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Published:Friday | April 22, 2016 | 4:00 AM
Actress Karen Harriott (left) with director Eugene Williams at rehearsals for Woman Tongue.
Eugene Williams
Eljai
Chevaughn
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Eugene Williams returns to commercial theatre

Eugene Williams is one of the Caribbean's most celebrated and accomplished directors. Having recently retired from his 17-year stint as director of the School of Drama, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, he has turned his attention to directing Woman Tongue, his first piece of commercial theatre in several years.

The anthology play, written by Tanya Batson-Savage, is being produced by Scarlette Beharie Productions and is on at the Courtleigh Auditorium, New Kingston, Thursday, April 28 - Sunday, May 1.

Williams provides one of the few servings of testosterone that populates this very woman-centric play. It's all powerhouse all-female cast comprises Barbara McCalla, Carol Lawes, Karen Harriott, Hilary Nicholson and Bertina Macaulay.

He explains that he has to approach the production with both a clear vision and keen sensitivity that will allow him to create realistic and authentic portrayals of women at some of the most sensitive points of their lives. Williams remarks, however, that his years of experience as a director have helped to prepare him for this current challenge.

"Many of my projects as a director have required me to engage with issues that are of particular concern of women at various stages and regarding several aspects of their lives," Williams said.

"I agreed to direct Woman Tongue because, first all I have not directed a production in the professional arena for a while and more particularly because I was taken by the sincerity and sensitivity of the language of the play," Williams explained. He also admits to keenly admiring the playwright's insights into elements of character.

Woman Tongue explores how women navigate the complexity and simplicity of life as they grow older. It addresses with humour and pathos questions of love, sex, sexuality, evolving family dynamics, changing mores and values, life and death. (EUGENE...., TONGUE....)

 

Eljai releases Everything I Do

 

Eljai, who is from Belize, has released the single Everything I Do from his upcoming album, The Other Side Of Eljai. The worldwide digital release is through his Jah Mix Entertainment label and distributed by Tuff Gong International.

"I am overjoyed to be releasing this new single and album for my fans and to be working with a company with a historic legacy such as Tuff Gong," Eljai said.

Eljai has been consistently releasing singles and EPs. The Other Side of Eljai is his first full album since I Know in 2010. He has a number of international shows and media appearances lined up for 2016 in support of the new album.

Production assistance on the album comes from some of reggae's top musicians, including Dean 'Cannon' Fraser, Carroll 'Bowie' McLaughlin, Stingray Records UK and Carl McGregor. (ELJAI...)

 

National Gallery to open Digital exhibition

 

The National Gallery of Jamaica's Last Sundays programme for April 24 will feature the opening of the Digital exhibition and a musical performance by Chevaughn.

Digital, as the title suggests, is an exhibition of digital art, including video, animation, short films, GIFs, digital illustrations, photography and social and interactive media. It was curated by Veerle Poupeye, O'Neil Lawrence and Monique Barnett-Davidson.

The exhibition is based on a call for submissions which was, for the first time in the gallery's history, extended to the wider Caribbean and its Diaspora. Of the 73 submissions received, 39 were selected for the exhibition, which features artists who are based in or from Jamaica, Barbados, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Suriname, Bermuda, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St Martin the USA, Canada, France, England, Germany and China.

 

Chart-topping breakout song

 

 

Chevaughn is a singer/songwriter, who is acclaimed for a velvet smooth tenor infused with rich gospel inflected tones. His unique voice can be heard on Holiday, the chart-topping breakout song of 2009 with Ding Dong, and he was the lead singer of the eclectic roots group C Sharp.

January 2014 saw the singer separate from the group to focus on his journey as a solo artist and he launched his debut EP Hopeless Romantic that year. His most current songs include So Many Rivers, You Lose and So Let It Be. Chevaughn is in the process of recording an album with Digital B Records and Frankie Music, while personally producing a very special project #FromScratch.

The National Gallery of Jamaica's doors will be open from 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday, April 24 and the exhibition opening and the performance by Chevaughn will start at 1:30 pm. As is customary, admission will be free. MUSIC...)

 

Reggae reissues from Greensleeves

 

Greensleeves Records will open its archives this spring for fans to rediscover key players from the 1980s era of roots reggae, dub and dancehall. The late great producer Henry 'Junjo' Lawes, producer/singer Linval Thompson, engineer extraordinaire Hopeton 'Scientist' Brown and renowned session band Roots Radics were architects of many popular Jamaican rhythms of the 1980s. The collective and individual releases by this line-up of Jamaica's influential musicians will be available on all formats for the first time, including vinyl, CD and digital.

On April 29, 2016, Greensleeves will re-release special edition versions of key dub titles Junjo Presents: Wins the World Cup and Linval Presents: Space Invaders, with subsequent releases in May. Both reissues are backed by Roots Radics at Channel One and mixed by Hopeton 'Scientist' Brown. Each release is updated with revamped packaging (including a poster fold out of the artwork by Tony McDermott), plus a bonus disc of the original vocal recordings.

 

Limited edition

 

Record Store Day celebrated the release earlier this month with a limited edition vinyl-only release, entitled Junjo Presents World Cup (Extra Time), featuring six tracks from the LP with custom packaging.

In May Greensleeves will also release three more Junjo Presents titles, Junjo Presents: Big Showdown, Junjo Presents: Heavyweight Dub Champion and Junjo Presents: The Evil Curse of Vampires. Linval Presents: Encounter Pac-Men will also be released. (JUNJO...)