Guava Jelly Brings Samuels, Johnson And Reid Together Again

One of  the most talented and acclaimed trio in Jamaican theatre, Oliver Samuels, Volier “Maffie” Johnson and Audrey “Dancehall Queen” Reid, will get back together on stage to amuse audiences, in South and Central Florida, when they appear in Patrick Brown’s hilarious play entitled Guava Jelly.  The trio came to prominence when they first appeared in Samuels’ hit television series Oliver at Large. 

Scheduled for four Florida performances, Guava Jelly will be staged at the North Miami Beach Performing Arts Center on Saturday, October 18, Coral Springs Center for the Arts on Sunday, October 19, Wekivia High School in Orlando on Saturday, October 25, and Royal Palm Beach High School on Sunday, October 26. 

In Guava Jelly, Reid plays Madge, the wife of Ascott Wilson (Samuels) who is in the United States working diligently to provide for her with plans to return home. While Ascott is away in “Foreign”, Madge allows Blue (Johnson), her former lover who has just returned from a prison term stark, raving mad, to move in with her.

As crazy as Blue acts, Madge puts up with his delirious behavior, as she still has “feelings” for him and he is able to satisfy her healthy appetite in the bedroom.  This arrangement gets a surprising interruption as Ascot makes an unannounced return home. How Madge explains Blue’s presence and responds to Ascot’s unsatisfying performances creates numerous comical situations to which the audience responds with riotous laughter.
Guava Jelly premiered in 1989 with Glen Campbell, Owen Ellis, Clive Anderson and Rosie Murray. It was resurrected in 1997/98 with Samuels, Johnson, and Campbell. Christine Bell and Angella Jarrett shared the leading lady’s role.

In this third version, Jambiz executive, Lenford Salmon directs this notorious trio with Courtney Wilson alternating roles with Volier Johnson as Blue.  The result is what Salmon insists is “a slightly new play with major changes.”  Salmon, who performed in the original production points out that it was Brown’s third play and, probably, his funniest.  Brown has established himself as one of Jamaica’s most prolific writer, who is able to tastefully and entertainingly weave comedy with social commentary.

Tickets for Guava Jelly will be on sale in mid-September and will be available at selected Caribbean outlets.  The play is being presented by Riddims Marketing and Jamaica Awareness, in association with Echelon Ventures in Palm Beach and Caribbean View Television in Orlando.  The Florida performances are sponsored by Jamaica National Money Transfer and Air Jamaica.