NEW YORK – Jamaican comedian Owen “Blakka” Ellis is set to bring the curtains down on his comedic career in New York after more than two decades.
One of the Caribbean’s most well-known comedic entertainers, Ellis who now resides in Canada told the Jamaica Sunday Gleaner recently that he no longer enjoys the stand-up art and wants to make time for the fulfilling work of writing, directing and producing. Speaking from his home in Canada Ellis said in his ‘retirement’ years, he will put more effort into organizing the Association of Comedic Entertainers (ACE) and facilitate workshops for upcoming comics. Ellis indicated that he will also be working alongside Ity and Fancy Cat as a writer/consultant and will be involved in producing comedy shows.
Blakka will share the stage with the likes of Jamaican comedy duo Ity & Fancy Cat from and Susan Kennedy from Trinidad & Tobago for the farewell comedy weekend. The New York tour kicks off on Friday, July 31 at 8:30 pm and runs through to Sunday, August 2 at 6:00 pm. Showtime on Saturday is 8:00 pm.
Owen “Blakka” Ellis
The larger-than-life comedian got his unexpected start on the stand-up stage in 1985 as part of the duo Bello and Blakka with Winston Bell and since that time, Blakka has been entertaining audiences throughout the Caribbean, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Among the highlights in the comedian’s career is performing with the great Jamaican folklorist Louise Bennett-Coverley. For Ellis, though, the most memorable moment of his career was the first time he performed with Bell to a packed stadium of more than 15,000 persons in Trinidad. Other stand-outs include performing at the Apollo Theatre in New York and doing a television special for Channel 4 in London.
According to Producers Horace and Victoria Mitchell, “We see this as an opportunity for patrons to enjoy a weekend of wholesome family entertainment and unlimited laughter. It is even more significant as Owen “Blakka” Ellis will use this as the event to take his final bow on the New York comedy stage.”
The comedy weekend will serve a benefit for the New York based Jamaican charity Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO), committed to assist in making a difference in the lives of underprivileged children in Jamaica as well as the United States.
Tickets for the comedy showcase are reasonably priced at $40 for advance purchase and $45 at the door. Tickets can also be purchased online at http://vmitchell.food.officelive.com. Part proceeds will go towards Children of Jamaica Outreach (COJO) Inc.
View Blakka performs his poem “Gateman” in Toronto