Entertainment

Music is Life Festival-May 8-11, 2014
Music is Life Festival-May 8-11, 2014

April 15, 2014

A Press Conference was held today at the Balmoral Club by Mr. Roscoe Dames co-ordinator of the Musis is Life Festival to be held May 8th - 11th...

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Give a Child a Ride cyclists get to party

April 11, 2014

Cyclists from across the country will hit the road on September 13 to raise money to assist local orphans, but before that they'll get to party!
Over 150 cyclists and corporate sponsors of last year's cycling event will be treated to an exclusive waterside barbecue tonight at the British Colonial Hilton, hosted by the Give a Child a Ride Charity.
Registration for the 2nd annual Give a Child a Ride event will officially begin today during the exclusive event.
Those invited will also get a chance to meet one of the children their donations go towards.
But it's not going to be all business.
Latoya Moxey, marketing and leisure sales manager at the British Colonial Hilton, said guests would also be treated to performances by Visage and get a chance to win some prizes.
"So tonight's event will be about mixing and mingling and networking," she said. "We want them to have a good time and we want to show them our appreciation."
Moxey said tonight's barbecue, which will take place between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., is the first in a series of social events that are a part the marketing campaign ahead of this year's race.
The charity will also host an all-inclusive party in June, a cocktail reception on September 12 and a concert the night of the race.
The June all-white party will be hosted at Fat Tuesdays, which is one of the major sponsors of the charity.
Moxey said while the exact date is still up in the air, one thing is for sure, the guests will have a good time.
"It'll be an all you can eat, all you can drink party," she said. "And all of the proceeds raised from that will go towards Give A Child a Ride."
As for the concert on the night of September 13, Moxey said there will be a surprise international guest artist, in addition to other local artists.
She said more details for all of the events will be announced in the coming months.
As for the reason behind all of the events, Moxey explained that the charity raises money to pay the tuition of disadvantaged children.
The charity is currently paying for the private school education of two teens who are housed at the Elizabeth Estates Children's Home.
She said this year the charity is hoping to take on an additional two teens.
"We want to get the word out there that we 're doing it again," she said.
During last year's event, held on September 13, the charity raised more than it expected.
"We started with the intention to raise $10,000 but we raised $50,000," she said. "So it was an amazing success. It was incredible, especially for it being our first time."
Moxey said the organizers of the charity are hoping to build the event into the premier cycling event in Nassau.
This year the charity is doubling its financial goal from $50,000 to $100,000, Moxey said.
"It's a challenging goal but we don't doubt that we'll get there," she said chuckling.
For those professional cyclists, this year the charity is adding a race component.
The race will kick off from Pompey Square at 6 a.m.
Those interested in participating will get the opportunity to get a complimentary room once two people register. Once the hotel reaches its room quota, discounts will be offered to those who register after that period.
Moxey said the rooms will be available either the night before or after the ride. The registration fee is $50.
The charity is the brainchild of the senior management and staff of the British Colonial Hilton.
Orphans entering the ninth through 11th grade are eligible for the charitable donations.
o For more information on the event and ways to donate visit wraw.giveachildaride.com or send an email to info@giveachildaride.com.

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Miss Teen Bahamas International offers top model title

April 11, 2014

It's pageant season and the Contestant Debut & All-White Party fundraiser of Miss Teen Bahamas International (MTBI) is just one of many events lined up on the extensive calendar for the twelve incredible young ladies in this year's pageant. Scheduled for April 11, the contestants will take to the stage in their first and official presentation to the Bahamian public at The Courtyard at J-line Fitness, Shirley Street.
Miss Teen Bahamas International organization has partnered with one of the largest and most reputable modeling agencies in the world, Major Model Management. Anthony Smith, the national director of MTBI, closed the deal a week ago with great optimism and excitement.
"It was one of the most difficult tasks in terms of negotiation we have had to do in years, simply because this is not something that is orthodox in the modeling and pageant world. Model agencies are not fond of pageant ladies and beauty queens and although the pageant community has been more welcoming with young ladies who are of the model type becoming beauty queens, it is rare that the two roads meet."
Considering there are so many teen pageants now coming up, what does Miss Teen Bahamas International offer that attracts young ladies to your pageant?
We have a comprehensive "Enrichment Program" that includes modeling classes, make-up application, self-defense, film production, communication and public speaking, health and nutrition and so much more in between. We want each lady to leave feeling empowered and self-sufficient. Our program offers training that will be useful to the young ladies long term.
Why did you include a modeling competition segment in your beauty pageant? And what are the requirements?
The same as the pageant requirement. Young ladies must be between 15 and 19 years. No children and free from criminal charges. There's not a height requirement. MTBI included the supermodel competition because I've seen lots of girls who have successfully made the transition from beauty queen to cover girl, spokesperson or runway model. It seems to me to be a matter of teaching them the right way to do it. Some of them find out later that the pageant world is sometimes a light step towards introducing them to the world of endless excitement that comprises modeling. After their introductions, many of them care very little about the answering of questions, judges interviews, etc and would much prefer to walk the runway, showcasing fine designer pieces.
What are the prizes for the winner for the Teen Super Model?
A one year contract with Major Model Management agency with locations in New York, Miami, Milan and Paris, and $10,000 in prizes including round trip travel to New York for a model portfolio shoot, cosmetic products, wardrobes and cash. There is also an opportunity of a lifetime for the winner to model on the international stage for some of the major designers. The opportunities and possibilities that come with all of this are endless. This is major for any young lady who is wishing to get a jump start in the modeling industry. She does not have to compete at another competition after ours for the Super Model spot. If she wins, she is automatically contracted.

Do you feel that there is a big enough market for models in The Bahamas to find work?
Certainly not, but that doesn't mean it does not exist and the push towards developing and acquiring work for local talents is not unattainable. I see many local talents modeling for local beverage companies, clothing stores, restaurants and jewelry shops. We have to simply be able to show merchants, designers and brands that we are serious about what we are and how we do it! With our training and guidance the vast array of local talent can receive the same value, if not more, with the beautiful resources we have here.
What is the next step for Miss Teen Bahamas International?
Along with our relentless and foremost pursuit to finalizing a four-year scholarship for our queens, we are always in pursuit of putting The Bahamas on the map by winning an international title, even if it does not come in the form of the young lady winning. It might happen by virtue of one of our former delegates winning Miss Bahamas and then winning the Miss Universe. But either way, pushing for our country to take pride in enlightening our young ladies and getting the best of what we have to offer here getting only the most excellent out of them in the pageant and modeling community.
What makes MTBI different or unique from other local teen pageants?
We are risk takers. There is nothing in the form of personal development, community service and pageant program building that I will not consider as long as it stays within the context of a teen and a wholesome lifestyle. There are not sufficient programs out there that are offering modeling, make-up, self-defense, film production, life coaching, social etiquette, personal communication and public speaking. We seem to have lost it. So, there's a challenge among young good men to find great wives because some times they might be smart, career oriented but not refined. No grooming or poor grooming can determine a young ladies' fate in the world, much like the story of Queen Esther in the Old Testament.
What advice would you give to young ladies who are shy and really don't like people staring at them?
Welcome to the real world! They will regardless. So make sure when they do the staring and the talking, make it worth it. Remember, you are a child of the universe and have a right to be here, and it is up to you to ensure that your value is not diminished by other people's opinion or perception of you, or actions against you. It has been my personal experience that the things that intimidated me most, or that I feared, were the ones that were leading me to my calling and my opportunities.
How would you rate your reigning queen?
Angel is a 10 all the way. We love her! What can I say, she's a teen and a growing young lady with lots of ambition and drive, and desires to know, learn and become. She has come a long way since the evening of her crowning, and she has her own philosophy and her own way of how to make things work. It's exciting to see that. MTBI encourages that. She is a true leader, highly and strongly opinionated, so we are proud of her accomplishments and her as a representative for our MTBI title."
When is the date of your pageant?
June 1, at the Rainforest Theatre, Wyndham Nassau Resort and Crystal Palace.
oFor more information contact Miss Teen Bahamas International at 676-5156 or dtnmagazine@gmail.com. Check us out on Facebook at missteenbahamasinternational

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Get your ego out of the way

April 11, 2014

As we all know, there are a whole lot of people who allow their ego to take over their lives and thus rule all of their actions, which so often gets them into serious trouble. When we allow our ego to reign supreme in our life, we really are setting our self up for some major trouble, in all areas of our life. Of course, people who allow The Ego to take over and thus dominate their life and affairs, are usually people with very low self-esteem. That's right, the people who do not feel too good about themselves deep down within their subconscious mind, are usually the ones who behave in a very egotistical manner. In other words, it's all about me, my needs and wants, and of course a person who is being governed by The Ego will be rather arrogant and loud mouthed, throwing their weight around all day long as they demand what they want from others in a most adamant and belligerent manner as they consistently turn people off from one end of the day to the other.
So often Politicians and Show Business People are Egotists as they endeavor to assert themselves and follow their own totally selfish agenda which is all about ME.....It's Me.....Me.....Me all day long and night as I desperately shout for and demand attention from others in a rather pathetic effort to try to feel good about myself, which in reality I do not due to my low self-esteem.
That's right, as I stated before on other occasions, as best-selling Author Dr. Denis Waitley put it in his book 'The Psychology of Winning' "Those who are always shouting for attention are really looking for attention due to a bad self-image". If you wish to really succeed whilst being at peace, there's no doubt about it, you most definitely need to take the instructions given in today's title seriously and thus 'Get You Ego Out Of The Way.'
In a recent lecture he gave on PBS television Dr. Wayne Dyer in talking about The Ego stated, that when one is allowing themselves to be run by their Ego, they are Exiting God Out.....that's what Ego stands for. You know, when a person is living their life from a purely spiritual perspective, they would never, ever become Egotistical in any way. A spiritually minded and guided person will at all times realize, that the success they're enjoying is due to the talents which God gave them in the first place, coupled with the daily assistance received from our Spiritual Father as He directs us to travel in the right direction in order to be able to finally reach the Promised Land. Yes, let's 'Get Our Ego Out Of The Way' and instead daily give credit where it's due, to God for all of our success and accomplishments to date.

o Think about it!
Visit my Website at: www.dpaulreilly.com
Listen to 'Time to Think' the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier (rated T)

April 11, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Rated T)
Cast: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie
Genre: Action Adventure
Dwight's Rating: 3 Stars out of 4
The increasing number of comic book-based, superhero action movies is keeping Hollywood on its toes, with each new release trying to out-explode the one before. It's also forcing film critics to find creative new ways to say something different about what are essentially - with just a few exceptions - rehashings of the same movie.
Over the past two-and-a-half decades, we've seen a steady stream of these flicks. They continue to be big box office draws. And Hollywood has increasingly been moving between the bankable, household-name superheroes like Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man, to more obscure characters - many of whom probably should have remained obscure.
In terms of quality, it's been a mixed bag. We've seen the highs like the original "Iron Man" and the depressing but groundbreaking "The Dark Knight" in the Batman series, to the lows like "The Dark Knight Rises" in the same Batman series, and last year's ridiculous waste of time, "Man of Steel" about Superman (yes, comic book fans, I said it!)
But there is some good news. The latest comic book tale, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier", while breaking no new ground, is fun and entertaining. And you don't have to watch the original film, 2011's "Captain America: The First Avenger", nor "The Avengers" of 2012 to follow the story.
Nevertheless, it does pick up after "The Avengers", in which New York City was nearly destroyed (supervillains really hate that place!). Captain America teams up with fellow Avenger, the Black Widow, to expose an ever-widening conspiracy, while fighting off professional assassins at every turn. But they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy, the Winter Soldier.
The film maneuvers the fine line between the usual comic book goofiness - taking over the world/enslaving the world/destroying the world - and weaves in an interesting, adult-feeling suspense/ mystery. During most of the film, we, like Captain America, are unsure of who's trustworthy, and who's really working for the evil HYDRA group.
Typical of movies of this genre, "The Winter Soldier" is visually impressive, with some amazing effects, especially those stunning flashback clips showing the frail Steve Rogers before he became Captain America.
But this film is also bolstered by the performances of the cast. Chris Evans is steady as Steve Rogers/Captain America. Samuel L. Jackson delivers his usual snarky wit as Nick Fury. And it was a treat to see screen legend Robert Redford in a very different film role.
Then there's Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow. "ScarJo" could be filmed reading the phone directory on a park bench, and it would be more entertaining than most movies released this year. She proved in last year's remarkable "Her" that she doesn't even need to appear on the screen to deliver a memorable performance.
For action lovers, there is a good dose of what constitutes as action these days - the endangerment of hundreds of human lives and a significant amount of property destruction in big cities. Sorry NYC, but this time, it's Washington D.C. taking the blows.
But also present is one disturbing trend I've noticed with a lot of recent superhero movies. The protagonists are being pitted against adversaries of equal strength and abilities. Yes, we all wondered and debated as kids who would win in a fight between this hero versus that hero.
However, when the combatants are all robots or gods, and have all been made from the same high strength steel, or bullet-proof force field, or injected with the same magical pain-defying potion, these battle scenes go on for ten to 15 minutes or more, with seemingly nobody getting hurt, none getting the upper hand, and everyone impervious to bullets or explosions. The audience ends up as exhausted as these fighters. It's literally a tiresome plot device. Make it stop, please!!
But again, and despite all that, "The Winter Soldier" delivers an inoffensive, fun time. It is a glaring contrast to the well-regarded, but in my view, over-the-top "The Avengers" - a visual and aural assault, which seemed to want to throw everything in the book at us - as if someone was given a mandate to produce the ultimate and final comic book action movie ever.
Instead, "The Winter Soldier" does not aim as high, and is all the better for it, with tolerable doses of action and de rigeur destruction, a good dollop of humor and wit, measured performances, with no actor trying to upstage and steal the show. We can only wish the slew of superhero movies coming out this year will offer even half as much.
o Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email dwight@nasguard.com and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.

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The illusion and magic of the circus

April 04, 2014

When Steven Best and Cassandra step onto the stage, their audience becomes a part of an unbelievable magic experience that will leave them mystified -- the master illusionist spins Cassandra's head in a full 360-degree turn -- and they remind you to remember to breathe as Cassandra fits herself into a small box and Steven pushes eight stainless steel, razor sharp spikes through her. This is the magic that Steven Best and Cassandra will bring to the stage as the circus has come to town.
So believe it or not, the circus will be truly amazing, based around a new cast performing and appearing on the popular television show "Ripley's Believe it or Not" and its famous museum in the United States. There will be 12 captivating performances of acrobats, contortionists, a Michael Jackson impersonator, local animals, famous cartoon characters such as Sponge Bob, Dora, Turtle and Elmo, a hilarious side-kick midget who will serve as co-ringmaster, daring swords swallowing act, rivaling Steven Best and Cassandra who headlined their own show in Las Vegas for five years, and who are now currently performing in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, in their new large-scale illusion show "Magic Spectacular!" for the best acts of the show title.
The sword act duo known as Captain and Maybelle, promise a show that will be shocking and filled with laughter. The self-proclaimed partners in crime perform classic sideshow entertainment with a contemporary twist, delivering zingers and stingers. Captain is a sword swallower, human blockhead and fire breather.
Captain & Maybelle were on "America's Got Talent Season 6", and if you missed them there, it's another dynamic duo that will leave you astonished and shaking your head in disbelief. You can see them push each other to their utmost physical limits, combining unique sideshow talent and spot-on comedy that will make you laugh and cry and have you asking why. They will show you how they quickly became America's favorite sideshow couple.
Rounding out the must see-acts will be juggler, Jonathan Jackson, and of course the co-ringmaster Stanley B. Booker Jr. who performed with the Universoul Circus in Atlanta, Georgia.
The circus has been brought to town again for the fifth year, courtesy of David Wallace and Soft Touch Productions.
"This year's event will be a circus of soul with lots of music and entertainment to hype the crowd," said Wallace, who said he tries to bring in different acts every year to ensure that the show remains relevant and a must-attend event. "This year in particular, there will be eye-popping, jaw-dropping performances that will have the audience anxious and on the edge of their seats when they see particular acts."
Matinee shows will be held today at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs Gymnasium (KGLI) for schools at 10 a.m., with a 1:30 p.m. show at Gerald Cash Primary. Shows open to the public will be held tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m. at KGLI.
Admission is $12 students, $11 for pre-school aged children and includes a hot dog and drink. Adult tickets are $15 general admission and $20 ringside seating.
Tickets can be purchased at Seventeen Shop, Collins Avenue, Carey's Department Store, Mackey Street, Conliffe's Bakery off Carmichael Road and the Original Swiss Sweet Shop, West Bay Street.

