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A wonderful show from a wonderful woman

By Vejay Steede

After a decade of opening for world famous comedians and local luminaries alike, Gina Love finally felt like she deserved to be a headliner. She called her longtime friend, and celebrated Bermudian playwright, Patricia Nesbitt, and, in the blink of an eye, the Gina Love Show was born.

The show wrapped a delightful three day run at the Earl Cameron Theatre on Saturday, and I was fortunate enough to catch the opening night performance last Thursday.

The comedy was sharp throughout the show, although comedy was far from the only thing on offer at this wonderfully madcap variety show. The experience as a whole felt like being in the audience for a 70s-style variety show; such as The Carol Burnett Show or, The Osmonds.

Comedy featured in Ms Love’s sharp, witty stand-up, which included a generous amount of crowd interaction, making it clear that the near capacity crowd absolutely adored the funny lady on stage.

There was more comedy in the eclectic efforts of Improv Bermuda. The first half of the show featured a very interesting performance by Improv Bermuda, during which Toby Butterfield, Ms Love, and the impeccable Gavin Carter found themselves trading barbs at the direct behest of the audience to often hilarious effect.

Interspersed among the comedy, however, was song. The fabulous Gina Love Band delivered an impressive display throughout the night, offering splendid renditions of such favourites as ‘Ribbon in the Sky’, ‘Let’s Stay Together’, and the timeless Dennis Brown standard ‘How Could I’.

The band was comprised of three prodigious CedarBridge students (Deston Campbell on the keyboard, Jahniel O’Mara on drums, and Tafari Rayner on Bass) and three veteran entertainers (Eugene ‘Stacker’ Joell on lead guitar, Graham Maule on trombone, and Hugh Murray on lead vocals). Clearly put together specifically for the Gina Love Show, the band was still far more polished than could be reasonably expected. Their pieces were highly entertaining, and the crowd very much appreciated their musical interjections; very nice indeed.

After the stand-up, the improv, and the musical numbers, there were skits. The office drama between Mr. Dupree (Gavin Carter) and Lucrecia (Gina) was simply hysterical. Once Lucrecia joined her friends (Leigsha Augustus-Darrell and Jaleeha Ible-Burchall) at the club and Mr. Dupree walked in, the laughs became roars.

Then there was the sitting at home watching a movie skit with Jermaine Jefferies. Suffice it to say that if you are at home watching a movie with your spouse, you should make every effort to ensure that ‘Nobody’ doesn’t call! Funny stuff!

After a brief intermission there was a truly special moment. This was when Tianja Bean ended a 26-year retirement to deliver a stirring rendition of a piece called ‘Angel.’ It was a touching, emotional moment that made us all hope that Tianja doesn’t keep her fantastic talent out of the public eye for another 26 years.

Earlier in the show Ms Love paid a brief tribute to distinguished patron Mr. Gene Steede in what was another moving moment. The entire evening was quite wonderful in that way in fact; the ambience was very familial, and the audience interacted with the players on stage as if they had known them for years. Well, I guess that’s because we have.

After all, the Gina Love Show was simply an old-fashioned, familiar face filled, decidedly polished community variety show; and a wonderful one it was!

Photo by Anthony E Wade A live band with local singers and musicians has been set up for Gina Love's three-night comedy event, tomorrow, Friday and Saturday at City Hall. She will also be doing some improv work with friends from Improv Bermuda.

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Published June 03, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 02, 2013 at 5:25 pm)

A wonderful show from a wonderful woman

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