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Comedy Meets the Steel Pan at Comedytainment

Christopher Daley and Volier Johnson

The Comedytainment event, a blend of standup comedy and entertainment took over Redbones the Blues Cafe, last Thursday, February 28, 2013. This time around the event featured music and acrobatics from Silverbirds Steel Orchestra and comedy from Dwight Samuels, Christopher Daley and Volier Johnson. By the end of the night the humour had dipped below the waistline and was unable to rise above it.

The Silverbirds Steel Orchestra, decked in white with a touch of blue started out the evening’s entertainment delivering a suite of reggae and pop songs on their steel pans. Their repertoire and style easily marked them as cabaret performers and they kept the audience entertained as much by their footwork as by the music they played. The orchestra populated the night with music from Adele, Marley, Shakka Demus and Pliers, Third World and Beres Hammond.  

Members of Silverbirds Steel Orchestra show their plumageBut music was not the only tool in their arsenal. Approximately halfway through their set, one of the members retired his sticks and made his way to the front of the stage. As he posed and began to remove his outer shirt, it seemed momentarily that the nature of the show had changed to a more sexual tone, but he was just fooling around. However as he twisted and contorted his body, including passing it through a tennis raquet (sans the netting) he did pull ‘Ohhs and Ahhs” from the audience. Later, they added acrobatics to the showcase and though performance wise it is strange to mix your steel pan with your acrobatics they were certainly interesting to watch.

Dwight Samuels then took the stage as the night's first comedian with childhood and the ridiculousness of english as his material. While he had declared that his focus would be on Jamaican life, he played hopscotch with a number of topics in a combination of social commentary and narrative jokes. Some hit the mark and a few cracked against the wall. Samuels was followed to the stage by the decidedly forgettable Okeebo, who was equipped with a mildly funny song (alas he delivered two) and no performance skills. Silverbirds Steel Orchestra

Christopher Daley, who declared his celebration of 25 years in entertainment, then followed. Daley began with discussion on his days on the television drama series Lime Tree and how it reflected is own life as he was living on a lane himself at the time. His monologue delved into the trials of the pit latrine and curious cockroaches then turned to learning the ropes of how to enter a lane during times of conflict.

Daley also discussed his journey a professional comedian and took the opportunity to picked on his fellow comedians in the venue tackling Michael Abrahams as well as Ity and Fancy Cat. His mention of Abrahams led him to some some "pum pum talk" and from there the humour became rather explicit.

Jerry Benzwick hosted the eventWhen Volier Johnson took the stage the humour continued along this bent. Daley introduced Volier Johnson and remained on the stage with him. The two then had a back and forth for the majority of Johnson’s set. Upon Daley’s departure, the evening’s host, Jerry Benzwick joined Johnson on the stage, and the two brought the evening to a close.