Wednesday, 23 November 2022 12:16

Initial casting announced for Harder They Come - Musical

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The Public Theater has announced casting for the world premiere of The Harder They Come, a musical adaptation of the classic Jamaican film produced and directed by Perry Henzell and co-written with Trevor Rhone.

Fifty years after the film premiered in New York City, the musical premieres in The Public’s Newman Theater with a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks, songs by legendary musician Jimmy Cliff, music supervision by Kenny Seymour, choreography by Edgar Godineaux, co-direction by Tony Award winner Sergio Trujillo, and direction by Tony Award nominee Tony Taccone.

The breakthrough film tells the story of Ivan, a young singer who arrives in Kingston, Jamaica, eager to become a star. After falling in love and cutting a record deal with a powerful music mogul, Ivan soon learns that the game is rigged, and, as he becomes increasingly defiant, he finds himself in a battle that threatens not only his life, but the very fabric of Jamaican society. Featuring Grammy Award winner Jimmy Cliff’s hits, You Can Get It If You Really Want and Pressure Drop, former artistic director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre Tony Taccone directs this new musical.

“The original film of The Harder They Come is gorgeous. It’s a story that needs to be told, heard, and seen,” said book writer Suzan-Lori Parks. “I’m thrilled to help share Ivan’s story and the amazing music of Jimmy Cliff with new audiences.”

The cast of will includes Jeannette Bayardelle (Daisy); Shawn Bowers (Ensemble); Andrew Clarke (Lyle); Jamal Christopher Douglas (Ensemble); Dana Marie Ingraham (Ensemble); Dominique Johnson (Jose); Chelsea-Ann Jones (Ensemble); Dudney Joseph Jr (Ray); Dwight Xaveir Leslie (Understudy);Morgan McGhee (Ensemble); Meecah (Elsa); Jacob Ming-Trent (Pedro); Alysha Morgan (Ensemble); Ken Robinson (Hilton); and Housso Semon (Ensemble). Complete casting will be announced at a later time.

“The movie is set in 1972 and quickly became part of the fabric of protest movements the world over. The story of Ivan’s defiance against the dictates of a corrupt society became a rallying cry for all of Jamaica, a country trying to both celebrate its recent independence from Britain and survive on its own terms,” said director Tony Taccone and co-director Sergio Trujillo. “Our new musical adaptation keeps the setting in 1972, trying to vivify the contradictions of that time and processing them through our own experience and struggles with inequity and power.”

The Harder They Come will feature scenic design by Clint Ramos, costume design by Emilio Sosa, sound design by Walter Trarbach, projection design by Hana S. Kim, prop management by Claire M. Kavanah, and music direction by John Bronston.

Performances begin in The Public’s Newman Theater with a Joseph Papp Free Performance on Thursday, February 16, 2023 and will run through Sunday, March 26, with an official press opening on Wednesday, March 15.

VETERAN saxophonist Dean Fraser and studio engineer Stephen Stewart were the recipients of honorary bachelor degrees at a graduation ceremony held at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in St Andrew on Saturday.

DERRICK "Duckie" Simpson, founder of Grammy-winning group Black Uhuru, is the recipient of the Marcus Garvey Lifetime Achievement Award from the Caribbean American Heritage Awards (CARAH). The ceremony took place in Washington, DC, last Friday at the JW Marriott.

Dancehall artiste JayBlem believes he will ultimately be exonerated when he heads back to a US court on December 5 to answer to charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly), and possession of paraphernalia.

The 19-year-old was among six men arrested by Bay County Sheriff’s deputies and US Marshals Task Force last week in Panama City, Florida.

The emerging entertainer, whose real name is Jaheim Cox, believes that bad luck played a major role in his arrest.

"It was just a case of wrong place, wrong time, mi never do nothing wrong, the truth ah go come out in the end. God a God,” he said.

On Sunday, JayBlem released a single titled ‘God A Lead’, which has racked up almost 40,000 views so far since its release. The song, recorded a few hours after he was granted bail on drug charges, addresses his feelings of betrayal as social media users spread rumours about the nature of his arrest and even appeared to celebrate his downfall.

"When me deh inna lockup it kinda shake me up to know say your own people will throw you under the bus, and them not really with you when things look bleaky. This just a teach me fi keep mi circle small and keep people weh loyal round me," he said.

He is the son of veteran artiste Danny English.

“Right now, mi ah gwaan listen to mi father, him a show mi fi watch certain pree and me more careful ah road, so God a lead out right now,” he said.

JayBlem, a former star athlete for Kingston College, emerged on the music scene in 2018, but had his major breakthrough last year with his single, ‘Account’. He has continued to churn out hits like ‘Twerk Fi Mi Dolly’, ‘Martian’ and ‘Rocket’.

Reports are that the US Marshal Service tracked down wanted man Anelka Green from New York to a residence in Panama City, Florida. When the search was finished, six men inside Green’s condominium, including Cox, were arrested after officials allegedly found several hundred grams of marijuana, MDMA pills, and more than US$23,000 in cash.

The other men arrested were Shamar Wedderburn, 22, Renato Campbell, 22, Shamarie Livingston, 22, and Kevar Taylor, 19.

Saturday, 19 November 2022 16:08

Shensea's new ride is a super-fly "Lambo"

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After all the personal vehicle shopping for close friends and relatives, Shenseea’s copped for herself a new whip, and perhaps, the third time's the charm?

Friday, 18 November 2022 15:31

Burna Boy to perform in Jamaica December 18

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – Nigerian superstar Burna Boy is set to perform in Jamaica at the National Stadium in Kingston on December 18.

WESTMORELAND, Jamaica – Reggae singer Sevana was fined $300,000 on Thursday in the Westmoreland Parish Court after pleading guilty to a death by dangerous driving charge in an accident that claimed the life of a 32-year-old woman, in May of last year.

Thursday, 17 November 2022 13:13

Blvk H3ro looking to make most of Grammy nomination

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Reggae artiste Blvk H3ro is looking forward to making the most of the Grammy red carpet when he arrives at the Arena in Los Angeles – with his Jamaica flag – on February 5 next year. It is actually something he sang about in one of his songs, and the rising star is happy that his words are being manifested.

Thursday, 17 November 2022 13:09

Roberta Flack unable to sing due to ALS

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A representative for Roberta Flack announced on Monday that the Grammy-winning musician has ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and can no longer sing.

Beyoncé has propelled herself into the highest Grammy echelon: The star singer claimed a leading nine nominations Tuesday, making her tied — with her husband Jay-Z – as the most nominated music act in the history of the awards show.

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