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Unique Sides of Ranny Williams Showcased at Celebration of Birth

Many persons readily associate Ranny Williams with cultural icon, Louise Bennett but on Sunday, October 26, which was celebrated as the 102nd anniversary of his birth, Randolph Samuel Williams, CD popularly known as Maas Ran was showcased in a different light through theatrical acts and excerpts, dance and musical performances.

The special showcase held at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre and organized by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission captured a side to the cultural icon that many persons were not aware of.

It was through an emotional personal reflection that actor Volier ‘Maffie’ Johnson recounted his experiences with the dramatist and comedian. Describing Maas Ran as ‘a great man’, Johnson noted that: “He was one of the nicest persons to work with on stage and he would always impart his knowledge to everyone.”

The evening’s proceedings were underscored by the theme, “Come Meet the ‘Real’ Maas Ran” which supported the tributes which brought to the fore his different sides including his comedic side and his ‘Brer Anancy’ character. The Excelsior Community College Performing Arts Group delivered an informative and creative piece, “Maas Ran….the Real Man” and a playful and artistic dramatic musical and dance presentation which reminded the audience of the great performance synergy between Miss Lou and Maas Ran.

Theatre practitioner Amina Blackwood Meeks who emceed the evening’s proceedings delivered an interesting Anancy story while reminding the audience that Ranny Williams helped to maintain Anancy’s character as part of the culture by always performing the stories and playing the role of Anancy in Pantomines.

Other tributes included an authentic Revival Medley by the New Creation Revival Group, an original piece, ‘Maas Ran’ performed by dramatic group Colas and musical performances from Nicholeen Brown and gospel singer, Sista Patt.

A receptive audience also learnt of Ranny William’s time with the Pantomime, his interest in Revivalism and his stint in Garveyism which illustrated the significance of his life and work to cultural heritage.

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