Friday, June 14, 2019
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02 | The Tribune | Weekend
Friday, June 14, 2019
the fire Local chef returns from Hawaii to host historic culinary event By JEFFARAH GIBSON | Tribune Features Writer | email@example.com
WELVE chefs are set to ignite a culinary explosion of delectable bites using no gas, no electricity and no modern equipment for a special event that is a nod to yesteryear. The chefs will be depending solely on precision, skill and talent once the fire is lit for “Ignite”, a night of Bahamian culture with good food, music and art. “Ignite” is the latest venture by Chef Simeon Hall, Jr which will bring together the talents of several Bahamian, Caribbean and other international culinary professionals; it is scheduled for June 22. Chef Hall, who has been living in Oahu, Hawaii, where he serves as the restaurant chef at La Hiki, Four Seasons Ko’Olina, was inspired to present the event while spending time back home. “In conducting research for my cookbook, the historical and cultural elements in food preparation, its preservation and sharing within the Bahamian, Caribbean and African cultures, provided ample inspiration for ‘Ignite’,” he said. And within an hour of suggesting the event on social media, 50 chefs from around the world contacted Chef Hall expressing interest in participating. “(This) solidified my inspiration,” Chef Hall told Tribune Weekend.
Followers of Chef Hall know that he is passionate about “farm to table” experiences. For “Ignite”, all guests will feast on freshly harvested items from Bahamian farmers, prepared before their eyes by 12 acclaimed chefs. The exact location of the event will only be revealed to ticket holders. “As if that wasn’t enough, we have a diverse group of talented Bahamian musical and visual artists, who have a burning desire to enhance the flame of ‘Ignite’. There will also be more cultural add-ons that will be experienced, but you really have to be there,” he said. “Ignite” is envisioned as an event that is a nod to the past with a bridge to the present. “It focuses on preserving and sharing our (Bahamian and African) culture, while bringing 12 chefs together, who either have and share very similar cultural values or have fused theirs with ours and made something phenomenal,” said Chef Hall. “What is also amazing to me is that my team has sought to provide a cultural show and not simply a dinner show. As a proclaimed ‘Renaissance chef’, I want to see the rebirth and sustaining of our food culture and have begun the conversation through this event and at length in my book.” For more information and tickets for “Ignite”, visit www.ignitetheisland. com.
Chef Simeon Hall, Jr
Chef Simeon Hall, Jr, is passionate about authentic farm-to-table cuisine.
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Friday, June 14, 2019
My perfect Bahamian weekend Justina Ferguson Administrative assistant Q: Saturday breakfast or Sunday brunch?
Interview 4 - 5 Budding music artist Brooklyn West overcomes tragedy and adversity to pursue her dream Food 6 - 9 Celebrity favourite the Sugar Factory comes to Nassau, mango mania for the summer, and a taco takeover Theatre 10 - 11 The Dundas rekindles a love for plays in Bahamians Leisure 14 - 15 A summer adventure for kids at Atlantis Forgotten Facts 17 Paul Aranha on important flag etiquette Books 18 New releases hitting shelves Gardening 19 The Isles of June Literary Lives 20 - 22 A turbulent camping safari in Sri Lanka comes to an end Film 23 - 25 Samuel L Jackson reprises his role as “Shaft”; ‘Men in Black’ returns with Marvel co-stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson, plus ‘Toy Story’ celebrates another quality instalment Puzzles 26 Animals 27 The question of chow time, plus Pet of the Week
“A Saturday breakfast is the perfect way to start my weekend off. This will set my mood for my busy day ahead that I usually have on Saturdays.”
Q: Wine, rum, cocktail or Kalik?
“My utmost favourite drink of all time is wine. Once wine is on my agenda I’m bound to have a good time.”
Q: Beach or sofa?
“If I had a choice between spending time on a sofa or a beach I’d definitely choose the beach.”
Q: What is the one thing that you can’t live without? “One thing I can’t live without is my phone. Even though that’s very cliché, I use my phone for many things. Being a young entrepreneur, I need to answer my clients on time for job opportunities.”
Q: Weekend away, where would you go? “If I had a weekend away I would choose Exuma without a doubt. I was always mesmerised by its beautiful waters and sand bars. I think I’ll be at peace and really relax while vacationing there.”
Things 2 Do this weekend Friday
• Teen Scene Skate Friday Time: 6pm Venue: Skate City, Bacardi Plant Calling all teens. If you enjoy skating and good music, come out to Skate City to have a good time. Music by Bahamas hottest DJs. • A Night in Hollywood Prom 2019 Time: 7pm - midnight Venue: British Colonial Hilton CV Bethel High celebrates prom in style with a red carpet, lots of prizes, and a surprise guest artist on the stage. • BMA: Celebrating five years of musical excellence Time: 7pm Venue: Atlantis Theatre, Paradise Island The Bahamas Music Academy is dedicated to the development of young musicians. Join them for their annual end of year concert. General admission is $20 and VIP is $25. • Makare and Phoenix Rising Time: 9.30pm Venue: Compass Point
Come enjoy some good ‘ole down home blues and blues rock
• BCCEC Trade Expo Time: 10am Venue: Grand Hyatt Baha Mar Sample and purchase products and to connect with local businesses. Admission is free. • Fusion Flame Pit Father’s Day Grilling Competition Time: 12oon Venue: Fusion Superplex Event entry is $15 and includes a meal and a soft drink. Kids are $5. • 100 Jamz High School DJ Competition Time: 4pm Venue: J-Line Fitness, Shirley Street starting at 4pm. Come out and support the country’s new generation of top DJs. The entry fee is $10. • Movies in the Square Time: 5.30pm Venue: Pompey Square DNP and Pupstar Entertainment present “Jurassic Park” in a free
outdoor movie experience. Concessions will be on sale. • Sip n’ Canvas at Café Madeleine Time: 6pm - 8pm Venue: Grand Hyatt Baha Mar Celebrate Father’s Day with two hours of painting and bottomless champagne, as well as a special gift for all fathers. Tickets are $50 per person, including canvas, chef’s delights and the champagne.
Sunday • Happy Father’s Day from the 4+1 Band Time: 7pm Venue: Captain’s Table Enjoy everything from pop to classic Bahamian music to mellow jazz tunes. • Miss Bahamas Teenager Preliminary Competitions Time: 7pm Venue: SuperClub Breezes Watch the contestants compete in the preliminary Evening Gown and Sportswear competitions. Tickets are $35; kids under 12 pay $15.
04 | The Tribune | Weekend
Friday, June 14, 2019
From losing her brother under mysterious circumstances to having no choice but to become her sick mother’s caretaker, Brooklyn West has had her fair share of tragedy. The singer tells Ava Turnquest how hardship has shaped her and given her the strength to live her truth.
