by Tyrone Reid
Yendi Phillipps keeps reminding us that she can do anything — from conquering beauty pageants to raising a daughter to making her presence felt on morning TV. Now, the consummate go-getter has signed on to star in Taboo, the provocative new four-hander from playwright Keiran King, which is set to mark her commercial stage debut.
In addition to Phillipps, the cast is comprised of King, Lisa Williams (fresh from Paternal Instinct), and Rodney Campbell. Eugene Williams is calling the shots as director.
Premiering July 12, Taboo (an adults-only production) follows two young Jamaican couples caught up in a world of sex and fantasy, and is the third offering from King, who previously won over critics and audiences with Mr. & Mrs. Blacke and Last Call. “We have a tremendous cast, [and each player] brings a unique energy to the set,” says King, a best-actor winner for 2010’s White Witch. “It is such a humbling experience working with such talented performers under Eugene’s direction.”
Meanwhile, the role of Gina is a part Phillipps simply had to have. “I have a theatre background, in terms of dance theatre,” she tells the Sunday Observer. “But I have always been intrigued to delve further and explore other elements of the arts, so I went after the role.”
Phillipps has always been a class act, but can she really act? It remains to be seen if she possesses the requisite chops to light up the stage and hold her own, opposite her more seasoned co-stars. But no doubt folks will be rooting for her and lining up outside UWI Mona’s Philip Sherlock Centre to see her in action in this very grown-up relationships affair.