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Exciting Night at Divas Calypso Cabaret

Divas of Estrada's Dynamic 7 Divas of Estrada's Dynamic 7 Reporters
Event Date: February 14, 2007
Posted: February 23, 2007

The Divas Calypso Cabaret International combined the essence of the ribald, the comic and the intimate setting of traditional Cabaret with the powerful and energetic style of Calypso and brings it all home with a dose of female power that has become a characteristic of the Carnival season. Held at the renamed De Nu Pub, formerly the Mas Camp Pub on 14th February, 2007, the night was dedicated to the incomparable Calypso Rose and featured some of the veterans of Calypso as well as some relative newcomers to the art form. While Calypso Rose was unable to make it to the evening, the audience did not lack for entertainment and her presence was certainly felt throughout the night.

The house band, Estrada's Dynamic 7 boasts one of the few female dominated horn sections of Calypso bands, which was quite fitting for the evening. The small intimate venue was set up to allow groups to sit together and have a meal or drinks while enjoying the performances, which made for a more comfortable and engaging atmosphere than the traditional set up at Calypso tents. MC Hurricane Jean took the stage to the refrain of Calypso Rose's "Fire, Fire", ensuring that her presence would not be forgotten. This dynamic MC was not simply a means to introduce the acts but was a performer all of her own. Her dynamic stage presence and ability to interact with audience members really broke down the barrier between stage and audience and made for a really entertaining evening.

Performer Stacey Sobers started off the evening with songs "Feel It" and "Rock With You" and Laura Pereira performed the sexual, double entendre selection "Technology Woman". Both performers interacted with male audience members much to the delight of the crowd. Three-time Calypso Monarch of Toronto, Macomere Fifi performed her tribute to Pan-Kaiso extraordinaire, De Fosto, and Alicia Massey, also of the Generation Next Calypso Tent, performed her Chutney influenced "Pepperpot". The Chutney Diva, Angela Ramoutar performed "Bold Faced Woman" much to the delight of the crowd as she danced and sang about females who encourage males to stray from their relationships. She received three encores from the crowd. The first half of the programme ended with a performance by three-time Calypso Monarch of London Wen D whose song "Man Doh Like Dat" was also well-received by the audience.

Sister Ava reopened the show with her Rapso performance of "Ah See Ah Nation Coming". Hurricane Jean, the talented MC did a dramatic, comic monologue about the irresponsibility of adults and the values disseminated by children's nursery rhymes, which was humourous but also imparted an important message. Jean performed another monologue that was much more serious in nature, told from the perspective of an HIV positive women in the hospital bemoaning the fact that her community has rejected her because of her illness. She used this moment to encourage the audience to be sexually responsible and not to discriminate against HIV positive people. This indeed injected a serious note into the evening.

The 'Love Diva' Dalia performed the Groovy-Soca number "Long Time" and Laura Pereira made a second appearance with an equally spicy performance of "I Love the Way You Move". Her interaction with male audience members was a source of much entertainment for the crowd at large but especially for these males. Natasha Wilson, once a child Calypsonian and called by Hurricane Jean, the 'Princess Diva', performed "Paradise Island" and "I Know Better" and really made the audience quite nostalgic and appreciative to see a performer, many of them have watched grow up, become a confident and successful artiste. This was followed by another monologue by Hurricane Jean called "My Name is Vagina" that continued the spicy 'rude talk', comic character of the Cabaret evening.

The final performance of the night by Calypsonian Sweet Jean really brought the house down with the song "One Brick" ostensibly speaking about needing just 'one brick' to complete construction of a house. In true Calypso style the song mentioned such public figures as Housing Minister Keith Rowley, Prime Minister Patrick Manning and Education Minister Hazel Manning. She also turned the song on particularly vocal male audience members who were only too delighted to be a part of the fun. Sweet Jean showed her ability to extemporize by performing no less that five encores much to the delight of the appreciative audience.

Missing were performers Calypso Rose, Abbi Blackman, Karen Eccles and Kimlin Harrington. Despite this, the Divas Calypso Cabaret International was a resounding success and is a must see for any reveler's Carnival diary for next year 2008.

Divas Calypso Cabaret 2007 in pictures: