With COVID-19 restrictions seeing the cancellation of Carnival this yr, stakeholders have been challenged to maintain the spirit alive in numerous methods.
Whereas Soca artistes and social gathering manufacturers did made-for-television or blended occasions—a mixture of dwell and live-streamed—others appeared to our Carnival roots to develop new merchandise.
Jules Sobion, by means of his firm Julius Czar, staged a two-night theatrical manufacturing on the Nationwide Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) known as MAS, Magic and Spirit.
The play was staged on what would have been Carnival Monday and Tuesday nights, aptly offering a mas idea on the times the streets have been devoid of any.
Ratto portrayed by actor Levee Rodriguez
With a script written by Muhammed Muwakil of Freetown Collective and produced by Jayron Remy, the play tells the story of a stickfighter known as Ratto, portrayed by Levee Rodriguez, who’s rendered unconscious as a consequence of a busshead within the Gayelle.
He wakes up in a magic world the place he meets Moko (Kevin Humphrey), a spirit information who tells him he’s between someplace he was and someplace he desires to be. Moko is clearly derived from the Moko Jumbie character whose origins lie in West Africa. The very title Moko is claimed to be that of an Orisha God of Destiny and Retribution.
Moko tells Ratto he has a quota of souls he wants to assist discover one thing they forgot. In Ratto’s case, he has to seek out 4 elements of himself in an effort to return to his Carnival consciousness.
MAS included conventional characters such because the Dame Lorraine
The story is a mash-up of A Christmas Carol (Scrooge) and Wizard of Oz. Like Scrooge, Ratto is guided by 4 spirits —Kaiso (Kearn Samuel), Robber (Derron Sandy), King Pierrot (Arnold Goindhan) and Jamette/La Diablesse (Rhesa Samuel)— to find himself.
Just like the Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz, every journey imbues him together with his lacking elements or qualities he wants—music, braveness, phrases, and feminine vitality, respectively.
In every realm, conventional Carnival characters – Whip Jab Jabs, Stick fighters and Dame Lorraines– minions of the spirits, come alive so as to add to the temper. The Whip Jab Jabs with their cracking whips are actually ominous when Ratto encounters the Robber, a personality based mostly on the Midnight Robber who declares: “If Kaiso is the breath in yuh lungs I’m the hearth in yuh stomach.”
Every journey is punctuated with dance and music associated to Ratto’s quest.
The primary interlude options traditional calypso renditions from musician Marva Newton and David Bereaux, a singer recognized for his covers of calypsos. The second options calypsonian Mistah Shak singing his “Kaiso Insurgent”.
Marva Newton and David Bereaux introduced traditional calypsoes alive
The third interlude sees soca artistes Mical Teja and Erphaan Alves together with Jimmy October performing their latest songs, whereas the ultimate interlude sees Destra Garcia, the Queen of Bacchanal, in a mini-concert exhibiting off her spectacular vocals supposedly for instance of feminine vitality within the pageant.
The side of the manufacturing which stands out essentially the most is the usage of the big screens upon which the spirits are superimposed to work together with Ratto on stage. It actually enhances the supernatural relationship with this mere mortal.
MAS is at instances comedic and entertaining general.
The script, nonetheless, depends on the viewers figuring out the characters that inhabit the stage and the display screen to grasp the story and all through, Ratto has to clarify who they’re and what he learns from them for it to all come collectively.
Whereas Rodriguez has good comedic timing, I by no means felt the opposite vary of feelings he has had in his journey of discovery and maybe if he had extra time to arrange and dwell within the position we’d see that.
Ratto’s final lesson, studying and understanding the pivotal position of girls in Carnival, is a shocking inclusion however clearly, a nod to the prominence ladies’s points have been given through the season within the face of the latest abductions and murders of Ashanti Riley and Andrea Bharatt.
Mas packages the normal features of our Carnival in a enjoyable and relatable story that would enchantment to younger and previous alike. Though the time to tug the manufacturing collectively was quick, I might suggest the manufacturing of a Playbill going ahead to assist these unfamiliar with the characters to grasp the historical past and backstory of every.
— to www.looptt.com