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Sunday, July 21, 2024


Any show that features The Mighty Sparrow and his band, The Troubadours, is all but sure to fill the house at the Reichhold Center for the Arts. Throw in fellow calypsonian Lord Nelson and four outright liars, and, well, who knows?
You better believe it's going to happen, Sunday night, when WTJX-TV presents its first-ever Champion Liar Competition.
Those vying to impress a panel of judges as the most unbelievable will not exactly be straight off the streets. In fact, three of the four are educators and the other is a lawyer.
The competitors are: Wayne Chinnery, an attorney and director of law enforcement planning for the Turnbull administration; Lesmore Howard, a Charlotte Amalie High School teacher; Sinclair "Count Slim" Potter, calypsonian and junior high school teacher; and Dr. Gilbert Sprauve, cultural preservationist and University of the Virgin Islands professor.
"Good local entertainment" is the cultural goal of the evening. Raising money is the more mudane but equally important objective. WTJX, the territory's Public Broadcasting System affiliate, like all of the other PBS stations around the country, must go to fully digital operations by the year 2008. In order to do that, it will have to acquire a lot of costly equipment.
The station has requested a substantial increase in its budget allocation from the government for the coming fiscal year. However, given economic realities, Channel 12 is also endeavoring to raise funds on its own, through a series of "Digifest" events, of which the liars contest is one.
According to WTJX general manager Lori Elskoe, the idea for the competition came from one of Lord Nelson's own popular calypsos, ""King Liar," which is about just such a contest and the islanders who turn out to take part.
Show time is 8 p.m. St. Croix's Eugene "Doc" Petersen will be the master of ceremonies, and the Reichhold technical crew will be pulling out all the stops for staging, lighting and sound effects.
Tickets are $30 for the covered seats and $20 and $12 under the stars. Outlets are Percy's Bus Stop, the Modern Music stores, International Records and Tapes and the Family Health Center, plus the Reichhold box office. Also, WTJX folks will be out hustling them in person Saturday in Center Court at Tutu Park Mall.
They'll probably have a hard time finding anybody who wants to go to the show.
And if you believe that, it's a good thing you're not one of the judges.

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