Wednesday, January 24, 2018

A resounding success

Producer on 2013 Kings and Queens competitions:


MAGNIFICENT: Gerard Weekes portrays "Ai To Yujo No Yorokobi" (The Joy of Love and Friendship) one of the winning kings from Brian MacFarlane's 2013 presentation Joy The Finale. —Photo: ISHMAEL SALANDY

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COLOURFUL DISPLAY: Ted Eustace portrays "Moko In Flames" the king from Trini Revelers' Brazil Brazil, who tied for first place.

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Geraldo Vieira Junior, producer of the 2013 Kings and Queens competition, described the show as a "resounding success" and believes his late father, mas' designer and innovator, Geraldo Andrew Vieira would have been proud of the production.

Dubbed "Unleash The Masquerade" and featuring a number of structural and logistical changes, this marked the first time the annual contest was held outside of the traditional Dimanche Gras format. Vieira Junior said he hopes the new format will be kept for years to come:

"This was a first time for the show being staged in this way, so there were a few minor hiccups of course, but I think the new format worked well in terms of making it more entertaining for the viewers and we managed to eliminate the lag time between costumes that had been a problem for many years. The show flowed smoothly and the addition of a large screen to show testimonials of the designers as well as visual aesthetics on the night was well received and the live performances added to the mas presentations. This was the first time I actually saw hands waving in the stands while mas was on the stage, so I hope the governing bodies keep this format for future productions."

There have been criticisms of the changes implemented this year with the point being made that Kings and Queens of Carnival are traditionally crowned on the night before the festivities begin thus ushering in the reign of the Merry Monarch of Carnival.

Vieira praised and thanked the National Carnival Commission (NCC) and the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) for living up to their promises and providing a professional atmosphere. He said:

"This was also the first time we had proper dressing rooms and food catered for the artistes, dancers and everyone involved in the production. I received numerous positive comments about the superb and well-manned toilet facilities and we also had a media tent with refreshments sponsored by AMCO. I must thank the NCC and the NCBA for giving me the opportunity to realise my father's vision and my hard-working staff and production team, all the artistes, dances etc. Kes the Band did a wonderful job, Bunji and Fay Ann were amazing and Denyse Plummer closed the show with style and grace as only she can do. I believe the Grand Stand had 80 per cent capacity and the feedback has been positive thus far, so I think we did a good job in executing the idea for the first time."

Questioned about the somewhat controversial tie in the King category between Gerard Weekes and Ted Eustace in their costumes "Ai To Yujo No Yorokobi" -(The Joy of Love and Friendship) and "Moko in Flames" respectively. Vieira said he was only the producer and could not comment on the judges decisions. However, the "Youngest King of Carnival" record holder said he believed that given the credibility of the two artisans who tied for first place, there must be a logical explanation. He said:

"I know that there is a tie-breaker formula that is used in such instances, but because I was not privy to the judges deliberations, again - I can't really comment and say if the formula also resulted in a tie or not. But looking at the two competitors that tied, its clear to me that some logical explanation must exist for it—I don't think its a case of bobol as we say and the judges just said—hey, let's have a tie, so I'm sure when the scores are officially published we'll be able to see why that happened."

The Kings and Queens finals were held on "BIG" Friday, February 8 at the Queen's Park Savannah and featured live performances from Kes The Band, Bunji Garlin, Fay Ann Lyons and Asylum, David Rudder, Denyse Plummer and the Woodbrook Playboyz Steel Orchestra.