The Lord Kitchener Auditorium at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) in Port of Spain came alive with an explosion of sounds, lights, colours and costumes on Tuesday evening, as Island People Mas delivered their 2014 presentation, The Whole: Mystery Magic Marvel. A first for the mas fraternity, the indoor location proved to be well chosen and the ambience was well received by the hundreds of curious patrons who assembled from as early as 6.30 p.m.
“Would you believe this is the first time I’m even getting to see the inside of NAPA?” said one female patron, who has played with Island People Mas for the past three years. “So kudos and thanks to Island People for doing something different and special once again. I loved the presentation and the costumes and the venue — it was all perfect!”
Dressed in all manner of finery, the assembly reluctantly left the complimentary cocktails in the foyer and took their seats inside the hall so the presentation could begin — albeit well after 8 p.m. After a brief address from members of the PR team, namely: Colin Greaves and Leah Marville, as well as Arts and Multiculturalism Minister, Dr Lincoln Douglas, the action began in earnest: pannist, Mikhail Salcedo accompanied a pre-recorded introduction to the band’s theme — even as dancers took the stage to dramatise the audio being played for the first segment, which showcased costumes under the sub-heading of “Mystery”. “Magic” and “Marvel” would follow as the programme took its somewhat disjointed course to completion.
Studded with live and pre-recorded skits, dance and gymnastic sequences as well as performances from Swappi and Patrice Roberts, the presentation lasted well over an hour and received a resounding round of applause in between segments and upon its conclusion.
“I think it was an excellent production for IP Mas,” said Lisa Guichard, brand manager at Slam 100.5 FM. “It was out-of-the-box and refreshing — they included elements rarely seen and much appreciated in a show of this calibre. My congratulations to the IP Mas team for a well-executed production and best wishes for Carnival 2014.”
Most patrons confessed to having enjoyed the comfort of the air-conditioned arena with ample seating, superb acoustics and a clear view of the stage for everyone at all times. The soundtrack for the presentation was also diverse: with popular soca songs, EDM favourites and even a special appearance from the Bishop’s Anstey High School choir alongside a live riddim section. Several of the female models sporting thong bikinis evoked screams from the audience, as did many of the well-buffed and acrobatic male models, who flipped and cart-wheeled their way onto the forward platforms — much to the crowd’s delight.
“Island People Mas is all about having more fun and real vibes this year,” said IP Mas general manager, Colin Greaves. “As always, we try to give our loyal masqueraders a taste of something different and unique at the launch and thereafter offer a wide variety of choices, styles and colours with regard to the actual costumes. I think we’ve managed to achieve both of those objectives this time around and we look forward to seeing you all on the road for C2K14.”
The Whole: Mystery Magic Marvel offers 11 chapters (sections) with each of these featuring three distinct themes (costume designs).