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Wednesday 26 June 2019
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Queens on the Avenue

Four- time calypso queen Shirlaine Hendrickson.
Four- time calypso queen Shirlaine Hendrickson.

GARY CARDINEZ

CALYPSO returned to Ariapita Avenue as the latest “performance space” Monarchs showcased several queens of calypso.

The ladies night out drew female patrons from all over Trinidad to the Woodbrook venue. Some came to hear the queens sing while others wanted to be a part of the new establishment.

Monarchs, which is operated by 2012 calypso monarch Duane O’Connor, opened on January 2 and will now be the venue for a weekly calypso show.

Last Wednesday’s show featured 2003 calypso queen Marva McKenzie, 2004 queen Karen Eccles, four-time calypso queen Shirlaine Hendrickson (1998/99/2000/2001), Kizzie Ruiz (2010) and reigning Calypso Queen Stacy Sobers (2018).

Debbie McCloud went down well at the Monarchs on Ariapita.

Debbie McCloud came all the way from Point Fortin to be a part of the show and was allowed to perform her song Permission Granted. Veteran calypsonian Allrounder, who was in the audience, also did a couple verses of his hit song Garlic Sauce.

But the evening belonged to the queens. McKenzie performed She’s a Lady, Who Knows You Know while Karen Eccles did Mind Yuh Child and Sparrow’s No Money No Love. She had the entire audience singing the chorus with her.

Shirlaine Hendrickson performed Understanding, Property Tax, To Love Somebody and Say Your Prayers.

Good Citizens, another hit from Sparrow, had the audience singing loudly. This one was done by Kizzie Ruiz. She also performed Sniper’s Portrait of Trinidad and her very own Class Language.

Calypso Queen Stacy Sobers receives some money from Eileen Blackman.

Sobers started her performance with the song which brought her into the limelight –Tell Me When yuh Coming– and had everyone in the building (especially female patrons) singing at the top of their voices. She then dropped the tempo with Calypso Capital and My Land before closing off with her award-winning Kings and Queens.

Sobers’ performance of her winning song caused several patrons to give her a couple hundred dollars.

Karen Eccles sings to Black Opal bossman Ken Arthur.

The show was sponsored by Black Opal cosmetics and bossman Ken Arthur presented each singer with a gift bags of products.

People in the audience included Joan Yullie-Williams, Charmaine Forde, Brother Resistance, Eileen Blackman, Diane Dupre and the south posse and several other calypsonians.

Eunice Peters did a fantastic job as master of ceremonies for the evening while music was provided by Len Cummings and The Wailers.

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