T is said that the best art is born from adversity, and it is only when faced with tragedy that can one’s true character is revealed. If that is to be believed, then 27-year-old budding music artist Brooklyn West has entered the arena with a considerable advantage over her peers. Born La-Toya Rahming, her first stage name was Ice-Princess, Ice-P for short, when she performed at talent showcases like Teen Scene at Charlie’s during high school. She burst onto the scene when her dark and brooding track “11:11” got a feature on the famed blog WorldStarHipHop, and has been steadily nurturing her fanbase with not one but two shows in New York. Seeing people in the audience clapping and signing along to her music during her performance at the Shrine in Harlem in 2017 was life-affirming. She’s lived in Tennessee, Miami and Boston, but always remembers her childhood in Nassau, living in a one-bedroom apartment with her mother and brother above the Golden Buddha takeaway restaurant on Collin’s Avenue. Her love and admiration for her mother shines through most of the interview as she proudly recalls her mother’s sacrifices to provide for her family while achieving professional
milestones and pursing an athletic career as a body builder. “She liked to play music in the car going to school,” Brooklyn said, “I think that was in elementary school, I remember hearing it’s funny how money change situations then (Lauryn Hill) singing and rapping and I was like, ‘That’s a girl?’, and my mom was like ‘Yeah’. “That’s like the first, that’s the only album on vinyl I have in my room…I didn’t know females could – well women, I like to say women – could rap and sing,” she told Tribune Weekend. “I like R&B. I was a R&B head before I was a rap head, so seeing her combine them two was like a big thing for me.” Brooklyn credits her father, Leslie Rahming, for kick-starting her addiction to the mic. While they are not close, he bought her a karaoke machine that gave her her first taste of recording. The moniker Brooklyn West – an homage to a city she considers the breeding ground of hip-hop and her West Indian roots. The journey to her first EP “Daydreaming About Luv” – set to drop later this year – has been shaped by tragic events that not only highlight her perseverance and commitment to realising her dreams of stardom, but
also the sobering reality of the Bahamas’ dismal record when it comes to addressing mental illness. Behind her silky vocals that sing about everything from love to drug abuse is a woman who has emerged confident in her vision both for her music and her life. She is the primary caretaker for her mother, accomplished body builder Faye Rolle, who at the age 43 suffered a mild stroke in 2012 that would prove debilitating. Brooklyn was 21 at the time and had just settled into the life of a young adult in Miami with a job and an apartment. The stroke and medical complications that stemmed from it robbed Faye of her memories, and led to violent episodes that made it difficult
for Brooklyn to leave her with a caretaker. Her brother Fabian Bethel, her mom’s only other child, died at age 25. “I feel like music is my getaway,” she said. “If I didn’t have a dream, I feel like I would be depressed, I could be suicidal, I wouldn’t have no reason to live, because I really don’t. My brother’s dead and though my Mummy is still here, the mother that I know is gone. I had to figure out being a woman myself,” she said. “It’s just like little simple stuff you would call your Mummy for, and it’s just like (for me), let me go on Google. So I had to grow up early. I had to learn how to manage money and medical insurance and check on the
Friday, June 14, 2019
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mortgage, and it’s just so much stuff and sometimes you don’t have time for yourself. I had to learn that. I had to find a way to take care of myself and all this stuff. She added: “So it takes a toll, but there’s still beauty in it. Because the beauty in it is even though I’m confined home most of the time, I could travel now and work on my dream. If I was working a 9 to 5 I wouldn’t have time for my music. If she didn’t get sick I would’ve never been to Atlanta and I would have never started singing.” The death of her brother Fabian shortly after her mother’s stroke took her four years to fully process. At the time she had all but completely shelved her music as she shouldered the burden of caring for her mother. “They found him in the back of a dumpster. He ended up making it to PMH, but he went into a coma and his muscles started to waste and he just never woke up. “I thought, ‘OK, he sleeping right now but he probably gone wake up’, and the next day it was just like they had to pull the plug. His father made the decision. He died at 25 and he didn’t leave nothing; like nobody knows who he is. Like my Mummy, she has a legacy, she was an accomplished bodybuilder, so she’s remembered in the world, and I’m just like, ‘What are you going to leave behind?’ “So him dying young gave me motivation, as in, bey, life ain’t promised. What are you going to leave behind so you could be remembered?” As for the EP, its an 11-track labour of love produced with sound engineer Dillon McKenzie, son of the famed Bahamian artist DMac. “I used to rap but I always wanted to sing, but I felt like I was too rough looking, but then I met this girl, she was like my first friend in Atlanta and she was said, if you wanna sing, you should sing.” Brooklyn was also bolstered by the mainstream breakthrough of openly queer
in my music at all, and is because of my Mummy. She would listen to these great singers like Gladys Knight and Whitney Houston and she was like, ‘It feels so good; it’s flowing’. And it’s weird she has no memories but she knows all of my songs. All my songs, you could turn on right now and she could sing every song. “It’s because she’s always here with me when I’m writing and singing. She would be like, ‘That sounds good’, and if I hear her singing it later I know I’m on the right track. Music is healing for her. She lost her memory, but if you put on any old school song, she knows it.” As Brooklyn’s social media presence continues to grow – she is up by more than 4,000 followers on Instagram in the past year – the singer adds more dreams to her checklist – dreams like a record label. She has patience and perseverance on her side. “My brother’s death and my Mummy being mentally ill…I feel like it’s my gateway and it’s my source of strength, because that’s where you get a lot of it from: pain. If I didn’t have this pain I wouldn’t want to push to go harder.” She added: “I would say success for me wouldn’t even be like money, even though it would help a lot, but it’s just getting to a place where if my Mummy were to come back now and she looked at me then she’d be like, ‘Wow, I’m so proud of you; there she is’.”
“My brother’s dead and though my Mummy is still here, the mother that I know is gone. I had to figure out being a woman myself.” music artist Syd, who opened for Eminem at Wembley Stadium in 2015 under the Los Angeles-based rap group Odd Future, and has since snagged a Grammy nomination as the
lead singer of the escapist soul band The Internet. While Syd’s silky vocals and androgynous style has shattered ceilings at the intersection of race, gender and sexuality in the global music
industry, Brooklyn knows she’s pretty much on her own when it comes to tipping the scales of prejudice in her home country. “ ‘11:11’ was so dark and I was scared to use pronouns. So now I’m saying ‘her’ and ‘she’ and all this stuff like this. So now I’m in a better place, my music is more brighter and I’m OK with living my truth. So that’s really the big shift, I’m living my truth now and it’s more bright and it feels good,” the singer said. “I was scared about my recent release, ‘Beautiful Morning’, it’s a beautiful song, but I wanted to do a video... I was (concerned about) people back home. I was (thinking), ‘This this gonna be on Bahama Press and all that stuff. “But I still shoot my videos in a way where it’s not...it won’t offend you, not that I care if it offends you, but I still have nieces and nephews who are figuring it all out. So I’m always conscious of what I’m doing... if they look at it, that it isn’t something they can’t process. I don’t curse
06 | The Tribune | Weekend
Friday, June 14, 2019
Hitting the sweet spot
‘Best Restaurant Concept’ of 2019 comes to Nassau By ALESHA CADET
| Tribune Features writer | firstname.lastname@example.org
n its mission to “make the world a sweeter place”, the US chain The Sugar Factory is finally setting up shop in the Bahamas. After finding success in New York, Washington, Hollywood, Las Vegas, Dubai and Manilla, the restaurant chain is now coming to Baha Mar. Set for the Spring 2020 opening, The Sugar Factory will feature a full-service café, confectionery shop, retail shop, a full-service carousel bar overlooking the resort’s fountains. There will also be a launch of the first ever CandyOcean by Sugar Factory – touted as a one-of-a-kind aquatic-themed Instagram experience. “The CandyOcean will feature life-size sculptures of dolphins and sharks blowing bubble gum, flamingos frolicking on cotton candy clouds, and many more sea life-inspired moments.
Drake tries a Night Owl Goblet at The Sugar Factory in Las Vegas.
Leading into the entrance, Sugar Factory Baha Mar will also have the largest outdoor seating area, cafe and hot air balloon Instagrammable experiences,” said Charissa Davidovici, founder of The Sugar Factory. In 2016, The Sugar Factory in New York City became the “The Most Instagrammed Restaurant in the United States”, and this month the Food & Beverage named the chain the “Best Restaurant Concept of the Year”. “The Sugar Factory Baha Mar will feature our signature floor to ceiling candy wall with more than 500 types of candy, monster burgers, amazing steaks, insane milkshakes, our legendary King Kong Sundae, and a special Baha Mar Goblet, unique to its tropical location. We will have some specialty items that will be unique to Sugar Factory Baha Mar, including
a play on the famous Bahamian rum cake,” said Charissa. She said Baha Mar’s cheerful and vibrant atmosphere is the perfect setting for their playful menu. “When Baha Mar was first announced, we knew we wanted to bring a Sugar Factory location there. The new restaurant will be unique to its tropical location, yet stay true to the iconic and signature charm of Sugar Factory,” said Charissa. Sugar Factory is known for its celebrity fans who have frequented locations around the globe; everyone from Kendall and Kylie Jenner to Pitbull, Drake, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, Flo Rida, Hailee Steinfeld, Katy Perry, Jason Derulo, Britney Spears, Jerry Seinfeld, Selma Hayek and Mel B.