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Cartoon Network returns to Atlantis

April 04, 2014

For some kids, summer means no school, but for most kids, summer means endless entertainment and fun at Atlantis, Paradise Island, because Cartoon Network will be back in The Bahamas for more fun with new and exhilarating activities for kids.
A free concert on the beach by the hit band Paramore jump starts the activities on May 31.
Back by popular demand will be the Adventure Time-themed obstacle course featuring 9,000 square feet of inflatable obstacles that will take over Paradise Lagoon, creating the Cartoon Network Lagoon once again.
The ultimate obstacle course not only has a 16-foot Finn and Jake, a 50-foot-long double Lady Rainicorn slide, 10-foot Ice Kingdom and Candy Kingdom towers, a 13-foot Beemo launch pad, and 25-foot Princess Bubblegum and Ice King swings, but other Adventure Time characters as well.
Kids will need to slide, swing, and jump their way across Aflex Technology's impressive course.
With a new year comes a new beach slide. For little ones under the 48-inch mark, Cartoon Network's Lumpy Space Princess' dual slide will thrill even the littlest of Adventure Time fans.
In addition to the fan-favorite Costume Character Parade in Marina Village and red carpet premieres, Cartoon Network has a new activity, Screen on the Green. Three times a week, friends and families can gather on the grass area next to Dolphin Cay for special screenings of hit Cartoon Network series during the summer.
Atlantis Kids Adventure (AKA) will also welcome more of Cartoon Network's programming fun, guaranteed to have kids' imaginations running wild. Every week, Cartoon Network-themed programs will be open to guests six to 12 years old, including Adventure Time and The Amazing World of Gumball-centered programs. Cartoon Network Adventure at AKA gives kids full access to all kinds of themed games, arts and crafts, photos, and more.
Kids can take away more than just a memory from their vacation with Cartoon Network merchandise as well. Kiosks will be present at the resort for families to keep a special souvenir to remember the ultimate adventure. Three months of Cartoon Network games and giveaways at the ultimate family-friendly vacation destination? An epic summer is in store for kids at Atlantis.

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Noah is a perplexing, yet intriguing film

April 04, 2014

Noah (Rated B)
Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson
Genre: Biblical Drama
Dwight's Rating: 3 stars out of 4
An epic battle between good and evil, with a large floating vessel, and mysterious, giant talking creatures with incredible strength and seemingly magical powers. Expect all that and more in the new film "Noah"!
Confused? Well, yes, this "Noah" is indeed about that Noah, of the Book of Genesis fame -- grandson of Methuselah, who begat Lamech, who then begat said Noah. The same one who saved all of Earth's creatures by loading them two-by-two on his ark to wait out the great flood that came to wash away the evil in mankind and all the sins of the world.
For the most part, that's largely where the similarities end between the story you know from the Bible and this movie. And as a result, we are left with a perplexing and yet intriguing film.
As you can surmise, there are things going on here that you're unlikely to find in any account of Genesis you'll ever come across. It is an often wild interpretation, taking what is already one of the most fantastic stories in the Bible to even higher heights of incredulity.
I criticized "Son of God" for sticking far too closely and cautiously -- and ultimately, boringly -- to the Gospel accounts of Jesus. "Noah" is the complete opposite. And while some of the choices are questionable, I do applaud director Darren Aronofsky (2010's "Black Swan"), who co-wrote the script along with Ari Handel, for taking chances with a very bold and unique story.
So, unlike with "Son of God", you might want to rethink taking the Bible study group or Sunday School class to see this one, as someone is going to have a lot of explaining to do. But if you are willing to accept the embellishments, you'll likely find this an incredibly entertaining tale.
The CGI work is absolutely breathtaking and astonishing, and it establishes itself as a technical masterwork.
Russell Crowe, as Noah, delivers a strong performance. I've always imagined that those sinful people watching Noah build his ark must have thought him mad. In "Noah", there's apparently no question about it. Here, he is a certifiable nut job. But Crowe plays him with such depth, that we can clearly understand that it's the weight of the world -- the enormous burden that has been placed on him -- that is driving him to the edge. That, and some of the human members on the ark, who are really trying his patience.
Anthony Hopkins also has a small role, and is always a pleasure to watch. Emma Watson, too, gives a worthy performance. But it does feel familiar, as she's once again in a film with tones of "Lord of the Rings", to which the "Harry Potter" series she's best know for have often been compared.
This year is shaping up to be "The Year of the Bible" for Hollywood. In addition to "Son of God" and "Noah", there are a number of other biblically-themed movies due out, including "Mary, Mother of Christ", and "Exodus" about Moses.
One wonders on which side of the divide these films will fall -- the grounded-in-Biblical-"reality"-side with "Son of God", or the extreme-fantasy-side with "Noah." As both movies have had success at the box office, this doesn't seem to matter to audiences. But so far, we can score one in favor of extreme-fantasy as the more exciting and interesting way to make a Bible movie.

o Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email dwight@nasguard.com and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.

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I can see clearly now

April 04, 2014

As I stated in the last article, Dr. Wayne Dyer's latest lecture series on PBS television is titled "I Can See Clearly Now", as is his latest book. Now, here's a simple question for you my friend, can you see clearly now the way forward in your life? In other words, have you yet come to a point in your life where you feel that at last you do indeed fully comprehend what the whole purpose of life on earth is all about, and your individual role in the overall scheme of things? This is indeed a most important question for each and every one of us to ponder deeply here today, isn't it? You bet it is!
Once we get to this point in our life where we can see clearly, both with our external and internal sight, then we will fully realize, that even though we are just one person out of an estimated seven billion people presently inhabiting Mother Earth, we are indeed a very important part of the whole, and do have a significant role to play. That's right, you my friend, are important in the overall scheme of things for you are a unique human being created by God to fulfill a special purpose. There's something about you which is unique, something which makes you unlike any other person.
And my friend, you have a very important role to play in the development of, not just your immediate family, but you have a role to play in your community, city, town, country, in the world. Yes my friend, you are a vital link in the chain of life on planet earth, so you are very special. I do hope and pray, that you now fully grasp this undeniable truth and will thus see yourself in a whole new way, realizing that you have a very special contribution to make to the world and its people.
Yes my friend, I do hope that you can see clearly now exactly why you were born, and your overall purpose for being alive on planet earth living where you do, at this particular point in time. When you finally come to that point in your life when you can see clearly why you were born and what your true purpose is, you'll realize, that everything really is in divine order, everything has been very carefully orchestrated and choreographed by the creator of the universe, and you're an extremely important part of the whole exciting production we call life.
Yes indeed you do have an important role to play as ordained by God, and by following the right path, you do indeed have a role to play in the overall scheme of things. Isn't this exciting? You bet it is!
o Think about it!

Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com. Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Fantastic Fridays pt. 2

April 04, 2014

Fantastic Fridays is turning out to be the hit event to end the month. The first installment was so popular that the masses flocked to the second event on Friday past at Bullion Bar at the British Colonial Hilton hotel in collaboration with Star 106.5FM and Visage.
It's a lot of mix and mingling, a lot of networking and a lot of great food, drinks in a relaxed atmosphere. Visage is the house band at the social happy hour from 6 p.m. to 10 pm. Patrons can remain until the bar's closing at midnight. A $20 cover charge per patron includes one free drink and with proof of purchase of a second drink, parking is free.
After two installments, moving forward patrons can expect the same energy, networking, mingling, and just being amongst a crowd who is happy for the weekend at the end of the month Fantastic Fridays event.

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The world's greatest entertainer

March 28, 2014

Barbados has Rihanna, Trinidad lays claim to Nicki Minaj -- then there are the many stars who have Caribbean heritage flowing through their veins -- people to whom many talented Bahamian youth look up to and dream of being like. They fantasize about the opportunity to be the one who fans worldwide adore. Many try to make their dream of stardom in the music industry a reality, but as they attempt to do so they should also be aware of the fact that to ensure longevity they have to be wise according to Doug E. Fresh, legendary beat boxer, rapper and Apollo Live judge.
Known for his crazy beat-boxing skills and signature two-step, Doug E. Fresh has made a lasting impression on pop culture. Ever since he teamed up with rap legend Slick Rick for smash hits like "The Show" and "La Di Da Di", he's been carving his path as rap royalty. With almost 30 years in the business, Hip Hop's human beat box continues to rock shows. And whether he's making television appearances, giving back to communities or teaching the world how to Dougie, the 47-year-old pioneering emcee remains an influential force in the world of hip hop, as evidenced by his surprise appearances to much acclaim, during a number of sets at the recent 9th Annual Jazz in the Gardens at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida. Doug E. Fresh took to the stage with Stanley Clarke, and Jamie Foxx. He even showed up for The Daz Band and the S.O.S. Band during the Old School Party.
Despite the glitz and glamor that is the industry, Doug E. Fresh says young people should educate themselves about the game. He does what he can in that arena by speaking to rising stars to make them aware. Any young person looking to get into the business he said should ensure that they aren't "blinded" by the bright lights that is the industry. And there's no better teacher, according to the man who is known as the world's greatest entertainer than experience.
"One of the things I share with the youth that want to be in the game are my experiences," he said. "When you go for a job and you get an internship, you run around and try to learn the ropes because no matter how much you learn in the books, there's a certain level of practical knowledge that you can only learn by going through the experience. So because I have so much experience, I try to share with them, to get publishing right, control, understand the way the numbers break down to make some money at the end."
He also said they should try to understand the tax game, get a good accountant, and try to deal with people they can trust. We've all heard the stories about people making it big -- of albums going platinum and the millions of dollars made from album sales, but the artist eventually declaring that they are broke.
"I tell them things that I've seen hurt people and things that affected me too. So I try to tell them from my experiences so that they can apply that," said Doug E. "And I've talked to different artists on the phone personally. I've talked to Drake, I've talked to Ross...Wayne -- cause I feel they need to hear wisdom if they want longevity, cause the money you make today may not be there tomorrow if you're not wise."'
Caribbean to the core
Even though he's an American, Doug E. Fresh is a Caribbean native to the core, having been born in Christ Church Parish, Barbados. The biggest misconception he says people make about him is thinking he has Jamaican heritage.
Recalling a trip to Jamaica where he was pulled over for speeding, he recalled even the police officer telling him he was Jamaican -- even when he tried to tell the officer he was Bajan.
"I get out the car and he says 'Who are you?' I say I'm Doug E. Fresh. 'He says,' You're Doug E. Fresh, you're Jamaican'. I say, 'No, I'm from Barbados'. He says, 'I said you Jamaican'. I say, 'Yea, mon.'" Doug E. says he got back into the car and left -- sans ticket.
"So basically," he said. "I don't claim no particular island or anything like that. I claim people, and I claim love as far as wherever I go."
He's been visiting Jamaica since 1990 with a number of sojourns to The Bahamas in between. He loves his conch.
"It just comes down to being able to embrace anybody, anyplace, anywhere, and that's the same way I perform," he said. "I perform in a way that it doesn't matter what age you are, what color you are, the one common denominator is art and fun. If you like art, and if you like to have fun, you and I will always connect."
The reason he popped up on so many artists set during the recent Miami music festival he said was because sometimes as an artist you forget it's about being an artist and not always about a check.
"When you started you always did it because you wanted to show your art and if you forget that's why you did it, you lose the gift. So I try to share it," said the entertainer born Douglas E. Davis, but is, of course, better known by his stage name, Doug. E. Fresh.
He said his goal is audience enjoyment.
"This Jazz in the Gardens was very important to kind of show how you don't know what to expect and what would happen. You don't know who is going to come out with whom. That's bigger to me than you paying me for everything that I do. The payment is in you'll enjoying yourself," he said.
And while he was definitely a surprise it was not his intention to take over any other artist's set.
"My intention whenever I perform with someone is to always try to add the piece that may not be there. For example, if Jamie [Foxx] is going left, then there has to be something done for the right. So I don't look at shows from a competitive [aspect] or of taking something from someone," he said. "I'm always looking at it as how can I complement something to make it bigger and make it better, because I never want anybody walking away saying I was good, but the show wasn't good. It doesn't work for me. What works for me is them walking away saying the show was good."
Mr. La Di Da Di
Doug E. Fresh's first appearance came in 1983 with a single on Top Flight Records called "Pass the Boo-Dah" based on "Pass the Dutchy" with Spoonie Gee and DJ Spivey. His first solo release came in 1984 with "Just Having Fun" on Soundmakers/Enjoy Records and "Original Human Beatbox" on Vintertainment. By 1985, Doug E. Fresh was one of the biggest names in rap music and his first single for Reality, "The Show/La Di Da Di" became a hip hop classic. It was recorded with the Get Fresh Crew that included MC Ricky D (only later to gain fame as Slick Rick), along with Barry Bee and Chill Will. His first LP, 1987's "Oh, My God!" featured most of his showpieces like "Play This Only at Night" and "All the Way to Heaven". His second album, 1988's "The World's Greatest Entertainer" broke into the Billboard charts thanks to the hot single "Keep Risin' To The Top".
Even though he was a 1980s household name, Doug E. Fresh does not believe that there is any era that reigns. He's a firm believer in creativity reigning and that creativity is endless and ageless.
"The only thing that matters is if something is good, it's good. So any artist that knows how to stay humble, how to stay creative and always give thanks will reign. The artist that becomes arrogant, egotistical, [and] everything is about a check and think that they can't be removed, they will be removed," he said.
As for his still youthful appearance, Doug E. Fresh says he does not allow people to stress him out.
"When you allow people to stress you out it wears you out," he said. He's learned to develop patience. And his mother's Alzheimer's disease affliction helped him on the road to developing that patience.
"Alzheimer's is a disease in which people forget, so sometimes if you don't know they have it you can flip because the person can get you upset. Being around my mother and taking care of my mother and dealing with her, it made me develop a tremendous amount of patience because I knew if I didn't have patience I couldn't take care of my mother. So I apply that same patience in every situation. I basically try to develop more patience with people. For example, somebody wants to take a picture, they don't know how to work their camera, which is common and you're just holding that smile. Instead of me bugging out, I understand that you don't know how to work the camera. So we're going to get someone who knows how to work the camera, rather than me looking at you like I'm upset. I think sometimes people get so hotheaded they just jump off and don't have no patience," he said.

