Cynthia Prendergast, Contributor
'Rahtid' returns: (From left) Everaldo Creary, Dahlia Harris, Chris Daley, Deon Silvera and Chris McFarlane take part in a scene from Aston Cooke's 'Jamaica 2 Rahtid'. The popular comedy will reopen at the Pantry Playhouse on August 18.
When it comes to satirical revues, Aston Cooke is indeed the leader of the pack, as nothing seems sacred to this writer. His outrageously hilarious satirical revue, Jamaica 2 RAHTID, is still the funniest comedy on the Jamaican theatre scene today.
The show played to an appreciative sold-out house at the Pantry Playhouse on Emancipation Day and delivered a solid performance filled with much laughter and excitement to rahtid. The audience enjoyed the production immensely. When we were not rolling over with belly laughter at the broad humour, we were smiling at the subtler kind.
Jamaica 2 RAHTID boasts a cast of top Jamaican actors. This dynamic cast includes popular comedy actors Dahlia Harris, Christopher Daley, Christopher McFarlane, Zandriann Maye and Everaldo Creary.
Jamaica 2 RAHTID is a scintillating musical revue which takes a funny look at Jamaica's state of affairs. Variety is the hallmark of this revue. Cooke's satirical pen touches even more subjects than there are skits for he packs many topics into one item.
Trevor's last Bashment is still the crowd favourite and from the audience's response, it would appear that many of them had seen the show several times; they knew the actors' lines too well. Rent a Dread pokes fun at the tourism industry practiced on the beaches of the north coast.
In Deportee and other skits, Cooke uses the double dialogue technique in which two people, talking at length, completely misunderstand each other, though the audience is aware of the misunderstanding. It's a gimmick which seldom fails to work. In Deportee, Harris boasts of her deportee boyfriend (McFarlane) while Maye carried on about a deportee motorcar.
But it was Comrade Leader - Sista P which had the audience on the floor with laughter. Dahlia Harris played a good Sista P and the surprise end to this skit caught everyone off-guard.
The show is an excellent mix of song, dance and dialogue; of solo and group pieces; of national and domestic issues. The multi-talented cast all move well, speak clearly and sing competently. And they had fun on stage.
The catchy tunes by Grub Cooper showed us why he copped the Actor Boy awards for Best Song and Best Musical Score. Jamaica 2 RAHTID will play Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. with matinee performances on Sundays at 6:00 p.m.
Cynthia Prendergast is a final-year student of literatures at the University of the West Indies.
Rey Rey (Zandriann Maye, at left) and and Tey Tey (Dahlia Harris) in a scene from the revue 'Jamaica 2 RAHTID'. - Contributed photos