Amber Rose enjoys a night out on The Sugar Factory, Ocean Drive, Miami.
Kylie Jenner is a longtime fan of The Sugar Factory.
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Friday, June 14, 2019
Mango mania By ALESHA CADET
| Tribune Features writer | email@example.com
ahamians love their mangoes, in any which way they can get them – small or large, smooth or stringy. This juicy fruit is quite simply the perfect summer snack. To satisfy their customers’ cravings in this regard, the mobile company Mango Tyme has come up with an assortment of mango dishes: everything from flavoured spiral mango to flavoured sliced mango in cups and mango platters. The flavours they offer run from traditional to innovative, and include a cinnamon mix, lime, red pepper flakes, black pepper, Cajun, vinegar, goat pepper dry seasoning, and honey. “Everything on the platter is edible except for the plastic platter it sits in. All bowls are made fresh and by hand from our kitchen to your door step or hand,” said owner Jeremy Johnson. For Jeremy, it’s been a long road to Mango Tyme, one that began in primary school where he would sell his snacks and lunch to friends and the older students during breaks. At the time, he only wanted to make enough money to purchase candy, and it wasn’t until he was in the ninth grade that he heard the term “entrepreneur” for the first time. But he would soon find out the exact meaning of the word. “After enrolling in culinary school I became the guava duff man and started selling guava duff from home until my mother started telling me I was using up all of her gas. I later opened several businesses, such as a car wash from home – that ended quickly because I was using too much water. My brother and I started selling Air Force 1 (sneakers) but our wholesaler couldn’t keep up with our demand, so we closed our doors. And the list goes on and on over the years,” he said. “Being a business owner shows you exactly who you are. You get to find out all your strengths and weaknesses all at once. The experience is one of a lifetime; you get this great idea and you just go for it. Then you realise exactly what this lifestyle is all about – late nights, early mornings, lack of sleep, little to no communication with friends and family because all your time and
effort is now focused on your business, or what I like to call it, your brand.” What eventually inspired him to go into the mango snack business was a business trip to United States with his fiancée, who is also an entrepreneur. During this trip, while his fiancée was collecting her new inventory, she made
the suggestion of purchasing a green mango from a vendor. Seeing the large crowd waiting in line just to buy mangoes really made an impression on Jeremy, one that stayed with him when he returned home.
“I was about to launch another business venture, but I switched it last minute. What made me launch it right away was when I reached out to another like-minded friend of mine and he said someone had just told him they were about to do the same business, so I quickly went to work,” he said. Mango Tyme was officially launch last June and has been building its clientele ever since. Jeremy is currently working on a food truck and pop-up stall, as he said his customers are constantly asking for a location. “We have something very different and unique in store for our customers and future customers, even the location is an untapped space. Also, to expand the Mango Tyme team and to expand our menu, we have so many new additions in store for the customers, because without them we would not be the brand that we are today,” he said.
08 | The Tribune | Weekend
Friday, June 14, 2019
The taco takeover
Nassau’s first taqueria peppers the market with new flavours By ALESHA CADET
| Tribune Features writer | firstname.lastname@example.org
AHAMIAN chefs are bringing the heat and flavours of modern Mexican street food to Nassau with a new culinary venture called Papa’s Taqueria. When Joseph Lewis first travelled to Mexico a few years ago he could have never imagined that being a taco stand owner would be in his future. He was there simply to immerse himself in the Spanish language for the purpose of becoming a professional translator. But while in Mexico, a surprising shift took place in Joseph’s mind, and this was mostly down to his newfound love of the country’s traditional taco dishes. He quickly became addicted to Mexican food and missed it terribly when he returned home to the Bahamas. “I took for granted the close proximity I had to tacos until I left. I remember being at home and having a strong hankering for Mexican food and there was nowhere I could quickly go to satiate this monsoon of a craving. I ended up making the food myself. During a trip to California in 2017 I (discovered) a small taco stand on Hollywood Boulevard and I knew right then what I needed to do,” he told Tribune Weekend. He started with writing business plans, then he obtained a licence and began hiring staff. The entire process was an arduous one, but Joseph was determined to see his vision become a reality. “If starting a business was easy, everyone would have one,” he told himself daily. “The biggest challenge was overcoming the fear of failing. There were persons that I look up to that could not see the value in the vision for the business as I did and discouraged the idea
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of pursuing it... many of whom were not afraid to express their opposition. As a result of this, I spent one year with countless hours of me watching Gordon Ramsey’s ‘Kitchen Nightmares’ before even applying for the (business) licence.” Those in his circle who were instrumental in finally making his dream come true include Traquel Willie, Papa’s Taqueria’s executive chef, and the woman known as “TT”, their sous chef. “Traquel is unrivalled in the kitchen. He is skilled, focused and has a passion for food that is inspiring to watch. TT has a bubbly personality and a love for food that can be seen on the smile she wears while serving the food,” said Joseph. As a team, they sold their first Bahamian-made tacos in January of this year. While taking part in the weekly Nassau Night Market they sold a set of tacos to a cruise ship passenger. The tourist consumed the tacos on her way back to the ship. She was so thrilled with the meal that she turned right around and came back for seconds. The pop-up food stall offers everything from tacos to burrito bowls, loaded fries and more. “Right now, only five months in, our only plan is to continue delivering an amazing Mexican street food experience. We will continue the hard work until Papa’s Taqueria becomes a household name. The ultimate goal for Papa’s Taqueria is to move into a brick and mortar restaurant. We want to be the go-to for people (looking for) unique, delicious food,” said Joseph. For more information, visit Papa’s Taqueria on Facebook and Instagram.
10 | The Tribune | Weekend
Friday, June 14, 2019
Dundas rekindles the love for plays By JEFFARAH GIBSON
| Tribune Features Writer | email@example.com
ingplay Production’s now concluded repertory season at the Dundas Centre for Performing Arts – the first of its kind in two decades – is being hailed as a season that has breathed new life into local theatre. Under the leadership of Philip A Burrows and Dr Nicolette Bethel, Ringplay’s vice president and resident director respectively, the executive team and the host of cast and crew members were able to mount five plays between January and June this year. This marked the first season for this particular production team. The executive team, whose ideas, strengths and hard work made the successful season possible, include Delores Adderley, Claudette “Cookie” Allens, Marcel Sherman, Anthony “Skeebo” Roberts, Erin McKinney, Jovanna Hepburn, and Patrice Francis. The 2019 repertory season brought to audiences a mix of comedy, drama and musicals. It kicked off the with “Smile Orange,” a comedy written by Jamaican playwright and filmmaker Trevor Rhone and directed by Anthony “Skeebo” Roberts. This was followed by a reprisal of Eddie Minnis’ “Der Real Ting,” a musical combining Minnis’ iconic folk songs with an original script written by Dr Bethel, Patrice Francis and Mr Burrows. The third production in the season was “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf”, directed by Dr Bethel and dedicated to its late writer, Ntozake Shange, as well as to the late Theresa Moxey-Ingraham, a former cast member and former Dundas chairperson. An original Bahamian work, “Untitled”, directed by Marcel T Sherman and written by Patrice Francis and J Ben-Hepburn was the fourth production. This piece used abstract art and compelling monologues and vignettes to address the topic of mental health.
