The evening’s program started with a segment titled Christmas Bacchanal that had songs like Christmas Coming, Caribbean Connection and Bottle and Spoon, which had a full narration of what is bacchanal.
It then moved into a Christmas Folk section that featured moving pieces that reflected the ethnicity of the islands. This was done with the cast doing Christmas songs in several different languages including French, Spanish and Creole.
The audience was then treated to a hot jumpy Parang segment that featured music that originated by the Caribbean’s neighbours Venezuela, as well as the region’s Spanish colonists’ music, which serves as a backdrop to TrinBago Christmas.
After an intermission and the voices rested, guests were treated to a fusion of Spanish and local calypso music, which was called Parang Soca.
It started with Tara Woods belting Drink A Rum by Lord Kitchener, which is a holiday favourite. It also had Gareth Burgess, before being joined by the gospel group Gospel Jazz, as they delivered sweet soulful sounds of steel pan with solos by George Campbell and JeanelleIgwe, performing their rendition of a Christmas gospel.
The show ended with a reflective music section of inspirational songs that were given the La Petite Musical treatment especially by Leonard Cohan’s Hallelujah, From A Distance by Bette Midler and Jose Feliciano’s Feliz Nevidad, one of the most popular with the largely TrinBagonian audience, which joined in the performance as the performers danced off stage for yet another year.
The show will turn 50 next year and the anticipation is growing for an exceptional event.
La Petite Musical started in 1939 in Trinidad by Olive Walker, who had a goal of fostering the pure enjoyment of singing, to spread the joy of goodwill through the art form. That theme was continued in Toronto with the start of La Petite musical of Toronto in 1969 by a former member of the parent group, under the leadership of Lindy Burgess.
Since 1975, the group has given command performances in Ontario and toured the United States of America, performing a repertoire of calypso, Spanish folk and gospel classics with a Caribbean flavour.