The Upstage Xperience is first out of the blocks for this calypso season, and as usual, this calypso tent has presented a cast with performances of high entertainment value.
Their third event of the season was held last Wednesday and with half of the 22 performers registered this year being women, Upstage has got the gender balance right.
But theirs is not just a numbers game, because the female members of their cast include reigning calypso monarch Lornette ‘Fya’ Empress Nedd and last year’s second runner-up Joanna Christopher, who is singing this year under the sobriquet ‘Nubian Princess’.
Seasoned entertainers like Shaunelle McKenzie and Cecile ‘Lil Bit’ King as well as the present and past junior monarchs like M’riah ‘Siah’ Robertson and Kristiana ‘Singing Kristy’ Christopher are also among the females.
The tent will therefore be well represented in the Queen of Calypso competition scheduled to return to Vincy Mas on June 8, after an absence of several years.Upstage has also won the calypso monarchy for the last six consecutive years and seems on track to stoutly defend the title in 2018.
The success being enjoyed by the Upstage Xperience is as a result of several factors, but important among these is the head start this tent gives its members every year.
It is said that practice makes perfect and the members of Upstage are given ample opportunity to road test their offerings before a live audience, fine tune their stage craft and get valuable feedback from the public.
The relaxed atmosphere also promotes the building of bonds between the calypsonians and their fan base.The only downside to the tent events so far has been the poor turnout by the public. Attendance is expected to increase as we get into June, but the calypsonians in all our tents need the support of the public, demonstrated in the turn out at their events.
Calypso tents are generally relaxed, entertaining events during which patrons can get very close to the performers.
There is usually none of the tension associated with the judged events at the Victoria Park and humour and interaction with the audience are key components of most tents.
We therefore encourage the public to go out and support our calypsonians, who continue to execute the very important role of documenting our social and political history in song.