Positive Caribbean and Latin America News: Daily Updates from News Americas

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

NEWS AMERICAS, NY, NY, Thurs. May 2, 2024: Luke Forbes, known for his role in Amazon Prime’s hit comedy series ‘Harlem’, and Denise Hunt, acclaimed for her performance in the iconic film ‘How Stella Got Her Groove Back,’ are set to lead the cast of the American Premiere Presentation of Alwin Bully’s Caribbean drama, ‘McBee.’

From left- David Heron as Tony Welsh, Tony Award nominee John Andrew Morrison as Claude Massop and Luke Forbes as Tek Life in the world premiere production of Marley The Musical. (Photo courtesy of David Heron)

The premiere will take place during Caribbean American Heritage Month, (CAHM), in the US, on Sunday, June 23rd, at The Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC) at 153-10 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica Queens, starting at 7 p.m. The event will commence with a Caribbean Cuisine reception at 5:30 p.m.

This one-night-only staged reading production pays tribute to Alwin Bully, the late Dominica-born playwright, and is part of New York’s annual CAHM festivities.

Jamaican-born David Heron, a Broadway World Award winner, serves as the producer and director of the project.

Set on an unnamed Caribbean island in the recent past, ‘McBee’ follows the story of respected politicians Allan and Alice McBee. Upon encountering three mysterious Rastafarians who predict his rise to Prime Minister, Allan and his ambitious wife, Alice, embark on a path of power and deception, with consequences for themselves and their nation.

Forbes and Hunt will portray the pivotal roles of Allan and Alice McBee, bringing their extensive experience from stage, film, television, and Broadway to the production.

LUKE FORBES (Photo credit- Evan Kafka)

DENISE HUNT (Photo credit- David Mikesell)

Forbes, with Jamaican roots, currently stars as Michael in ‘Harlem’ and has appeared in various television series and the hit feature film ‘Dog’. On stage, he made his Broadway debut in Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant Of Venice’ alongside Al Pacino.

Hunt, born in Jamaica, gained recognition for her role in ‘How Stella Got Her Groove Back’ and has an extensive stage career, including performances in award-winning productions like ‘Against His Will’ and ‘Dirty Diana.’

Producer-director Heron expressed his excitement about working with Forbes and Hunt again, citing their long-standing professional relationships and shared theatrical history.

“Luke and I met as actors in the world premiere production of  Kwame Kwei Armah’s Marley- The Musical at Baltimore Centerstage several years ago,” he says, “And we have been interested in collaborating on something else for awhile now. So I relish this opportunity to welcome him to McBee and to see him add yet another terrific performance to his resume,” he said. “Denise and I go back over twenty years since she appeared in my play Against His Will, and we toured together afterwards in Cheaters in the USA and in the UK touring production of  Love and Marriage and New York City. She had stepped away from acting for awhile but I’ve been trying to get her to come back. This titanic role is yet another step in that direction and will be a reminder to audiences of why we have all missed her so much.”

In a remarkable full circle moment, upon contacting Hunt regarding the role of Alice McBee, Heron learnt that she had in fact played Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth- to excellent reviews-  as a teenager in a high school production of Macbeth for Jamaica’s National Schools Drama Festival in Kingston.

“I shook my head when I heard that, because I approached her for McBee without knowing that she had played the Lady M role in Shakespeare’s original play at her alma mater, Queens High School in Jamaica. This to me is a case of something that’s simply meant to be,” said Heron.

Additional casting for ‘McBee’ will be announced soon, with tickets available starting tomorrow, Friday, May 3, at mcbeetheplay.eventbrite.com.