Caribbean actors assist Braata Folk

“Betta Woman than Yu!” A high-energy & hilarious number by the Braata Folk Singers.
Photo by Marcia E Wilson

The second annual concert season of The Braata Folk Singers invited patrons to an evening of Caribbean music and in the process attracted supportive thespians and artists who banded to show solidarity for the company.

Representing Something Positive and other Caribbean theatrical groups, colleagues and associates within the artistic fraternity showed up at Brooklyn Music School to willingly volunteer in order to ensure a successful staging of “Wheel & Come Again.”

“We have the same passion and understand the need of the theater so we all try to help each other when we can,” Shaun Rasmussen of Something Positive said as he ushered a patron to an assigned seat.

From disbursal of tickets to monitoring arrivals, volunteers assisted to secure an on-time start to the production.

Together the volunteers said they plan to assist with raising funds for the Braata Folk Singers to attend the World Choir Games in Cincinnati next year.

The company must raise $10,000 in order to travel and compete in the challenging, mid-western contest.

In an effort to raise cash volunteers sold tee shirts and soundtrack recordings at the Brooklyn venue and also solicited donations.

Reportedly, Musical director Garnet Mowatt flew directly from Jamaica in order to provide piano accompaniment to the singers and dancers.

Artistic director Andrew Clarke doubled to design a set that featured floral arrangements, coconuts, breadfruits, and cooking pot allegedly filled with dumplings and items reminiscent of any Kingston market.

The presentation offered a peek into a Caribbean marketplace offering colorful and scenic storylines that the predominant Caribbean audience related.

With gossip, rivalry and merriment integral to the setting music kept a lively tempo which the audience echoed.

Popular folk renditions included: “Sammy Dead,” “One Han’ Cyaan Clap” “Don’t Touch My Tomato,” “A Yu Madda,” “Breadfruit,” “Coconut Woman” “Rukumbine” as well as other familiar songs.

Some patrons could not contain their enthusiasm often shouting the nostalgic references of their youth and even laughing uncontrollably at the humor, patois and relevance of each scenario.

“This is just like Miss Lou,” a patron said making comparison to performances by Jamaica’s first lady of comedy and theater, Louise Bennett.

Upcoming Braata performances include Pierre Thompson’s presentation of “Hortencia’s Recession” next February and Karl O’Brian Williams’ “Not About Eve” fall 2012.

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