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Culture and heritage take center stage

March 28, 2014

Complete with 11-string plaiting, box car racing, a limbo fire show, and the sounds of music legends, the Bahamian Music and Heritage Festival celebrated its 10th anniversary with a diverse display that brought large numbers of visitors to Exuma.
The country's rich heritage and culture took center stage as the unique sights, sounds, tastes, and customs of the people of Exuma brought the historic Regatta Park in George Town to life. A mix of longstanding traditions and the latest in Bahamian music and cuisine depicted this year's festival theme, "The Year of Culture: 10 Years of Sharing Our Culture and Heritage... the Celebration Continues".
Straw work, coconut craft, jewelry made of indigenous materials, and Bahamian artifacts were on display for scores of locals and international visitors who attended the recent three-day event.
The Ministry of Tourism and the festival team added a "Learn how to..." segment to this year's festival, allowing patrons to participate in an array of exciting activities that included baking bread in a rock oven, making conch salad, ring play, conch beating, and sugar cane peeling.
The sounds of praise and worship marked the official opening of the festival on its first night, with popular Bahamian gospel artists performing their latest hits during the gospel and cultural jamboree.
The secular nights boasted high-energy performances by some of the best in Bahamian music, Puzzle, Iris Storr and the Spank Band, Avvy, Funky D, Nita Ellis, and Stileeto, who were a hit with patrons. In addition, king of limbo Action Jackson stole the show. The long-time entertainer invited visitors on stage to assist him with his daring fire and limbo act that proved to be a crowd pleaser.
Jeff and Stacy Ledger-Wood, a couple from Tampa, Florida, attended the festival for the fifth year in a row and danced each night away to the sounds of rake and scrape. They said the Exuma Cays, the warmth and friendliness of the residents, and the explosion of culture at the festival keeps them coming back.
"We wouldn't miss it," said Jeff Ledger-Wood. "It's great music that we don't get back in Tampa. It's home-grown and there are some great artists here every night."
General Manager of the Exuma Tourist Office Petherina Hanna said this year showed an increased number of patrons at the festival with thousands entering the gates over the three-day period.
"We really went out on a limb this year," she said. "You had people come in from every major island in The Bahamas, people coming from the keys, visitors who were calling our office since last year asking for the dates so they could plan their vacation around this event. The 'Big 10' is a huge success," she said.
Director of Events at the Ministry of Tourism Charity Armbrister has been involved in the festival since its inception in 2005. She said the festival's success over the past 10 years exceeded her expectations.
"It means so much to the people of Exuma. They rely on this event, next to the Exuma regatta. Most of the hotels are filled. It is nearly impossible to find a car, and the vendors make a lot of money. It has made a great impact on the island," said Armbrister.

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There's something for everyone with 'Muppets Most Wanted'

