In November 2023, in Lauderhill, Florida, the Louise Bennett-Coverley Heritage Council teamed up with the Lauderhill Performing Arts Center to put on an encore presentation of ‘Ol’ Time Sinting Come Back Again’—the hilarious Jamaican pantomime production that has been a timeless classic for over a decade. Prior to the encore staging of this magnificent production, there were two nearly sold-out performances that took place on September 30 and October 1.
This latest production was exceptional and delivered stellar on-stage performances all courtesy of a multi-talented cast of performers, including, Ricky Rowe, Shanae Dixon, Rev, St Hope, Sophia Nicholson, Malachi Smith, Fr. Horace Ward, Marie Gill, Maxine Osbourne, Karja Cope, Dona Lee Raymond, Dr Allan Cunningham and a slew of other celebrated local personalities. The Jamaican Folk Revue and the Tallawah Mento Band, in tandem with the traditional folk dances performed by the Carimer Theater Company, provided the musical compliment, which was well-received by the jam packed LPAC auditorium.
An Ode to Miss Lou— Jamaica’s Endeared Cultural Icon Who Championed Tradition of Jamaican Pantomimes
Championed by Ranny Williams “Mass Ran” and the late Louise Bennett-Coverley “Miss Lou”, pantomimes in Jamaica have traditionally become sort of a national heirloom where the island’s culture, heritage, and theatrical experiences are concerned. And so not suprisingly, Jamaican pantomime productions through the years have continued to enjoy widespread and unwavering support from Jamaican audiences not only on the island, but also from all over the Caribbean Diaspora and beyond.
In her lifetime, the much belowed Miss Lou, who was a poet, actress, comedian and activist, is still revered today as a rock solid, fortifying pillar in Jamaican culture and heritage. What’s more, she played a vital role in popularizing just about every aspect of Jamaican folklore–which was made up of songs, musicals, dances, as well as a variety of famous childrens’ games.
Originally written by Mrs. Norma Darby and Fr. Easton Lee, the much-heralded ‘Ol’ Time Sinting Come Back Again’ production debuted back in 2011 to a sold-out audience. This theatrical masterpiece tells the story of a talented young lady who was set to become the first from her humble village of ‘Bruk Foot Piece’, to graduate from college—which, of course, made her parents extremely proud. Vicky’s boyfriend, Eustacious, aka ‘Newsy’, meanwhile was dealing with the advances of Vangeline, another lady residing in the village. In having her eyes set on ‘Newsy’, Vangeline embarked on a quest to make him her own and, in so doing, set the stage for a love triangle filled with drama.
Major support for the Louise Bennett-Coverley Heritage Council provided by the Broward County Cultural Division, the Cultural Council, and the Broward County Board of County Commissioners.
Photos – Nick Ford