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Strong Comedy, A Touch of Music & Weak Magic - Comedytaiment April
Comedytainment returned to Red Bones the Blues Cafe for the April installment of the bi-monthly helping of comedy and a hodgepodge of other entertainment. This month it was a combination of comedy, magic and a smattering of music.
The event was once again hosted by the engaging Jerry Benzwick from whom no member of the audience was safe from his, largely sexual, jokes.
Decked in a badly tailored suit approximating the magician’s iconic tailcoat, Turna the Magician was mildly interesting with his tricks which included making rabbits and birds appear. In truth, the rabbit’s refusal to leave the stage during the performance was far more interesting than Turna’s magic. The rabbit hopped to the periphery of the stage, conferred with the birds, but never once wandered away.
Boasy Bwoi Floyd (formerly Pretty Bwoi Floyd) was the first comedian to take the stage.
"Him might look frail and fool fool but him comedic muscle strong," said Benzwick in calling Floyd to the stage. After checking the limbs of the ackee and mango trees which framed the stage, just in case the tough times forced the restaurant was growing may have started growing its own chickens, he touched on the Boston Massacre then made a quick segue to the tissue issue.
Floyd noted that in the good old days, tissues wouldn't have been an issue which allowed him to delve into a funny scatological segment. He ended with a funny piece on the differences between uptown and downtown girls.
Next up was the The Hilarious Granny who shook her exaggerated bottom and bosoms to Whitney Houston, Psy, and several dancehall tunes. Along with a great fascination for Whitney Houston, the Hilarious Granny also displayed a disturbing penchant for giving bewildered women lap dances.
The night’s musical offering came from percussionist Bongo Herman, who admittedly did more singing than playing of instruments. Bongo Herman even tried his hand at telling a joke or two. He culminated his performance by pulling his seemingly unending plethora of percussion instruments from a bag, including a battered and dented chamber pot, which has become his signature instrument. He however earned himself an encore for which he sang another Reggae classic.
Comedytaiment April ended with Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis. Blakka launched his set by pointing to the contradictions in the night’s performers such as a the cross-dressing granny who only dances with “hot brown girls”, which he used to comment on the paradoxes and idiosyncrasies of Jamaican society.
“I love Jamaica,” Ellis said. “We're one case study in contradiction," he said. He pointed to the tendency to name people according to any deformities or anything else perceived as wrong with them. As such, a man with a big head can be dubbed “Jelly” to signify the size of his head or another with one hand shorter than the other is re-christened “clock”.
"We are the only people who can dance a capela and sing instrumental,” Ellis said. He then poked fun at fellow actors Shebada and ‘Bad Bwoi Trevor’ who were both in the audience and had made an impromptu cameo on the stage.
Expressing respect for Shebada’s creative courage, Ellis pointed out that Jamaica would do well to embrace difference as well as lose some public hypocrisy.
“I have to really make the point in Jamaica we have to do better at embracing difference," said Ellis. He spoke about age, sex, and masculinity pointing out that the Jamaican male is very “homophobic” but rather “homosocial”, spending most of his time in the company of men and only turning to women for sex but not friendship.
He declared himself a lesbian, academic, artist and educator and through many of his jokes it was evident that he was interested in provoking much more than laughter, bringing the night to a funny yet thoughtful close.
"People enjoy the laughter while it is still tax free," he said in his final words, "Life too short to a mek monkey face."