The cast of “for colored girls” The season culminated with a gender-bent version of Neil Simon’s famous comedy “The Odd Couple.” This female version was directed by Erin T McKinney and was well-received by an eclectic audience. Each of the five productions in the season ran for six nights: two consecutive weekends with Friday and Saturday performances. “Smile Orange” and “Der Real Ting” were presented in the Winston V Saunders Theatre at the
The cast of the gender-bending “The Odd Couple”
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Friday, June 14, 2019
decided to take the theatre in a different direction and the repertory season came to an end,” he said. The Dundas’ successful staging of its first repertory season in two decades is a testament to the talent and commitment found within the world of local theatre, he added. In order for theatre to grow and thrive in the Bahamas, talent and commitment alone will not get the job done. “It has so much potential to engage and develop the writing, acting, directing, production, administrative and technical talents of hundreds of Bahamians. However, while the willing artists are plenty, the financial resources are few. We need corporate sponsorship and governmental financial support in order for theatre in the Bahamas to
Nicolette Archer stars in “Untitled” Dundas, which is the larger, more traditional theatre, while “for colored girls” “Untitled” and “The Odd Couple” were presented in the more intimate Philip A Burrows Blackbox Theatre, also on property. According to Mr Burrows, the Dundas repertory season was first introduced by the then chairman of the centre, Winston V Saunders. This was his attempt to keep the Dundas open throughout the year as the groups who ran the theatre each performed twice yearly and mostly for just one weekend, he said. In the first year, two plays were produced as an experiment, and starting in 1982, at least five productions took place from January through May of each year. Mr Burrows was the artistic director of the repertory season from 1981 to 1997. He was succeeded by Ian Poitier, who has since been succeeded by David Santos Donaldson. “However, after the 1999 repertory season, the Dundas board of directors
The “Smile Orange” cast
Brentwood Burrows on stage for “Untitled”
reach its full potential. Patrons who consistently support the plays are vital to the growth as well and we are proving that if you mount the play, the people will come,” said Ms Francis, executive member. But even with limited resources, Ring Play Productions presented numerous activities to satisfy the appetite of theatre-goers and those with a hunger to create and perform. “An initiative like ‘Short Tales’, which invites original submissions of 10-minute plays from Bahamian writers, and in turn mentors new or emerging directors to take the works from page to stage, has the potential of developing the writing, directing and acting craft of so many,” she told Tribune Weekend. “These are exciting times, for the theatre is an ideal lab for the experimentation and development of diverse artistic and non-artistic gifts. In addition, Ringplay has recently formed the Ringplay Acting Company as an intentional effort to train and develop actors, and to mount pieces within and beyond the walls of our theatres. The veterans at the Dundas together with the myriad of young, emerging talent foretells a bright, vibrant future for theatre in the Bahamas. One thing is for certain, for theatre in our Commonwealth to grow and maximise its potential, all stakeholders must take on an ownership mindset; the mindset that says: ‘If we are going to thrive and sustain positive transformation in the lives of performers, support teams and audiences, we have to accept that this movement belongs to each of us and all of us.’ If we realise that, there would be no stopping us’.” Having just completed the fiveshow season, Ringplay Productions now goes into festival mode, as preparations are being made for the 11th annual Shakespeare in Paradise. This Fall, the festival will present four main productions: Trevor Rhone’s “Old Story Time”; “Misbehavin’” based on the musical by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby, Jr, “Short Tales II”, and Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure”. The four productions will be presented in one of the two theatres now operational on the Dundas Centre’s grounds.
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Friday, June 14, 2019
The Weekend 2019 CFDA Fashion Report Fashion Awards
Jennifer Lopez ”Hustlers”
Gigi Hadid, model
Joan Smalls, model
Karin says: “Tangerine orange does not work on everyone, but it sure works on J-Lo here. We got to see a lot of two-pieces on this pink carpet, and I think this might be my fave of the bunch. Yes, the top looks a bit like a sparkly diving suit, but the skirt is oh so dramatic.” Cara says: “Here’s to a crop top formal look done right. The long sleeves are perfectly proportionate to the train of the skirt and the colour is perfect on her. I love the sparkle in the top, and the sleek ponytail just is icing on the cake. Well done.”
Karin says: “The messy braids make this look. Without them she would just be wearing another boring cutout/sheer dress where the granny panties are showing. However, the braids give the whole thing a certain vibe and actually save the look from being too pedestrian.” Cara says: “I like this; it’s cute. But it really just screams glamorous beachwear to me, not ‘night on the town’. So yes to the look, but not for this occasion. Just way, way too casual. She should have gone with something chic, something cutting edge.”
Karin says: “This looks like it came right from a designer’s fever dream without any modifications. It’s an interesting take on the oversized men’s suit adapted for women. I just hate the pleats on the overskirt and that weird appliqué on her chest. The overall outfit is just trying too hard.” Cara says: “There is too much going. To use a popular expression, it’s ‘rig up’ – just a mismatch of noncuteness and that colour is atrocious. Additionally, those cheap ugly looking white boots really need to go.”
Karin says: “For a high-end fashion event like the CFDA awards, this is really boring and lazy. It’s a style we’ve seen a hundred times before. A bandeau top with a pantsuit, even if it is pale pink faux leather. She’s pretty of course, but it’s just nothing special.” Cara says: “This is another cute enough, but wrong for the occasion outfit. It’s a perfectly fun look and there is nothing wrong with it per se, but for this event she looks like she either got a last-minute invite and came as she was, or she just couldn’t be bothered.”
• See PAGE 16 for Weekend Fashion Report Part II
With Karin Herig and Cara Hunt
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With Karin Herig and Cara Hunt
Laura Harrier ”Spider-Man: Homecoming”
Jhené Aiko, singer
Singer Teyana Taylor and NBA player Iman Shumpert
Bernadette Peters, Broadway star
Karin says: “Only very few people can pull off polka dots. This could have gone horribly wrong, especially considering the colour scheme. But Laura manages to not look like a failed ladybug and actually looks cute. The puffy sleeves and the belt make it work.” Cara says: “She could’ve easily ended up looking like polka dot granny, but for some reason, it works and is actually cute, On her it ends up fresh looking rather than old-fashioned. I really think that the little separation from the sheer bits to the polka dots at the shoulders is the key. A tiny complaint: the colour of belt... because why not wear a black belt?”
Karin says: “OK, first of all, I really hate pleats like this. They just look old-fashioned, and not in a cool vintage sort of way. However, the lavender colour looks lovely on her. And while I like the idea of the twopiece in theory that drawstring neck kind ruins it here.” Cara says: “She looks like sack of flour that was cut in half. Don’t like it; it looks very weird to me. I like the colour; I love the braids and the shoes, but the outfit just seems a bit all over the place and I don’t get it concept behind it.”
Karin says: “I like her outfit, but hate her bangs. I like that they went all coordinated couple on us, and while his jacket looks really fashionforward, the cut-offs do not. I guess after basketball shorts he doesn’t like wearing long pants. Cara says: “So they came as a cute couple with their black and white scheme and I like some of the pieces, but overall I’m not completely sold. I love Teyana’s jacket and I guess she had to do mid-length pants to show off the cute shoes. Iman really wanted to show off his knees, and while I don’t mind that, I don’t like the frayed hem.”
Karin says: “Witchcraft! Sorcery! Can you believe this musical queen is 71 years old? She looks fabulous as always. The dress is gorgeous. By all rights it should wash her out, but she simply sparkles in this soft salmon coloured creation.” Cara says: “How pretty does she look? This dress is cute; it has a bit of a retro vibe going on, and yes I am secretly loving that she went all matchy-matchy with the shoes. But can we award her hair of the day? Those famous red curls are still popping.”
The Weekend 2019 CFDA Fashion Report Fashion Awards
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Flag etiquette Forgotten facts | Paul C Aranha
flag is a flag is a flag. Or is it something important? I think the latter. The national flag of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas was designed to show 1. The rich resources of this land – gold; 2. The waters that surround our islands – blue; and 3. Black, a strong colour that represents the vigour and force of a united people. However big the flag might be, the length must be twice the height. In the picture above, the flagpole is on the left (black) side. That side of the flag is called the hoist.
