Oliver Samuels back for Mother’s Day with ‘Lucky Money’

by Lincoln Depradine
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Oliver Samuels

When reference is made to “The King of Comedy” in the Black and Caribbean community, one name invariably comes to mind. That is veteran Jamaican actor Oliver Samuels.
Samuels was in Toronto last year to perform in the hilarious stage production of “Teet an Tung”, which he also wrote and directed. He’s back this year and is preparing for a new show, “Lucky Money”.
The play not only includes “a lot of laughter”, but also “serious messages relevant to our society”, Samuels told Share. “I play the role of Anton DeSouza. He is a suffering salesman.”
“Lucky Money” will be staged in Etobicoke this Friday, May 10. It will be followed by three other presentations in Scarborough as part of the “23rd Annual Mother’s Day Weekend Event” of comedy that’s described as “a show for the entire family”.
In “Lucky Money”, Samuels co-stars with Karen Harriot and Pablo Hoilett, who is also the play’s director.
“We have been in rehearsals for the past six weeks,” said Samuels, whose international tours have taken him to Canada for more than 35 years.
One of the characters in the comedic drama of “Lucky Money” is “Walter Nelson”, who is married to “Alzira”.
Walter, portrayed by Hoilett, is described as a self-righteous university lecturer, political activist and radio talk show host. Alzira (Harriot) tries to mediate in a dispute between her husband and Anton, a “small man”; poor and humble, but street-smart.
Walter tries to cheat Anton out of cash due to him from money that was won in a huge lottery from numbers Anton gave to Walter.
Anton’s name is signed on the back of the winning ticket but Walter refuses to share the winnings fifty-fifty. Instead, he offers to provide Anton with a washing machine and a second-hand fridge.
“The show deals with quite a number of issues like dishonesty and someone fighting for their rights,” said Samuels, who has been a fixture on the entertainment circuit for more than a half-century, after finding fame on the popular Jamaican Broadcasting Corporation’s TV series “Oliver at Large”.
“The show also, to some point, deals with faithfulness. Because the wife, in spite she knows that Walter is a thief and him try to rob the small man, she still stick around with him.”
“Lucky Money” opens May 10, 8 p.m., at Woodbine Banquet Hall, 30 Vice Regent Boulevard, Etobicoke.
The remaining weekend performances – on Saturday and Sunday – are at The Metropolitan Centre, 3840 Finch Avenue East.
On Saturday, May 11, there’s one show beginning at 8 p.m. There are two shows on Sunday. The first is at 4:00 p.m. and the other at 8 p.m.
Tickets, bought in advance of the shows, are $45 each. Patrons, purchasing tickets at the door at the venues, will pay $50 each.
Further information about “Lucky Money” is available by calling 905-887-3297 or 647-994-5831.

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