The Beaubruns: Haiti’s First Family of Entertainment

Written by Kat in Culture on October 23, 2011 with 5 Comments

Now, we all know about the Jacksons from Gary, Indiana, but did you know that just like the USA, Haiti has its own family of entertainers? The Beaubrun family, they’re called.

The Beaubrun family’s flagship talent was the comedian Theodore Beaubrun (1918-1998). Beaubrun was born into a family rooted in theater, and became one of Haiti’s first radio stars and standup comedians, performing throughout the mid-40s. He appeared in the movie The Golden Mistress, one of the few movies filmed in Haiti in the late 1950s, and along with his first wife Luce Ameris Beaubrun, stood out as a pioneer in both radio and television entertainment.

When Haitian television was launched, Beaubrun had his own television show: Les Aventures de Languichatte, in which he starred as Languichatte Debordus, a pretentious mad-cap attorney, with high society aspirations. Before long, Theodore Beaubrun Jr., and Marjorie Beaubrun, his two kids also joined the TV show, the first playing is nemesis, and the other playing his daughter. His second wife Ginette Beaubrun played the family maid, while his son-in-law Herold Nau, played, well, his son in law. Writing is own original scripts with Haitian life at its core, Beaubrun innovated the art of Haitian television production, which was mostly under-explored at the time, and helped launch the career of future filmmaker and screenwriter Raynald Delerme, and introduced the nation to the talents of Rene Delsoin, who played his majordomo Azibe and Marie-Andree Raymond, his on-screen wife, as well as other assorted talents like George Lus.

The Beaubrun family didn’t simply make their mark in television, but they made it in music as well. The aforementioned Theodore Beaubrun Jr., headed the band Boukman Eksperyans, a Haitian rock band that became synonymous with the roots music movement in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with wife Mimerose “Manzè” Beaubrun, daughter Laura, and son Paul performing with the band. Daniel Beaubrun, another one of Theodore Sr.’s sons, actually composed many of the theme songs for the TV show over the course of its run, and was an integral part of Boukman Eksperyans, before establishing his own production company Daddisound and fronting his own band Lataye. Mimerose and Theodore Beaubrun Jr’s son Paul launched his own band Zing Experience, completing the family’s entertainment legacy.

Today, Ginette Beaubrun divides her time between Haiti and France and performs in theater occasionally. She along with Marie-Andree Beaubrun, and Theodore Beaubrun Jr., took part in a tribute show to Beaubrun Sr., in 2007.

Boukman Eksperyans continues to perform all over the world, while Zing Experience is continuing in the musical path of its predecessor. Marjorie Beaubrun, known to most as an actress, is also a painter. The Beaubruns are indeed an artistically gifted bunch, and are devoted to keeping the legacy of Languichatte alive.

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