After your own flag, all other flags must be flown in alphabetical order (Image/”Flying the Pride” by Cheryl C Strachan. The United Nations have established internationally accepted rules for displaying a flag and the statute laws of the Bahamas tells us exactly how our flag is to be displayed when being flown anywhere in the Bahamas. It must always take the place of honour. The Deltec Bank at Lyford Cay is a good example. Every day they display several flags, on several poles. If you stand on the other side of West Bay Street and look at Deltec’s office across the street you will see several flagpoles, but the Bahamian flag must be on the left pole, as you see it.
If flags of other nations are being flown, no other flag should be hoisted above the Bahamian flag and they must be flown on the poles to your right and they must be flown in alphabetical order, as shown in the example here: It is also acceptable to fly our flag on a ‘centre’ pole, flanked by commercial or sub-national flags, none of which may be bigger than our flag. Cheryl C Strachan’s book “Flying the Pride” is a treasure trove of flag etiquette that I picked up at the Bahamas Historical Society’s museum. Among other things, it explains our flag, our ensigns, the Governor
“(Our flag) must always take the place of honour.” General’s flag, and rules for flying the flag at half-mast. It is not allowed to fly two national flags on the same pole. If, for example, one were to fly the Bahamas flag on
top of the flag of another country, it would be taken as an intended insult to that other country. So much can be said about flag etiquette, but I shall finish with the flying of a national flag upside down. This is a signal of distress or a call for help. Because of its design, the Bahamas flag cannot be upside-down, but if you are in serious trouble and need help, this is how your flag might save your life. • For questions and comments, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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New releases hitting shelves this week
• In West Mills by De’Shawn Charles Winslow
Azalea “Knot” Centre is determined to live life as she pleases. Let the people of West Mills say what they will; the neighbours’ gossip won’t keep Knot from what she loves best: cheap moonshine, 19th-century literature, and the company of men. And yet, Knot is starting to learn that her freedom comes at a high price. Alone in her one-room shack, ostracised from her relatives and cut off from her hometown, Knot turns to her neighbour, Otis Lee Loving, in search of some semblance of family and home. Otis Lee is eager to help. A lifelong fixer, he is determined to steer his friends and family away from decisions that will cause them heartache and ridicule. After his failed attempt as a teenager to help his older sister, Otis discovers a possible path to
redemption in the chaos Knot brings to his doorstep. But while he’s busy trying to fix Knot’s life, he finds himself powerless to repair the many troubles within his own family, as the long-buried secrets of his troubled past begin to come to light. Set in an African American community in rural North Carolina from 1941 to 1987, ‘In West Mills’ is a big-hearted small-town story about family, friendship, storytelling, and the redemptive power of love.
• Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
Ivy Gamble was born without magic and never wanted it. Ivy Gamble is perfectly happy with her life – or at least, she’s perfectly fine. She doesn’t in any way wish she was like Tabitha, her estranged, gifted twin sister. Ivy Gamble is a liar.
When a gruesome murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister—without losing herself.
• City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
In 1940, 19-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lacklustre freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing
showgirls to a sexy male actor, a granddame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand. Ultimately, though, it leads her to a new understanding of the kind of life she craves – and the kind of freedom it takes to pursue it. It will also lead to the love of her life, a love that stands out from all the rest. Now 89 years old and telling her story at last, Vivian recalls how the events of those years altered the course of her life - and the gusto and autonomy with which she approached it. “At some point in a woman’s life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time,” she muses. “After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is.”
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Friday, June 14, 2019
he Bahamas has often been referred to as the Isles of June by those from cooler countries. Our winter weather much resembled their summer conditions. Our real June is under way and by the end of the month we will be into our own summer mode, yearning for a cool breeze and cold drink. Although our temperatures rarely exceed 95 degrees, that’s hot enough, thank you, especially when you add close to 100 percent humidity to the mix. That cold drink should sometimes be coconut water. Water is fine, but coconut water has the power to rehydrate our bodies when we have been sweating – and we will be sweating. Fresh from the green coconut is best but packaged coconut water works well too. Try to make it your go-to summer drink instead of soda. We are now into the full royal poinciana season and perhaps have become a little jaded towards their beauty. The appearance of peltophorum - erroneously called yellow poinciana – provides a refreshing contrast. With anything more than a glance, you cannot confuse peltophurum with poinciana. The trees are very upright and the flower panicles are held above the foliage. In Marsh Harbour, Abaco, there is a church the size of a warehouse called New Visions Ministry that has an impressive car park set out with peltophorum trees to provide shade. I always give it a visit at this time of year to enjoy the beauty of one of our finest flowering trees. On a smaller scale is the refreshing bridal bouquet, a white-flowering frangipani with spatulate leaves that remain on the tree all year long. Most frangipanis lose their leaves in the cooler months. Perhaps the only negative about bridal bouquet is the brittleness of its branches. These are often snapped off in high wind gusts. If a flowering head is blown off it can be planted in a pot and has a good chance of rooting successfully. The last of the tomatoes are still on the vine in my yard, but in a few weeks I will have to start buying from the store. I have quite a few pepper seedlings of many varieties under way to ensure I have plenty of fruits during the summer months. One of the eye-catchers is the diminutive Thai bird pepper that only grows to five inches but produces
The Isles of June
Summer is nearly here and Jack Hardy prepares to harvest delicious fruits and enjoy colourful flowers
a mass of fruits. They are almost identical to our local bird pepper but have a slightly tougher skin when it comes to mashing with the back of a spoon to add to souse or boil fish. Unlike the bigger peppers, Thai bird plants can become ornamentals on the patio shade table. I always love coming across a new hot pepper. Recently I grew my first Peruvian white habanero and it quickly produced fruit. If it were not for the name I would never have recognised the fruit as a habanero. It is small – an inch or so long – and shaped like a jelly bean. The colour is ivory to light yellow and the heat is quite intense, hotter that orange habaneros. The most rewarding sweet peppers at the moment are the cubanelles with long chunky but tapered fruits that can be eaten when yellow but taste better when full red. Cubanelle peppers are heirlooms therefore the seeds are open pollinated and grow
true. They are ideal for summer because the fruits form faster than those of bell peppers. I mentioned a few weeks ago that the upcoming mango season will be quite light. Perhaps to make up for the paucity of mangoes, my guava trees have been producing a few large foretastes of a good August harvest. These welcome offering I turn into guava nectar because I do not consider eating fresh guavas very inspiring. I trim the ends of the fruits, slice them, put them in a pot and add sugar and sufficient water. The pot is brought to a boil and the mix simmered for about 15 minutes. When the pot has cooled I use an immersion blender to liquefy its contents and then bring the pot back to another boil. When cool I strain the liquid through a sieve and then add an equal amount of apple juice and refrigerate. The resultant nectar is really tasty and refreshing.
