Powerful performances at annual charity show
It was a late start for the second of two shows staged on Sunday for the 15th annual vaudeville, Powerful Women and Men Perform for Charity. However, the large turnout would soon forget, as wonderfully delivered songs, creative energetic dances, thought provoking poems and comedy, colourful drama, and the struts of fashion models, all performed by professionals, most of whom make their living otherwise.
The theme for the show, produced in association with the Mustard Seed Communities, and beneficiary of the proceeds, was 'United We care ... Together We Share'.
The concert began with the singing of the National Anthem. Soon after, the entertainment commenced with a high-energy dance, titled, 'This is Africa', performed by the International Youth Fellowship Group. The African presence was to remain in Georgia Henry's song selection, Pata Pata, and her attire, a fabulous ethnic dress. She not only looked the part, but sounded it too. Alas, the homage to the motherland ended with MC Nadean Rawlins, who made her entrance in a Shades of Africa-designed dress. Her dress was supported by an entertaining ice-breaking opening monologue.
Rawlins also joined, with Joy Clark, to deliver a creative interpretation of Maya Angelou's Phenomenal Woman. And whereas it seemed as if it was the end of the African theme, poetry's existence was extended with a recitation from Kevin Wallen, whose act was sandwiched between two musical items - Charmaine Limonius' impersonation of Dolly Parton, including her blonde hair and Doraine Samuels singing the blues song, Second Hand Rose.
The musical performances dominated the programme. Some came in the form of tributes. Sil Bell and Michael Powell paid tribute to Percy Sledge, and Orville 'Bagga' Case and Linroy Edwards highlighted John Holt's musical mastery with songs such as, My Name is Doctor Love. But the winning tribute came from Ashley Martin who dedicated her act to former Prime Minister P. J. Patterson.
Wearing a black shimmering gown, the former lead singer for Byron Lee and the Dragonaires gave a powerful performance of the song Simply the Best. On her conclusion, the former P.M., who was in attendance, showed his appreciation with a standing ovation. Patterson shared his thoughts on the show with The Gleaner.
"It's a wonderful show, a combination of talent, most of which is voluntary by nature, but excellent in quality. And it's very good that so many artistes have come together to make this show so successful and to contribute to a very worthy cause. It was very enjoyable," he said.
It was also a fine performance from Roy Andeson and Robbie Robinson with their '60's medley; The Fantastic Four and the Calypso Diva's. But it was Rosemarie Lee who had the house applauding the loudest with her rendition of, And I'm Telling You, from the movie, Dream Girls.
Her act was made more exciting as she was singing to a partner, role played by state minister in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, Damion Crawford. The minister however, must remember to always share with his audience, as he did in the fashion show when he not only wore the suit well, but showed off the green tie with matching handkerchief that Patterson described as "a good touch" (To the show).
Comedic acts from Vernon Derby, Cordel Green and Michael Abrahams, were just as effective, as all three were able to generate much laughter with their well-written-and-delivered satires. Derby used the news cast as the background for his jokes. Green took to the pulpit at Bling Church, and Abrahams delivered in songs and speech. The subjects of their humour varied - from politicians, health and social issues, as well as the musical artistes and relationships.
Also included on the programme, was the dramatic piece, Welcome to Jamaica, (written and directed by Aston Cooke), a rather innovative fashion show, as well as a dance from Carol Francis and Friends.
Sometime later, when the curtains of the Karl Hendrickson Auditorium came down, the laughter, sing-a-long moments, and the applause, told the tale of another successful and enjoyable performance from the cast of Powerful Women and Men Perform for Charity.