Oliver Samuels Celebrates 70th Birthday with “56 East Avenue”


Oliver Samuels and Volier ‘Maffy’ Johnson

Oliver Samuels is the undisputed king of comedy and arguably Jamaica’s most compelling theatre voice with a colourful mastery fo the Jamaican style; Oliver Samuels has written an incredible chapter in the history of Jamaica and by extension, the Caribbean.

The comedian will be in Toronto for Mother’s Day weekend in May 2019 to celebrate his 70th birthday with his faithful Canadian fans.

To mark this special occasion he has written and directed one of his most scintillating plays titled 56 East Avenue, with sold out performances and garnering great reviews in Jamaica, Caribbean, America, and Canada,

This is a side splitting, rib tickling, story of life in a ‘Tenement yard’. It chronicles the antics of a landlord trying to collect rent from delinquent tenants while at the same time creating a comfortable living space for the others.

56 East Avenue is a slice of life from a time when Jamaica was at its most colourful – the 1970’s. The late great Jacob Miller’s song sums it up nicely, “Dreadlocks can live in a tenement yard.”

For this  unique production Oliver handpicked a star-studded lineup featuring his old sparring partner the Great Vollier “Maffy”Johnson, the dynamic Audrey “Dance Hall Queen” Reid, the talented Dennis Titus  and Lakesha Ellison

Oliver Adolphus Samuels, born in St Mary Jamaica, seemed to have been made for the stage when at the tender age of seven, he and the other children in the area would gather to sing and recite poetry on Friday nights.

He went to the Dinthill Technical High School, but sadly, his school career at Dinthill offered no scope for the development of his innate dramatic creativity, so he enrolled in the Jamaica Theatre School from 1971 to1973.

During these years Oliver participated in various productions. His first play was “A Raisin in the Sun”, in which he was a voice off stage. Subsequently, he played a role as “The Coolie” in the play “Servant of Two Masters”. The role prompted Gleaner critic, the late Henry Milner to comment that Oliver was “labouring under a misconception”. This statement made Samuels even more determined to prove the critics wrong and it inspired him to strive for perfection.

His popularity increased when he played the character “Moon Drops in his first pantomime “Music Boy”. Many successful roles soon followed, making Oliver Samuels a household name in Jamaica.

Oliver attained more fame in his very funny television series, “Oliver at Large” where he starred with Volier “Maffe” Johnson. This series established him as one of Jamaica’s greatest comedic actors of comedy and was dubbed abroad as the Big Crosby of Jamaican comedy.

Oliver goes from strength to strength, a true living legend. Celebrating 70 will be an event not to be missed at theatres or venues near you. In Brampton the show takes place at Speranza Banquet Hall Brampton at 510 Deerhurst Dr. in the Queen & Gorway area; in Toronto East end at the Metropolitan Centre in Scarborough 3840 Finch Ave. East West of Kennedy call 905-887-3297 / 647-994-5831for details.