A peltophorum tree in bloom
A shot of vodka or white rum makes it interesting. Passion fruits bear like crazy, take a couple of months off, then bear like crazy again. I am in a passion fruit glut stage (I’m happy to say) and pressing the juice from the fruits is a daily chore. I cut the fruits in half and remove the flesh and seeds with a spoon. The pulp goes into a food mill and the juice is separated from the seeds. I add sugar and warm the juice until the sugar has melted. Once refrigerated, the juice can be diluted with water to one’s own taste. Healthy? I don’t know, but it tastes good. Every now and then I boil the passion fruit juice to make syrup than goes great on pancakes. My grumichama trees are flowering en masse, which raises my spirits. Nothing in my yard tastes better than the small but delicious black grumichama fruits. And what do I do with them? I pop them into my mouth and enjoy their lovely flavour out of hand. I had a flush of papayas before Easter but now all my trees seem to be somnolent. My family ate the first pineapples of the year towards the end of May, Sugar Loaf pineapples that are small but sweet. The main season is over for strawberries though my wife forages and finds a handful now and then. • For queries and comments e-mail email@example.com
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An extreme experience Part II
Sir Christopher Ondaatje continues his description of a turbulent camping safari in the jungles of Sri Lanka.
he rains continued and we expected the worst. And the worst happened. Before we even got to Wilpattu we were told that the causeway at Eluwankulama had been flooded and that camping was impossible. So instead, the Pereras rented a small bungalow called “Anawila” on the outskirts of the main entrance to Wilpattu at Hunuwilagama – perhaps 15 minutes from the park gates. The weather did not stop us. At Hunuwilagama we were met again by the Pereras, and Indika Gunesekera – the third partner of Xtreme Nature Tours. We arrived just in time for a delicious rice and curry meal. We had heard that the day before there had been an unfortunate event where a spotted deer had been caught in a snare. The caretaker of the bungalow turned out to be one of the main suspects. It was a nasty situation and we tried hard not to be involved. Rules against the trapping and snaring of protected animals are very strict and sometimes the employers of servants could be accused of being culpable.
Luckily we avoided what could have been an unpleasant situation. It was a cool afternoon when we set out on our first Wilpattu game drive. There was the ever-present threat of rain but we were prepared for the worst. We had perhaps got a couple of photographs of a pair of blue-tailed bee eaters silhouetted against the dark sky when there was another heavy downpour and an uncomfortable drop in temperature. I must admit that below a certain temperature my body simply doesn’t work! We shielded our bodies from the rain as best we could. It wasn’t easy, and it was a relief to get back to our small bungalow. We got out of our wet clothes and put on a brave face. Coconut arrack followed by chicken curry and roti also helped us dry out. At dusk I photographed a “tic polonga” or Russell’s viper near the bungalow steps. The viper is probably the most poisonous of all the snakes in Sri Lanka. Wilpattu, literally meaning the Land of Lakes, is about 130,000 hectares or about 500 square miles – the largest natural park in Sri Lanka. The park is a unique landscape composed of
Sir Christopher photographing a Russell’s viper – the most poisonous snake in Sri Lanka. attractive high forest with tenacious lianas and thorny scrub interrupted fairly regularly by verdant plains and soothing sand-rimmed basins of water known as “villus”. You have to be alert. Flocks of Whistling Teal, herds of deer, wild hare, Open-Billed Storks, Cormorants, Snake Birds, Tortoises, and Crocodiles are abundant. Sir David Attenborough once referred to Wilpattu as “the best place on earth to see the leopard”. We had long three and a half hour game drives. We tried hard to get to the park gates when they opened at 6am – so we had a quick breakfast first. Because of the wet conditions the game drives were slow and rough. I photographed a brown fish owl, a chestnut-headed bee eater, and an expressive serpent eagle. We worked hard driving the inner tracts of
Wilpattu and found our first Wilpattu leopard at noon – very near the park gate – a beautiful healthy male, lounging in the red soil, attending to his toilet, and giving us some good photographic opportunities. This was one of our best mornings. No rain. We were thrilled. Palu and Weera trees lined the Wilpattu jungle road – a red dirt track. But there was always the threat of rain. Eventually it poured – but we were not disheartened. The high humidity continued and it became strangely cooler. There were occasional passing showers. I photographed stone plovers, sand plovers and sambhur. The long rough game drives were tiring – but this is what being on safari is all about. An irreplaceable experience. The afternoon game drives were usually followed by some strong arrack or black label scotch whisky. We
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Friday, June 14, 2019
The Water Garden Sigiriya resort needed it to warm up before dinner. String hoppers and pork curry, followed by some fresh papaya from an adjoining chena or plantation which was laden with fruit. It was time for more stories and debate. The mysterious “devil bird” was the subject of much conjecture. The superstitions attached to the piercing cries and convulsive screams of this night bird called “ulama” in Sinhala are believed to be an omen of death. The cry is very similar to the cry of a strangled child. The debate continues today as to whether it is the forest eagle owl or the crested hawk eagle. I think it is the latter although I have only heard the cry once. The true identity of the bird continues to be one of the mysteries of the Sri Lankan jungles. I had been warned that there is always something exciting about the Pereras’ “Xtreme Nature Tours” – and so it was. We had breakfast a little late at 8am before our last long Wilpattu game drive. Nothing much happened before noon – sambhur and fawn, and the opportunity to take some photographs of an empty Wilpattu game track. The park has a different character than any other game park in the country. It was a Monday and there was an oppressive atmosphere that warned us of another heavy downpour. It happened – and we huddled under a waterproof tarpaulin to
Elephants in the Gal Oya National Park protect ourselves. Moments later we saw a female leopard cross the jungle road. She seemed to be in a hurry and looked for a tree or some cover. Then the rain hit her and she scurried away under the cover of a large palu tree. There followed a short period when we were both miserable looking at each other – she huddled below her palu tree and we cowering under our tarpaulin. But then, probably in disgust, she shook the water off her slender
body and disappeared into the jungle. We did not see her again. Pools of muddy water in the jungle track made driving difficult but the Pereras took turns driving – and they handled the difficult task well. An unconcerned Shikra bird blocked our way in one of the brown muddy pools while we photographed her. It was an unusual place for her to be resting. This last game drive lasted an incredible seven hours. We knew it was our
last day. We had a late lunch: country rice, ladies’ fingers, and fried fish. One of the Pereras had developed a bad cold. This was not that surprising as we had been sitting at the back of the jeep in wet clothes for the best part of four hours. Getting wet is one of the hazards of camping in Sri Lanka in the mid-October season – but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. We swapped wild stories on our last night. I told them some of my hair raising experiences in East Africa and the Serengeti Plains, and they told us some similar jungle stories in Sri Lanka. It was a fun evening. The next morning my wife and I headed for a brief three-day stay at the Sigiriya Water Garden – one of the new boutique hotels overlooking the mighty Sigiriya rock fortress built by the mad King Kasyapa in the fifth century. The illegitimate son of King Dhatusena, Kasyapa walled his father up alive and seized the throne. The crazed king then ruled the island from his impregnable rock fortress for the next twenty-two years. We needed the rest before heading for Colombo and a last few days at the Galle Face Hotel – my favourite hotel on the south-west coast of the island. However, the day we arrived in Colombo, on October 26, a constitutional crisis erupted in Sri Lanka when President Maithripala Sirisena appointed former President and Member of Parliament Mahinda Rajapaksa as prime minister, before formally dismissing the incumbent Ranil Wikremesinghe – resulting in two concurrent prime ministers. Wikremesinghe and his United National Party, not surprisingly, viewed the appointment as illegal and refused to resign. This instigated political turmoil in the country drew international criticism and forced foreign governments to issue warnings to tourists to avoid any areas of political gatherings. Sirisena’s move was immediately labelled as being unconstitutional – rejected by parliament, and created a situation that could not last. After an attempt to form a new Cabinet of Ministers under Rajapaksa, Sirisena attempted to dissolve parliament, unsuccessfully. Subsequently the Supreme Court ruled Sirisena’s move as being unconstitutional and illegal, and Rajapaksa was forced to eventually relinquish his claim to the prime minister position on December 15 last year. An uneasy situation continues to exist and a fiercely ambitious Rajapaksa, ignoring widespread accusations
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A leopard in Wilpattu
A rare sighting of a fish owl of corruption, is determined to return to a position of political power in the country. Despite the political crisis, we were pampered by the Galle Face Hotel staff and given the presidential suite with its ebony floors, ebony furniture, and sea views. However we could not avoid the inevitable. As we boarded the ten and a half hour flight to London, and then another nine and a half hour flight to Nassau, we both fell victim to the rigours of our three week adventure in a wet and damp tropical country. It had indeed been an extreme experience and the inevitable bronchial infections that followed made us realise how lucky we were to spend the next two weeks recovering in our Bahamian paradise. I don’t think we will be risking another Sri Lankan camping adventure in another raininfested October month. NEXT WEEK: A British adventurer who was the elder brother of Ian Fleming – creator of James Bond • Sir Christopher Ondaatje is the author of “The Last Colonial”
A sambhur deer
A close-up of Sri Lanka’s most poisonous snake, the Russell’s viper
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Friday, June 14, 2019
'Men in Black' returns, a little worse for wear Men in Black: International | 120 minutes
ould any fictional gadget be more coveted by Hollywood executives than the memory-erasing “Men in Black” neuralyzer? Imagine the lucrative benefits of being able to, with a single flash, make moviegoers forget the film they just saw. Franchises would be endlessly renewable. IP could last forever. Instead, we get film series perpetuated beyond their natural end with the hope that you remember them enough to get you in the door but not enough that you’re much bothered by regurgitated storylines. To be honest, I don’t recall much from the first three “Men in Black” films, all by Barry Sonnenfeld, except the original’s light wit, the fine chemistry between the leads, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, and the likeable premise that aliens walk among us. The new “Men in Black: International” is the fourth film in the franchise and one of those reboot-sequelspinoff hybrids. Exactly how it
connects to the previous three movies is only so relevant, I suspect, in the hearts of its makers. It’s just another one. This time, F. Gary Gray, coming off another neverending franchise (”The Fate of the Furious”), takes over as director. Subbing for Smith and Jones are Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, who already tried out their rapport together in “Thor: Ragnarok.” The movie is, unsurprisingly, a pale reflection of the first “Men in Black.” It’s bland and nearly neuralyzer-level forgettable. Its target market (international) is right there in the title. But it has a few things going for it. In the 22 years since the original, the fate of the world has, at the multiplex, hung in the balance roughly a billion times. But I still prefer the “Men in Black” mode of impending Armageddon to the more self-serious superhero rescues. Here, it’s routine, happens all the time, nothing much to worry about. The end of the world is a breeze.
Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth in a scene from Columbia Pictures’ “Men in Black: International.” (Giles Keyte/Sony/Columbia Pictures via AP)
And I also can’t get my ire up too much at a film that gives ample room for Thompson and Hemsworth to be what they are: top-notch movie stars. “Men in Black: International” doesn’t rekindle the original’s fun, but it makes for a minimally sufficient summer diversion since it at least uses its flood of specialeffects not to drown out its leads but to elevate them. Thompson plays Molly, a young paranoid who has been on the lookout for alien life forms since she was visited by a cuddly extraterrestrial as a child and managed to
elude the neuralyzer. Through cunning and pluck, she tracks down a Men in Black headquarters and talks her way into a job after convincing Emma Thompson’s Agent O, a holdover from 2012’s “MIB3.” An eager new recruit, dubbed Agent M, Molly quickly partners with one of the agency’s top men, Agent H (Hemsworth), an arrogant but decorated agent whose swoon-worthiness extends to, it would seem, all the species of the universe. He’s the most trusted agent of the organization overseen by High T (Liam Neeson).
But the Men in Black have a mole, they soon learn, and a strange new shape-shifting foe presently in the form of Laurent and Larry Bourgeois. For anyone who’s seen Beyoncé’s “Homecoming,” the dancing identical twins are suitably out-of-this-world. They are lethal emissaries for an intergalactic force known as the Hive, even if the twins’ Queen B is sadly nowhere to be seen. The action skips around between Paris and London and Marrakech, but the film gets a comic lift when Kumail Nanjiani enters as the voice of a strange little chess board creature named Pawny who pledges his devotion to Agent M. The plotting is clunky and haphazard. But when together, Thompson, Hemsworth and Nanjiani turn “Men In Black: International” into something funny and silly: a pleasant enough lark in formal wear. “Men in Black: International,” is rated PG-13. JAKE COYLE AP Film Writer
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he latest “Shaft,” which adds a new generation of bad mother******* to the mix, is not what you might expect. It’s not gritty or raw or even attempting to be all that cool. Instead it maintains intoxicatingly upbeat sitcom-style energy, with gentrification jokes, generational jabs (mostly at the expense of millennials) and Samuel L. Jackson, reprising his nearly 20-year-old role as John Shaft II, seemingly having a blast every step of the way. It’s not that it’s sanitized or without violence. There are guns, many of them, and of the automatic assault variety. But this is the kind of movie that will play The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” during a big shootout - and not in a Scorsese kind of way. It’s hard not to be on board with the liveliness and the generally sharp writing. The film starts off so well, too, and as most movies really should, in 1989 Harlem. Regina Hall (Maya) is dressing down Shaft for his reckless life choices and he’s not really having it, but their conversation gets interrupted by an ambush that almost kills Maya and the baby we find out later is in the back seat. So Maya moves upstate to the suburbs with little John Shaft Jr. (or J.J.) to raise him away from danger (and his father). Shaft is there in J.J.’s life through the occasional Christmas present which, over the years include a New York Giants Super Bowl XXV ring, Magnum condoms and pornography magazines. But despite his attempts to raise a mini-mother****** from afar, J.J. grows up to be a nice young fellow and M.I.T. grad who wears slim fitting jeans and shirts buttoned all the way to the top and works for the FBI (aka “the man”). He’s played, charmingly, by Jessie T. Usher. The mysterious death of his friend, and his inability to investigate on his own, leads him to his dad’s office to ask for some help. He gets more than he bargained for in terms of late-game fatherly advice on how J.J. is failing to be a man, and, specifically, a black man worthy of the Shaft name. And so this odd couple sets off to solve a murder, and, you presume, learn some lessons from one another as well. All well and good right? Not exactly. Director Tim Story and writers Alex Barnow and Kenya Barris made the pretty curious and unforgivable choice to imbue this story not just with a generational divide, but with all the
review Toxic masculinity in a sitcom package in 'Shaft' shaft | 111 minutes
antiquated and offensive worldviews from the “good old days” that they could fit in to two hours. Early on there’s a throwaway joke about an FBI boss having a transgender kid (the things he has to deal with!). It goes by quickly enough that it MIGHT BE forgotten, but then come the gay panic jokes — a lot of them — and the misogynistic jokes (because what women really want is a man who tells them what they want and never apologizes). As if that all wasn’t enough to sour what could have been a simply joyful experience, they also manage to get an extended fat-shaming joke in before the final showdown. It’s very possible the filmmakers assume this is all in good fun and even be acceptable because when Shaft is
Left, Jessie Usher, Samuel Jackson and Richard Roundtree in a scene from “Shaft.” (Kyle Kaplan/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)
Left, Alexandra Shipp, Jessie Usher, Samuel Jackson and Richard Roundtree in a scene from “Shaft.”
