Nesta's Rock musical on track following auditions
Shereita Grizzle, Gleaner Writer
Following auditions held in early September, it's all systems go for the highly anticipated Nesta's Rock musical production, set to open on January 9.
According to Danielle Stiebel, executive and artistic producer for the musical, the rehearsals went well and the turnout was overwhelming. "Over 100 young people turned up at the auditions, all of whom displayed immense talent, making the final decision that more difficult," she said. "Nevertheless, by the end of the three days, we had chosen over 50 people to be in the cast for the musical, including the leads, and are confident that the level of talent in the production will make it one to remember."
With the auditions now behind them, the production crew is now set on getting things ready for the show's January opening. "We are now working on getting everything together, including staging, lighting, costumes, etc. We are just amping up productions while soliciting sponsorship from corporate Jamaica," Stiebel said. The latter she explained, has been slow in coming. "Sponsorship has been difficult, especially in the local sphere, and we need enough funds to properly execute the show, so we are currently revamping our marketing strategy and are reaching out to corporate Jamaica."
Stiebel went on to say that though funding from corporate Jamaica had been slow in coming, she believed that it would improve as the weeks progressed. "We know that it is just an awkward time with budgeting across the board right now, but it should pick up, and sponsors will slowly come on board leading up to the opening."
The show will run at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts at the University of the West Indies, Mona, from January 9 to February 22, with a special showing on February 6 marking the 70th birthday of reggae legend, Bob Marley. Not keen on giving away too many details just yet, Stiebel hinted that the February 6 showing would be unique. "We are planning something huge for that day. Though we are still in the process of working out all the details, everything will be bigger and better," she said.
Nesta's Rock is an original musical production inspired by the childhood of reggae icon Robert Nesta Marley. The story follows a young boy named Ness growing up in Kingston with many big hopes and dreams. His friends ridicule his dreams, but Ness soon finds himself on a musical journey that leads to self-discovery and will use his new-found inner strength to help others overcome difficulties.
The production will also see the remake of some of Marley's most popular tracks, including Trench Town Rock, Redemption Song, and Could You Be Loved.
The musical will come to life as a partnership between the Bob Marley Group of Companies and the Jamaica Musical Theatre Company.