March 28, 2014

Muppets Most Wanted (Rated B)
Cast: Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Ty Burrell
Genre: Musical Comedy
Dwight's Rating: 3 stars
Finally! The arrival of "Muppets Most Wanted" in theaters last Friday should mean that what has seemed like the longest and most widespread promotional campaign for a single movie in recent memory is hopefully coming to an end.
Since late last year, through the Super Bowl, and into the film's opening weekend, television viewers have been bombarded with heavy direct promotion for the movie. Various Muppets have been popping up -- literally -- on almost every daytime and late night talk show. Then there's been months of aggressive and often bizarre cross-promotion. We've seen Muppets proclaiming the "no room for boring" nature of a new model of SUV. Even stranger, we've had Muppets selling the virtues of tea, and how tea can make people less "animal-like". Muppets selling tea! For goodness sake!
Usually, this much promotion before a release augurs ill for the actual movie. It would either be just plain awful, or it would simply collapse under the weight of the hype. Thankfully, "Muppets Most Wanted" falls into neither category, and is actually even better than I could have ever expected.
This sequel represents a vast improvement from the previous Muppet outing, 2011's "The Muppets". While that movie was critically acclaimed, for the most part, and was a commercial success -- becoming the highest-grossing movie in the Muppet film franchise to date -- I actually thought it was a bit too sappy and a bit dull. The new release, which had a less than stellar box-office opening weekend performance in the United States, is a lot edgier.
"Muppets Most Wanted" picks up where "The Muppets" leaves off. Through a series of manipulations, the gang is led to embark on a global tour, mainly across Europe. But they unwittingly find themselves entangled in an international crime caper, headed by the evil Russian frog Constantine, who as we're frequently reminded is "the world's number one criminal". He also happens to be a dead ringer for Kermit The Frog.
With that, there is non-stop hilarity. Constantine, who makes the dreaded cane toads terrorizing western New Providence last year seem like a joke, steals the show. His attempts at masking his Russian accent as he impersonates Kermit are classic. The musical numbers are intentionally cheesy, but are fresh and funny, and some even have catchy melodies.
Then there are the human stars. Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey appear to be having a ball, and are a pleasure to watch. Along with Ty Burrell from TV's "Modern Family", there's also a dizzying number of big celebrity cameos, including Celine Dion, Usher and Lady Gaga. It's unbelievable the number of stars apparently willing to play second banana to a Muppet.
That all adds up to fun. And with "Muppets Most Wanted", there's fun in abundance. It is delightfully zany in the tradition of another comedy caper classic, the original "The Pink Panther". While children might be inclined to want to watch it because there are Muppets, it's likely adults will enjoy it even more. In any event, there's something here for everyone.
And about that winding down promotional blitz, enjoy the reprieve while it lasts. You know the drill by now -- it will be just a matter of weeks before the Muppets will once again be invading our lives to promote the movie's release on Blu-ray and DVD.
o Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email dwight@nasguard.com and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.

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Broadway over Queen's College presents 'Guys and Dolls'

March 28, 2014

Following the successful launch of their "Sounds of the Stars" CD, Queen's College (QC) students and staff will again raise the curtain on another fabulous production -- this time they will bring the bright lights of 1950s New York and the exciting and enthralling musical tale of "Guys and Dolls" to the stage at the Geoffrey Brown Auditorium.
Set against the backdrop of prohibition, the story surrounds a group of "Runyonland" characters intent on holding the oldest established, permanent floating crap game in New York. But with the cops breathing down their necks and a cocktail of "gals" and bets adding to the stress, Nathan Detroit (played by Hubert Gibson) and his sidekicks Nicely-Nicely Johnson (Joel Sweeting) and Benny Southstreet (Karrington McKenzie) must come up with a plan that will ultimately save their reputations and their souls.
With music and lyrics originally by Frank Loesser and featuring sizzling and swinging hits such as "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat" and "Luck Be a Lady", the 80-strong cast promises to dazzle its audience.
Featured in the production along with Gibson, Sweeting and McKenzie will be Natalie Lester, David Allens and Tristen Glinter.
The musical takes to the stage tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. nightly with a 2 p.m. matinee tomorrow at the school's auditorium on Village Road.
Gregory Deane, the head of modern languages department at QC who is also a QC alumnus and a veteran of the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts stage, directs the play.
Deane was impressed by the overwhelming participation of male students, including some of the school's most decorated athletes who comprise more than half the cast. He said the students' singing, dancing and energy are what makes the show what it is -- a show about guys for guys that still appeals to everyone -- boys and girls, young and old.
The music affords families the opportunity to take in a wholesome, heartwarming event, according to said Shawn Turnquest, QC's vice-principal and head of high school. "Broadway Over Queen's aptly plays a role in fulfilling this ongoing mission. Patrons will see our students act, sing and dance, thereby showing their passion for the performing arts," he said.
Turnquest said the students and staff embraced the challenge of staging a professionally produced musical, and in so doing, enriched the cultural life of not only the school, but hopefully the nation.
The musical "Guys and Dolls" first played on Broadway in 1950 and continued for many years. In 1997, the same musical was performed at the Dundas Center for the Performing Arts under the direction of former QC Principal Philip Cash. In that performance, Deane played the part of Benny Southstreet.
"As the highly-skilled director of this year's production, Mr. Deane has worked tirelessly to provide you with an experience that you will not soon forget," said Turnquest.
She commended the students who prepared for months to delight the audiences they expect to attract each evening.
"One of the very few things that drives me and consumes me and leaves me completely exhausted and happy is theater," said Deane. "I discovered that making people laugh and feel and think was a gift that I somehow inherited from my parents at a very early age.
"There is nothing I find more fulfilling. Most of all, if I can somehow turn a new generation onto a different genre of music and expose them to a world of entertainment beyond the confines of their private world of iPod and iPhone isolation then my work will not have been in vain."
BROADWAY OVER QUEEN'S PRESENTS GUYS AND DOLLS
When: Tonight and Saturday, March 29
Where: Geoffrey Brown Auditorium at Queen's College
Time: 7:30 p.m. nightly with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday.
Tickets: $15 adults and $10 students
Box office: At the school