going off on what women want, it’s clear that his son disagrees. But I’m not sure two woke characters (including J.J.’s smart love interest played by Alexandra Shipp) are enough anymore, especially when the movie clearly views J.J. as the nerd who needs to lighten up and embrace the old school ways of his much cooler father. How jokes this offensive can make it to the screen in 2019 is beyond comprehension and a bit of a shame, considering this has so much else going for it including a delightful late-game appearance by the original Shaft, Richard Roundtree, who looks fantastic, by the way. There is potential commentary to be made about the generational gap that doesn’t require dredging up the most deplorable intolerances. So what on earth were these bad mother******* thinking? “Shaft,” is rated R. LINDSEY BAHR AP Film Writer
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Woody and the gang are back - and it was worth the risk toy story 4 | 100 minutes
DISNEY/PIXAR VIA AP
t’s futile to ask “why more” in the movie business, but it’s hard not to go in a little suspicious of a fourth “Toy Story.” The trilogy was so perfect. What more could we ask of Woody and Buzz? What more did we as an audience need? If we got another, would it live up to the unbridled joy and emotional satisfaction of the first three? And if it was bad, would it tarnish the others? Sure it might sound a little dramatic to get this emotionally invested in the legacy of an animated series about anthropomorphic toys, but Pixar and Disney did this to themselves by creating something so precious and lasting. But I’m delighted to report the fears were unwarranted. “Toy Story 4 “ is a blast and it’s great to be back with the gang. It took a herculean effort behind the scenes to get here too, nine years after “Toy Story 3” left many of us sobbing in our seats. Ousted Pixar head John Lasseter, who directed the first two, was supposed to direct and the screenplay switched hands three years into development (which helps explain why eight writers get “story by” credits). Eventually the project was handed over to animator, sometimes voice actor and first time feature director Josh Cooley to bring it home. None of that disorder is apparent on the screen, however. A flashback tells us what happened to Bo Peep (Annie Potts) all those years ago, and reminds us where we left off: With Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack) and the rest of the toys being passed on to a new
kid, Bonnie, as their beloved Andy heads off to college. But it turns out Andy’s talk with Bonnie about his favourite toy Woody didn’t have much of an impact on the fickle five-year-old. At playtime she prefers Jessie and often leaves Woody in the closet with the rest of the toys she’s outgrown. “Remember house,” a forlorn chair (Carol Burnett) says wistfully, as they all notice Woody has picked up his first dust bunny. This sends him into a panic spiral as he grasps for anything that will make him essential to Bonnie’s life. When she
decides that a deranged arts and crafts project made of a spork she calls Forky is her new favourite toy, Woody becomes his protector. Tony Hale provides the perfect voice for this insane but charming addition who keeps trying to jump in the trash. (It’s his destiny as a disposable utensil after all!) Indeed, “Toy Story 4” introduces a whole batch of fun new characters, like the Canadian stuntman Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves), the 50s antique and all around head case Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) and her creepy
“Vincent” henchmen. There’s also Combat Carl (Carl Weathers), Bunny (Jordan Peele) and Ducky (KeeganMichael Key). And pay close attention and you might also spot Melephant Brooks (Mel Brooks) and Carl Reineroceros (Carl Reiner) too. A family RV trip takes all the toys to a new location, where Woody encounters Bo Peep for the first time in almost a decade. She relishes her freedom as a lost toy and leads a happy, rag-tag existence wandering around and meeting new kids everywhere. It’s enough to make even the
most loyal toy question his purpose. And they go on some enormously fun and inventive adventures trying to get Forky back to Bonnie. The signature “Toy Story” wit and irreverence might not be quite as sharp as it was before, but there are enough truly inspired moments to keep you smiling as you savour the unexpected fun. Cooley and the writers even brilliantly play on some kid-friendly horror movie tropes, adding a fresh dimension to this journey. If there is a complaint, it’s that Woody and Bo’s quest takes us away from most of the original toys for a large part of the movie, although Buzz still finds a way to be part of it. Although it doesn’t exactly reach the emotional heights of the previous films, the conclusion is still effective and well executed. Let this be a lesson to all franchise cynics: Sometimes more is actually good. Woody needed some closure he couldn’t even comprehend. And, it turns out, so did we. “Toy Story 4,” is rated G. LINDSEY BAHR AP Film Writer
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sUrveyInG AND 6 4 SUE 5 2 | Weekend wHIrLwInd 3 Tribune 269 | The
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The Tribune | Weekend | 27
Friday, June 14, 2019
What's for dinner?
pet of the week
ost of the people who read my articles are devoted pet parents and only want to do what is the very best for their animals. We all know that the best regime to follow is love (lots of love), regular medical care with inoculations, and healthy, nutritional food. For years we blindly fed our furry family the standard food found stacked a mile high in the supermarket aisles. The canned dog food sporting names that would appeal to the humans who buy them: beef stew, lamb chunks, prime rib, chicken stew – they all sound delicious. The colourful bags of dry food, each one with an adorable photo of a very noble or cute dog. But is that the best route to go? There are several schools of thought on canine and indeed feline nutrition, and we will examine a few of them today. As humans we are all “in to” different fads and diets: gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, raw, dairy free, 30-day cleanses Mediterranean, carbfree, low cholesterol, and so
Animal matters | KIM ARANHA
the list goes on. Some of us feel that if it is good for us, then it must be good for our pets. Traditional pet food vs the latest fad There is certainly more dynamic thinking nowadays, revolutionising how we feed our best friends. First thing to remember is that even though they are most definitely family, they are not humans, so their bodies process food and nutrition differently to how our bodies do, so not everything we do for ourselves is appropriate for them. Cats have a very different way of processing their food and their owners need to be properly informed before trying any unusual and innovative approach to their dinner menu. In a recent study it was revealed that over one third of pet owners in Englishspeaking countries have considered changing their pet’s diet to a plant-based one. Cats in particular simply cannot lead a healthy life on a veggies only diet. Cats qualify as obligate carnivores (true, true carnivores). They
depend on meat for some very important nutrients. A cat is completely unable to convert beta-carotene from plant food into vitamin A; they have to get it directly from meat. Humans and dogs are able to make this conversion. As far as cats are concerned, a meat/fish diet is essential. Now what about Fido? Dogs can certainly survive as vegetarians, but it is not without challenges. Certain amino acids are essential for your dog that you as a human do not require and alas, plants are not rich in those particular ones. It is also interesting to note that we as humans can convert sunlight in to vitamin D3, our dogs are unable to do this, so they need to get their D3 from meat products. There are plenty of vegetarian dog foods on the market, but you need to choose them with care; many of them do not contain the amino acid requirements to keep Fido healthy. I found it interesting, if not a bit repugnant, that Europe already has dog food for sale that is made from insects. The
Purrt a little love in your life By The Bahamas Humane Society
ooking for love in all the wrong places? How about a cat for some feline affection? Althea’s been at the Bahamas Humane Society for several months now and is hoping you’ll be the new love of her life. She’s about
Photo of Althea by Patricia Vazquez.
mere thought of this does not appeal to me, but then again, why not, I guess? I know that we are constantly being advised to read the contents of our pet’s food more carefully; the dry foods tend to be high in corn and gluten meal. The first item on the list of ingredients is that which there is the most of. It is worth taking a close look at. The jury is still out as far as the advantages of an all-raw diet: a return to the wilds so to speak. I am not a fan. Somehow it brings back to me the savage side of our furry family. However, I know of people who highly recommend it. I personally use a small amount of dry dog food and supplement it with homecooked lamb or chicken with various vegetables and rice. The dogs love it; it is cost effective and they get a varied
two-years-old so she’s well past the kitten antics but still energetic and playful. She’ll be just as happy to curl up on the sofa next to you while you watch the finale of your favourite show. Purring’s an extra bonus! All BHS adoption animals are spayed or neutered so you won’t need to worry about kittens coming along later. If you need that extra dollop of love in your life, come and meet Althea, or call 323-5138 for more information. Adoption hours are 11am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm. Saturday. Althea’s sure to love meeting you!
diet, with the blessing of their veterinarian. I also add vitamin supplements to their food daily. What you feed your pet it a very personal choice and everybody wishes to do the very best for them. There are several options out there, and the best recommendation I can make is to consult your vet before making any dire changes. If you do make a change in their diet be very vigilant and report any significant changes that you may notice. Whatever regime you have chosen, if your pet is healthy and happy, full of energy with a shinny coat, you probably have no need to change what you are doing. If they are not happy, do not look shiny and robust, then perhaps it is time to change up the dinner menu.
FREE adoptions! Saturday, June 15, 10am. to 6pm. Come in and check out all our adoption animals! • Did you know The Bahamas Humane Society has a Thrift Shop? It’s right next to the main shelter and sells gently used items. All funds raised go to the BHS. Donations welcome! Wed-Fri 1pm to 4pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm. It costs approximately $2,900 a day to keep our shelter open.Your membership fees are one way to help us do this. Become a member today! http://www.bahamashumanesociety.com/
28 | The Tribune | Weekend
Friday, June 14, 2019