shield and host of the recent 2013 Soul Train Awards; Tahiry Jose, from Love & Hip Hop New York; and Austrian hearthrob actor Boris Kodjoe, star of Resident Evil: Afterlife and Resident Evil: Retribution. Kodjoe will be accompanied by his actress wife Nicole Ari Parker, famous for her roles as Becky Barnett in the 1997 film Boogie Nights and as the attorney Teri Joseph on the Showtime series Soul Food. More celebs are expected to confirm their attendance after Christmas.
Also launched by CPF were the Flavorite Supreme Ice Cream Schools Soca Monarch Competition and NLCB Tribute to the Classics. The high point of Soca Monarch, Fantastic Friday, has previously been graced by a constellation of outstanding Hollywood stars, including Idris Elba, Danny Glover, Vivica Fox, Nia Long, Blair Underwood, Damian Wayans, Regina Hall, Lance Gross, Terrence J, Tatyana Ali, Darrin Henson and Michael Ealy. Also enhancing the show has been our very own Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwilliam who is now a member of the CPF executive. This year, the CPF has embarked on a number of innovative initiatives for Carnival. The organisation hosted its International Soca Monarch Retreat, themed Defining Our Rhythm, on December 7-8 at Salybia Nature Resort & Spa. The retreat was facilitated by Dr Suzanne Burke.
On December 18, CPF also held at Artiste Forum at the Hyatt Regency in Port-of-Spain. Registration of participating artistes in the elimination stage of the competition is scheduled to commence after the Forum is held. A judges seminar is also planned for the first week in January, with preliminary preparations being announced immediately after. This 22nd year of Soca Monarch competition is anticipated to be the most ambitious and largest ever staged. Organisers have said that the finals will held on the largest stage ever mounted locally as well as have state of the art lighting and sound. This is the final edition of Pulse for 2013. Thanks to all you readers who have faithfully followed this column for the past 20 years. Many of you must be thinking of what to do on Old Year’s Night and how you will be ringing in the New Year?
There will be the usual traditional New Year’s Eve parties at the major hotels, as well as church services will be held on Tuesday evening nationwide. Also on many people’s minds will be Carnival 2014. Having all held auditions, calypso tents are chomping at the bit for their openings. January 31 is the date TUCO will premiere its Klassic Ruso Calypso Tent at Port-of-Spain City Hall Auditorium. The tent will run for four weeks, until February 28. The tent’s emcee will be Shirlaine Hendrickson. The cast of Klassic Ruso Calypso Tent includes All Rounder, singing his latest, Dr All; Crazy, singing Hotel Sexorama; Contender, Versatile, Manchild, Bro Ebony, Lady Wonder, Hamidullah, Black Prince, Dr Will B, Typher, Dr Rhythm, Revealer, Mechanic, QP, Kaiso Mac, Gary Hercules, Stanley Adams, D’Sideways, Helon Francis, Marva Mc Kenzie, Shylocks, Stockings, Benny J, Rasheed Latiff, Makeeda Darius, Nefta Kojo, Disel, Smurf D’ Jockey and Hendrickson.
Kalypso Revue is also having its traditional Arima opening, in the Velodrome, on January 31, with its gala opening at home base in Port-of-Spain, on Saturday, February 1, at SWWTU Hall on Wrightson Road. Chalkdust, Sugar Aloes and Skatie are three of the headliners in this tent. Kaiso House goes south for its 2014 season, opening on February 2 at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA South). This is TUCO’s flagship tent so its no surprise that its cast is filled with national monarchs including Singing Sandra, Karene Asche and Duane O’Connor, plus Independence monarch Chucky (Roderick Gordon), Bro Resistance, Bro Valentino, Explainer, Bro Mudada and Twiggy, and many others. Staying in the south, Kaiso Showkase ushers in its season on Friday, February 7 at Palms Club, San Fernando. Top draw acts on the cast are Ras Kommanda, Protector and New York’s Count Robin.
The only all-female calypso tent in the world, Divas Calypso Cabaret, will have its premiere on January 29 at De Nu Pub (The Mas Camp), Woodbrook, at 8 pm. Some of the stars on this tent’s cast are Karen Eccles, Stacey Sobers, Angela Ramoutar, Crystal Charles and Shrada McIntyre. For 2014, the Divas will have a special segment on its programme billed as Tribute to the Women in Calypso, with its singers rendering songs by female calypsonians like Lady Trinidad, Calypso Rose, Singing Francine, Singing Diane and The United Sisters. To all Pulse loyalists, I wish you a blessed, healthy and prosperous New Year and a Happy Carnival 2014.
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