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Valleys and peaks

March 28, 2014

I was listening to one of my favorite people on television recently, Joel Osteen, as he delivered another very inspiring talk. He was emphasizing the fact, that we need to keep our faith alive when things do not appear to be working out as planned. You see, this is surely the real test of faith, and our PMA, our positive mental attitude. After all, it's very easy to be positive and upbeat when everything is going right in our life. This after all, takes no effort whatsoever. However, when things are not working out as planned, when everything starts to go terribly wrong, that's the time more than ever when we really need to remain positive, to keep our faith alive, so to speak, so that we will be able to turn our problems into opportunities, our temporary failures into triumphant success. In other words, our journey along the road of life will be full of valleys and peaks. Yes it will!
Now is it easy to remain positive, upbeat and full of faith when we're down in the valley? Hell no! However, it's what we must do if we wish to eventually climb the mountain again and finally stand triumphant on the peak, the peak of success. So D. Paul, how do we do this, how do we remain positive, keep our faith, our zeal, our passion alive when we're down in the valley? Well the way I do it is by simply getting real quiet whilst closing my eyes and breathing deeply as I go within to be with my creator who will number one fill me full of peace, and number two show me the way out of my present dilemma, show me the path I need to take to get back up to the top of the mountain.
I remember very well Richard Nixon saying "You cannot really appreciate the view from the top of the mountain unless you've spent time in the valley." Oh how true that is. I believe that it's important for all of us to spend some time in the valley every now and then so that once we get to the top again, we really will fully appreciate it. It will also bring home to us the vital need for us to at all times have balance in our life.
Yes indeed, the road to success has its valleys and peaks, but it's absolutely vital for us not to lose our faith when we're in the valley. Instead, we continue climbing whilst being totally positive that, with God's assistance, we will indeed be able to once again climb the mountain and finally stand triumphant on the peak, the summit of success. This takes, faith, guts, persistence and a whole lot of self-discipline ... but it can be done, and you my friend can do it. Yes you can!
o Think about it!

Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com. Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Private Screening of 'Passage' at Bahamas House in London

March 27, 2014

H.E. Eldred Bethel, High Commissioner, hosted a private Screening of ‘Passage’ a short film by Bahamian writer/director Kareem Mortimer at Bahamas House in London on Wednesday March 12, 2014...

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The South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists present "Then Came the Morning"

March 25, 2014

Easter themed dramatic musical premiers April 16th at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts...

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Trinidad Carnival 2014

March 24, 2014

Carnival Tabanaca (loosely translated as an extreme melancholy caused by the end of the Carnival season) is real! This year was my first experience in Trinidad for the annual carnival, and I think I aptly summed up its overall effect on me as being… LIFE! Yes, Carnival is LIFE! ...

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Totally jazzed

March 21, 2014



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'Single Moms Club' is well meaning, and might inspire hope in the hopeless

March 21, 2014

Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club (Rated T)
Cast: Nia Long, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Cocoa Brown
Genre: Comedy Drama
Dwight's Rating:

out of 4
Men are apparently the very worst thing and the very best thing to ever happen to women. That's clearly the outlook in the world of actor/writer/producer/director Tyler Perry.
It's a prevailing theme in many of his movies, particularly his comedies, and especially those with his alternate persona, Madea. He has penned many-a-tale of a distressed but honorable woman -- usually in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship with a scoundrel of a man -- given renewed hope in "man" kind after meeting a perfect, usually spiritually enlightened gentleman. The fair lady is ultimately rescued by her knight in shining armor.
That's largely the case in his newest film, "The Single Moms Club". Perry delves into the world of downtrodden single mothers, mostly abandoned by worthless men, or just too busy for any romantic relationships. The official literature for the show says, "When five struggling single moms put aside their differences to form a support group, they find inspiration and laughter in their new sisterhood, and help each other overcome the obstacles that stand in their way."
To you, that might sound either quite promising or like a painful nightmare. This movie manages to equally straddle both.
There are some bright spots, mainly in the performances of a few of the cast members who try to make the most of the wonky plot.
Wendi McLendon-Covey, currently starring in TV's "The Goldbergs" -- formerly of "Reno 911!", and who stole scenes in 2011's "Bridesmaids" -- is proving with every new role, that she is destined for greatness. The radiant Nia Long is always a joy to watch, and usually seems to transcend the quality of her movie scripts. And the talented Cocoa Brown, along with McLendon-Covey, provides most of the few laugh out loud moments.
Also, the exploration of the relationships between the women, and of their budding romances with their rescue beaux is not entirely unpleasant, and is reminiscent of some other innocuous (and some would say, unfunny) romantic comedies with large ensemble casts like "Valentine's Day" and the similar "New Year's Eve".
But weighing things down are the contrivances and the social commentary. With the latter, whether intentional or not, serious statements are being made here that could be seen as offensive. The women are brought together by an incident involving their children at their school. That the only children in this incident are those of single mothers is bizarre.
And, as we get to know these women, we realize that besides some odd personality quirks, they are all relatively decent and well-intentioned. So, once again, as per the Tyler Perry-pattern mentioned before, we can only deduce that these poor ladies were innocent bystanders and had very little to do with the demise of their relationships. It was all as a result of those dastardly men in their lives. Right!
The contrivances: the actual support group -- this so-called "club" -- is a total afterthought in the movie, and a very bad one at that. Some things are best left unspoken, as audiences are often savvy enough to get even subtle hints. We didn't need to have the characters repeatedly pronounce, "We should form a club" for most of the two-hour movie, only to have this said nonsensical club come to life for all of what seemed like a five-minute montage. This "club" -- yes, the very title of the movie -- is actually the worst part of the whole film.
Then, of course, there's the forced conflict that inevitably comes with almost all romantic comedies. And in this case, it's exceptionally lame, and solved predictably.
Surprisingly, even before it premiered last Friday, Oprah Winfrey's OWN television network announced it had given the green light to an hour-long drama based on the movie. But this might actually do better as a TV series -- like a less mysterious "Desperate Housewives", perhaps -- especially if the goofy "club" aspects are downplayed or eliminated.
Some of Perry's diehard fans may be pleased with "The Single Moms Club". It is well meaning, and might inspire hope in the hopeless. But some of us long for the day when Perry evolves from these repetitive notions of relationships. Those who watch his OWN TV drama, "The Haves and the Have Nots", know he has it in him to do better, and that he can indeed have a broader and more balanced outlook on the real world.

o Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email dwight@nasguard.com and follow him on twitter @morningblend969.

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