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Karen Armstrong And Alpha Boys: Musical Highlight Of King’s Last Call

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Keiran King’s romantic musical Last Call currently in its final weekend at the Phillip Sherlock Theatre (UWI) has been enjoying a critically acclaimed run over the last three weeks. Patrons have been flocking to experience the magic of the legendary Myrtle Bank hotel in 1949 Jamaica. A big part of this magic is the seven piece orchestra lead by music director, vocal and orchestral arranger Karen Armstrong.

Armstrong, a classically trained musician and music teacher (piano and violin) has been playing, composing and arranging music most of her life. Last Call is her second foray into commercial musical theatre; her first ‘Cindy’, mounted last year as part of the schools anniversary celebrations got her an Actor Boy Nomination for original score.

Working on Last Call has been a privilege and pleasure for Armstrong, not only because she is particularly enamored with the music and musicals of the 40 but also because it gave her an opportunity to work with an extremely talented cast and band who have helped her to capture and reproduce the ambiance and sound of the ear.

It is this band that has been helping to separate Last Call from the pack of musical mounted on the Jamaican stage in recent times. Handsomely decked out in their concept and period relevant costumes and accessories the band lead by Armstrong on the grand piano features six additional talented young musicians five of whom were trained at the Alpha Boys School. They are: Adrian Harris on flute, Nevardo Reid on clarinet, Kemroy Bonfield on Saxophone, Craig Henry on Trumpet and Ezroy Brown on Double bass. The seventh member of the band is drummer Francois Brown who is a member of Champion College band and Nexus band and choir.

Patrons and cast members both agree that one of the most distinctive pleasures of being in or watching Last Call hinges on the excellent musical accompaniment that they are treated to show after show by this enthusiastic and talented bunch.
There is no doubt that after Sunday August 21 when the curtains come down on the final performance for Last Call it will be the beginning of impressive things for this group of musicians and their dedicated and talented leader.  

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Written by jamarch