The annual theatrical event known as “Rundown” is 25 years old this year – way past the minimum age for voting. “Rundown” is a much-anticipated tradition and an indelible part of the landscape, rather like Easter camping and bush medicine. If you don’t know what the “marl road” is (and, no, it is not the start of DART’s new road by Camana Bay) or if you are trying to get the hang of things in Cayman, don’t miss it! If you are all too familiar with the marl road, cow itch, Tru Tru, Cock Crow and Mac, we know you’ll be back for another pain-a-belly this year.
“Rundown” is a theater production written, designed and directed by Henry Muttoo, and is a combination of comedy and song with a series of loosely linked skits and calypsos about living life in the Cayman Islands. The running social commentary takes a comedic look at relevant issues, encouraging audiences to have a good laugh. One of the annual recurring themes is Cayman’s multicultural mix with its many accents and the often hilarious misunderstandings that occur as a result.
As “Rundown” falls during election season this year, you can bet a lot of the skits will poke fun at the political “silly season.” No matter what country you are from, there is plenty to talk and laugh about during election time and Cayman is no different in that regard.
Audiences can look forward to the return of many of their “Rundown” favorites including Matt Brown, Leroy Holness, Lesley-Ann Bernard, Rita Estevanovich, Giselle Webb and Jevaughnie Ebanks. They will also be introduced to newcomers to the stage, such as 14-year-old Aiden Watler.
Interview with Henry Muttoo
Q: What is your favorite memory from “Rundown” over the past 25 years?
A: Standing at the back of the auditorium, out of the gaze of the audience and actors, watching people laugh and hoping that the show would materialize how I visualize it. In all the 24 years we have done the show, I cannot remember missing more than five performances. That is how obsessed about getting things right I am. It is the dream of every artist and of course, it almost never, ever happens.
Q: What can people expect that makes this year’s show different from years past?
A: We are striving for a better show than previous years. That is an almost impossible task. All I can say is that audiences will be entertained.
Q: Anything else you would like readers to take away?
A: Be sure to see one or more of the 10 performances.
Q: Any other comments on the 25th anniversary?
A: So many initiatives in Cayman – public, private and otherwise – business and otherwise in Cayman, have started and failed over the last 25 years. That “Rundown” has lasted so long and been so successful must be some sort of major feat. We must be doing something right. I thank Dave Martins for originating and writing “Rundown” for 17 of the 25 years of the show and all the performers, technicians, scene builders, volunteers, our audiences and, of course, our board and staff for the journey, which is only now beginning. I am happy to say that we have, waiting in the wings, some very talented young people, in whom I have every confidence for the future continuity of the show.
Cast of ‘Rundown’ 2017
Matt Brown’s persona has developed to transcend all age barriers as he consistently strives to deliver polished entertainment through involvement in acting, media production and music. In addition, the former host of Kiss FM Morning show holds dual degrees in professional recording arts and social studies.
Leroy Holness is a veteran of the Cayman stage, going back to the days of the Inn Theatre and Cayman National Theatre Company. While he has performed in several productions and received much praise for his acting, it is as the indefatigable and always forward-looking Rasta Ital in “Rundown” that he has left his indelible creative stamp in the hearts of the Cayman theater public.
Rita Estevanovich has 10 years of experience in production and promotion of arts and education programs, national festivals, theater and cultural preservation programs for the Cayman National Cultural Foundation. She is also a former television reporter for CI Television Network and a former radio host for KISS 106.1 FM and HOT 104.1 FM.
Lesley-Ann Bernard is a teacher at John Gray High School. She is also a professional actress who been involved in many productions in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. She likes to think of herself as a true “theater lover” who especially enjoys being on stage.
Jevaughnie Ebanks, also known to many as “Jevy with the Belly,” is 20 years old. He started his radio career at the age of 18, doing weekends on Z99. He now he host the Z99 afternoon show “Afternoons with Jevy” and co-hosts alongside Woody DaCosta for “Cayman Cross Talk” on Rooster 101. Jevy is no stranger to the screen and the stage, previously co-hosting the Cayman 27 morning show “Daybreak.”
Giselle Webb has performed in “Rundown” for seven-ish years. She was a long-standing, senior member of Dance Unlimited, and although she does not perform as often as she would like, she is still considered one of Cayman’s most accomplished dancers.
Troy Rodgers has been performing for more than 15 years. He was a recipient of Jamaica’s Prime Minister’s Youth Award for Arts & Culture in 2010, as well as the Charles Hyatt Award for Best Actor (Comedy). Troy is also a member of the Cayman Islands Folk Singers.
Juliet Garricks has acted in musicals and dramas; has sung and read her poetry in world famous venues in London and at the Edinburgh Festival; voiced Thai advertisements; toured with a gospel choir and sung in BBC Radio 3’s Prom Series. She has published work in magazines and anthologies and collaborated in a visual arts project with the BBC and Poet Laureate Andrew Motion. Locally, Juliet has appeared in many CDS and CNCF productions and is a member of CNCF’s Cayman Islands Folk Singers and the Cayman National Choir.
Rachel Gepolla studied business management at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas and worked for 10 years as a sales assistant before becoming a nanny in Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands. She enjoyed a three-year stint on TV with the Catherine Tyson Show, “Lighten Up.” Gardening is her stress reliever.
George Jones has returned! The “Rundown” cast is thrilled to welcome Jones back to the stage. Last year he fought off a terrible illness. Now the producer is happy to announce that Jones is healthy and strong and ready to perform, laugh and enjoy life once again.
Devona Smith hails from Jamaica and presently resides in the Cayman Islands. She is a natural singer and has spent time developing her singing voice over the years. This is her first theater performance and she says she is loving every minute of the experience.
Aiden Watler is 14 years old. He has a love for theater and is really excited to be invited to be part of the “Rundown” cast this year. He plays multiple instruments and loves to make people laugh. This is Aiden’s first “Rundown” performance, but hopefully not his last.
‘Rundown’ runs Friday through Sundays through May 14. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 8 p.m. and Sunday shows begin at 6 p.m. There will only be 10 shows in Grand Cayman, and one show is planned for Cayman Brac (date to be confirmed). Tickets are on sale at $25 for adults and $15 for seniors (65+) and children under the age of 12. Tickets can be reserved by calling 949-5477 or bought online at www.artscayman.org/rundown. Outlets include the CNCF Box Office, Foster’s Food Fair (Strand), Funky Tang’s and Health Care Pharmacy in Grand Harbour.