Destra Garcia Makes Musical Theatre Debut

CZAR launches the call: ‘Bring Yuh Riddim’ and Come.

Log line: ‘Riddim Nation’ tells the tale of BROKO – the only member of his Moko Jumbie crew with no ‘rhythm’…

In a last-minute Carnival landscape, over-saturated with musical acts, CZAR, led by Commander-in-Chief/CEO Jules Sobion will be offering an enticing and scintillating experience of “Carnival at the Theatre.” Earlier this month, the team’s first set of social media teasers were released with a bottle and spoon theme, signaling an opening rhythmic cue of – ‘Bring De Riddim’.

This will be Sobion’s second foray into Carnival-themed theatre, with his first being the production of MAS – Magic and Spirit of 2021. This year’s production titled, ‘RIDDIM NATION’, will feature “the riddims of T&T’s Carnival” – an exploration of the many musical influences found within the Festival, but told through the theatrical lens. 


REVIEW: MAS – Magic & Spirit


The vehicle for this vibrant message will be the story of a humble moko jumbie enthusiast named Broko. A moko jumbie named “broko”, as in “broko-foot”? –  Immediately, yes.

Written and produced by Penny Gomez, ‘Riddim Nation’ is infused with humour, drama, and headliners in entertainment. The official show synopsis reads, “The central character is nick-named’ ‘BROKO’ for his love of Moko Jumbies and his training to be a stilt-walker/dancer. The problem is – BROKO has no ‘rhythm’ – both literally and figuratively – a fact that is made very clear to him by his mother, his girlfriend and his fellow Moko Jumbie crew. ‘Riddim Nation’ takes us on BROKO’s journey to find the ‘riddim’ of Carnival. His search is explored using significant cultural elements of the festival – Pan, Music and Mas. BROKO discovers that to find his ‘riddim’ he must first understand all the elements that make up the Carnival experience, and their origins…”

CZAR seems to have a signature style emerging in the themes of its theatre productions – Carnival protagonist experiences dilemma of self-identity, followed by spiritual transformation, to enlightened revelation. This is a theme that may resonate powerfully with many, given the challenges faced with personal self-identity and self-expression.  Not only do some of us struggle with understanding and knowing our cultural identity and heritage, but we also sometimes grapple with confidently standing firm in that identity and our personal power – holding our own “rhythm” in the engine room of life. 

Coming to the Carnival Theatre will be a star-studded cast of actors, performers and entertainers who will join musical and dramatic forces to bring all the riddim to the audience. 

Kearn Samuel

Kearn Samuel, is a member of the National Theatre Arts Company (NTAC) and a performer 19 years deep in the arts as both a singer and actor of theatre and film. In ‘RIDDIM NATION’, he will take the lead role of ‘Broko’. For the past 10 years Samuel has honed his talent as a thespian to such productions as, ‘Circle Mirror Transformation’, which he also co-directed, ‘Ah Wanna Fall’, ‘Aida’, ‘Peter Pan’, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Dance Me, Lover’ Earl Lovelace’s ‘ The Dragon Can’t Dance’ Derek Walcott’s ‘Steel’, William Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream and ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, ‘The Sound Of Music’, and ‘Encore: Live From Broadway’ to name a few. Kearn can also be seen in such films as ‘Happy Sad’, ‘Escape from Babylon’, ‘Sweet TnT’ ‘Jab in the Dark’ and ‘Between Friends’. 

Syntyche Bishop

Alongside him will be Syntyche Bishop in the role of ‘Sexy Sue’, BROKO’s girlfriend. Bishop is an Actress, Singer and Voice/Performance Coach. She was invited by the Actors Chapel on Broadway, New York to perform for Black history month on two occasions. She was assistant to the coordinator of the Bronze Lens Film Festival in Atlanta Georgia, and more recently directed TALAWA, a docu-performance of the life and journey of Lil Bitts. Syntyche is the host of a Conversation with Tye and founder of the Discover Me Project.  She is the holder of a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus.

Derron Sandy

The role of ‘Midnight Robber’ will be reprised by Derron Sandy, who delivered a powerful performance in a similar role in last year’s production. Sandy is a veteran spoken word poet, artistic director, actor and writer. His craft centers around the use of spoken word poetry as a tool to create solutions for education, entertainment and entrepreneurship. In 2016, Sandy completed his Masters of Arts in Literatures in English from UWI St. Augustine, has been long listed for The 2021 Bocas Lit Fest Johnson and Amoy Achong Caribbean Writers Prize and his writings have been published in the 2020 Indianapolis Review.

Destra Garcia

Finally, making her world stage debut in a major musical theatre production, will be the Queen of Bacchanal herself, musician, singer and songwriter Destra Garcia. For this year’s CZAR production, she will both sing as well as sharpen her acting chops alongside leading man Kearn Samuel in the role of ‘Singing Shirley’, BROKO’s mother.

‘Riddim Nation’ presents a strong second salvo from CZAR for its 2022 ‘Carnival at the Theatre’ season, which is a welcome offering of much needed variety in the Carnival space and with the Carnival pace already set by local promoters.


Riddim Nation

Monday 28th February 2022 & Tuesday 1st March 2022

Opening Night & Closing Night: Doors open (6 pm), showtime (7.30 pm)
Tickets: $350 @ NAPA Box Office or islandetickets.com

More information available on Facebook & Instagram @weareczar


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Janine Charles-Farray is a passionate advocate for the arts and the creative industries and a Marketing Strategist and Publicist with a Bachelor of Business degree from the University of New Brunswick, Canada and a Master of Marketing degree from the University of the West Indies/Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business. For the past eight years in the Trinidad and Tobago Creative industry to today, she continues to offer her creative marketing services to a wide cross-section of sectors primarily Fashion, Film, Animation, Theatre, Dance and Music. In September 2019 she founded Black Collar Creative Ltd.

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