Wed | May 24, 2017

'Easy Street' tops Actor Boy nominees

Published:Wednesday | March 3, 2010 | 3:00 AM
The cast of Patrick Brown's 'Easy Street'. - Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer

Mel Cooke, Gleaner Writer

Close to the end of the official Actor Boy Awards nominations on Monday evening, Dorothy Cunningham exulted in the number of productions from which the nominees had been selected. "People sey nutten nah gwaan a Jamaica, we mash up an' pop dung. Thirty-two productions! Thirty-two productions!" she said.

From those, 19 productions have earned nominations in the 19 categories of the 20th Actor Boy Awards. The announcements were made at the Spanish Court Hotel, New Kingston, very close to where the actual awards ceremony will be held - the Courtleigh Auditorium, New Kingston - on Monday, March 29.

And if the enthusiasm of the audience at the announcements is anything to go by, the awards should be a rollicking affair.

Nomination numbers

In terms of numbers of nominations,
Easy Street
leads the field with nine, followed by
Mo'Bay Vibes
(eight) and
Jam Reggae Opera
and
For Better or Worse
(seven each). However, of the four productions,
For Better or Worse
and
Mo'Bay Vibes
have earned nominations for the director - Douglas Prout.

Pirate Jack
has garnered six nominations ,
Two Can Play
five, with
Dreamgirls
,
Beauty and the Beast
and
The Love List
picking up four each.

In the individual categories, Prout's Best Director double is pitched with Brian Heap (
Two Can Play
), Pablo Hoilett (
The Love List
) and Pierre LaMaire (
We Can't Pay We Won't Pay
). Alwyn Scott (
Two Can Play
), Clive Duncan (
The Love List
), Christopher Daley (
For Better or Worse
), Donald Anderson (
Smile Orange
) and Glen Campbell (
Easy Street
) are up for Best Actor in a Lead Role. In the female category, Nadean Rawlins has a double in
Two Can Play
and
Love Letters
, Kennice Watson (
Family Affair)
, Camille Davis (
Easy Street
) and Nadia Khan (
The Love List
) also in the field.

For Better or Worse
has two contenders for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Ruth Ho Shing and Terri Salmon. Maliaka Bryce (
4 Play
), Coleen Lewis (
A So it Goh
) and Sharee McDonald Russell (
Easy Street
) round out the field. In the male equivalent are Craig McNally (
Voices
), Glen Campbell (
Diana
), Elijah Gayle (
Beauty and the Beast
), Rodney Campbell (
4 Play
) and Lawrence Woodham (
Family Affair
).

And in the New Play category, Prout has another nomination with
Mo'Bay Vibes
, Basil Dawkins is in with
For Better or Worse
and Patrick Brown for
Easy Street
.

One category is already settled, as the Jamaica Junior Theatre Company's
Beauty and the Beast
is the only Children's Theatre nominee.

Scarlett Beharie announced that this year's Actor Boy Awards' honouree is Jean Small, who has worked as a playwright, poet, actress, director, storyteller, puppeteer and educator for more than 50 years.

Performance-laced

Hosted by Cunningham and Craig McNally, the launch showed a glimpse of what is to come at the awards ceremony, which is liberally laced with performances. Among them were Lee Patience doing an excerpt from
Voices
, and Aisha Davis and Maurice Bryan delivering a song from
Dreamgirls
.

Sydney Bartley from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports remarked that the theatre community must recall those who have passed on, including Trevor Rhone and Professor Rex Nettleford. And he noted new developments, saying, "I see some names in 'Chu Chu', I see some people in
Serious Business
and
Passa Passa
and it is very interesting".

"We should be bold enough in creating new categories in the theatre arts," Bartley said, in indicating a possible path forward.