Oliver's still large
J'can comedy king celebrates 50th milestoneFriday, November 20, 2020
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
King of Jamaican comedy Oliver Samuels will kick off the landmark celebrations of his 50th year in Jamaican theatre with a pay-per-view presentation next weekend.
The production titled The Oliver Samuels Thanksgiving Special has been timed to coincide with what would have been a traditionally busy period for the actor, who, had it not been for the novel coronavirus pandemic, would have been touring North America and the United Kingdom, sharing his brand of Jamaican comedy and culture.
Speaking to the Jamaica Observer Samuels noted that his 50 years in theatre have been absolutely wonderful and noted that while there have been bumps along the way he has enjoyed the journey.
“I would not have had it any other way. When you look at this year, we are blessed to be able to come to our audiences in this way given the restrictions due to corona. Annually, me and mi crew would be on the road. But because of this pandemic Michael Dawson of Whirlwind International Entertainment had this brilliant idea not to deprive our loyal fans and supporters of the entertainment they would now be expecting,” said Samuels.
Dawson is describing the online presentation as a modern-day Oliver at Large, harking back to the groundbreaking television series which aired on local television.
“It's a kind of return to TV for Oliver,” Dawson shared.
“This was always in the making, but we never had the time. Now because touring is not on the cards, all we have is time, so it was perfect. We have updated some of the storylines from that original television series, so for example there is that popular episode where Oliver was at the airport but could not leave the country as he had no visa… well what happened when he got the visa? There are so many great stories,” he continued.
Samuels shared that the Thanksgiving special will feature some well-known faces of the local stage.
“We are having appearances by Volier Johnson, Deon Silvera, Michael “Stringbeans” Nicholson and Peter Abrikian. Along the way there will be a potpourri of personalities who will be joining to either condemn or to praise me, so that should be exciting. That list includes Ity, Glen Campbell, Basil Dawkins, Teddy Price, Ruth HoShing and Audrey Reid. The whole thing is setting up itself to be fun and excitement,” said Samuels.
The Oliver Samuels Thanksgiving Special will be available for pay-per-view via the streaming platform Jamaica Online TV. The production will be available to paid customers from the afternoon of Thursday, November 26, until midnight on Sunday, November 29. Each ticket purchased entitles the patron to one viewing, however patrons can choose when they watch the production over the weekend.
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