Copyright © 2001 Terry Joseph
Spektakula outshines the lot
January 14, 2002
IN a weekend that hosted some disappointment as calypso tents opened in Port of Spain, Calypso Spektakula easily outshone the lot, delivering a product that met all specifications.
Friday night's premiere of Kaiso House at the Deluxe Cinema attracted no more than 250 patrons for all the kings and queens on the playbill and the "shocker" Yangatang promised at City Hall mustered no better than half that number.
Down at the SWWTU Hall, the Calypso Revue nearly filled the house and presented the usual suspects onstage, bashing the United National Congress (UNC), showcasing the energy of reigning monarch Denyse Plummer and launching De Vino with a masterpiece of a song on calypso chronology.
But on Saturday night at the Jean Pierre Complex, Calypso Spektakula opened their 2002 season with fireworks of all varieties, a stage festooned with balloons and rows of potted palms extending from either side.
Marilyn Williams rendered the anthem punctually and was followed by another vocalist, Fr Kennedy Swarathsingh, who began his prayer singing lines from David Rudder' s "Calypso Music" and ended with a verse and chorus from Rupee's "Celebration," before declaring the season open.
Sharon Pitt introduced Andre Corbie to read a tribute to Chalkdust, the tent's longest running and most celebrated act, who was presented with a plaque by 11-year-old Young Marcelle and a bottle of champagne by promoter Frank Martineau for his 21 consecutive years with Calypso Spektakula.
Tommy Joseph and Donna Hadad then took over the hosting, the former introducing D Bodyguard who, last November topped the police calypso competition. His song "Mash it Up" hinged on a number of small-time puns on the political situation. Up next, Black Prince took a swipe at Gopaul Madan's statue of The Mighty Sparrow.
Before presenting Bally, Hadad felt the need to introduce some off-colour language that upset more than a few patrons. Bally's "Jail Dem" is an unforgiving response to politicians who misbehave in office.
The night's first encore came to Soca Elvis, replete in Presley outfit, doing "Chutney Dreams", infusing lines from "Love Me Tender" and "Only You" and doing a hilarious imitation of Bunji Garlin for his encore verse and chorus.
Young Marcelle, a hefty 11-year old boy caught the crowd with "Kiddies Carnival", a song likely to dominate the junior categories of the festival. His presentation included a group of equally young dancing girls, rounding out one of the night's best-received acts.
The tent's moment of truth came shortly after 10 pm when Gypsy took the stage to do "Western Rodeo". Despite earlier fears of a hostile reception (triggered by his political affiliation), Gypsy was greeted with a mixture of cheers and jeers, the latter sentiment dissipating as he proceeded with his song.
Ironically, in "Western Rodeo" he takes broad swipes at the authorities, presumably the Government of which he was so recently a part, for failing to stem escalating crime and growing incidence of racism. In the sum, it is an indictment against the very grouping with whom he associated.
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