WHAT would you do if your infidelity was about to be figured out? This is the dilemma Joseph Leonard Charles, a taxi driver who lives in both Flagstaff and Belmont with his two families, encounters when his children Samantha and Jamal find each other on Facebook.
Samantha Charles, 17, and Jamal Charles, 18, develop a crush on each other as they discover a number of eerie similarities between them. Aside for sharing the same last name, Samantha and Jamal are fascinated that their fathers have the exact same name and job. The Charles children develop a crush on each other and decided to meet up for dinner at Samantha's home. When Samantha tells her father about her new friend, Joseph panics and tries to find every reason to keep his children apart.
Joseph's dramatic life unfolds on stage during Taxi Cab Confessions, a farcical play conceptualised and directed by Fareid Carvalho, owner of Carvalho Theatre. The play ran from June 13 to 16 at Queen's Hall. Taxi Cab Confessions was a hilarious production that kept the audience roaring with laughter throughout.
"People horn. People have children out of wedlock. It is normal. It happens, it's not right, but it happens. I wanted to give people a chance to see what real life is about," Carvalho told Newsday after the first show.
Carvalho wanted to subvert the concept of Taxi Cab Confessions. Typically, that name connotes a person in a taxi, confessing an awkward situation to the driver. However, in this taxi cab confession, it is the driver who tries with all his might to avoid confessing his deepest secret.
Joseph lives in Belmont with his wife Maxine and Jamal. He also lives in Flagstaff with his other wife Liz, Samantha and Bertie, the upstairs tenant who Liz deeply despises.
The play begins with Bertie, played by Carvalho, telling Joseph he was going to Salybia with his father, but his weekend plans gets destroyed when Joseph seeks Bertie's help to conceal his bigamist lifestyle. Poor Bertie must put his plans on hold while he tries to distract everyone to avoid the two wives and two children from figuring out what was truly going on.
Joseph Leonard Charles was perfectly performed by Dese Simon who made the audience believe in his frustration and fear in the most humorous of manners. This review's favourite part was Joseph's attempt to avoid being seen by his son in the Flagstaff home. In that scene, he dons a snorkel and goggles and pretends to swim around the living room in what looks like a fit of madness.
Bertie was the star of the show causing the audience to feel as much frustration as poor Liz, who Bertie kept locking in the kitchen. Bertie is a mooch of a man, who has not paid rent in years, a point of contention Liz makes clear throughout the play. At several points in the night Liz chases Bertie around the house with a knife.
Bertie pretends to be Joseph to Maxine whenever she calls, and acts as Samantha's farther when Jamal goes over to the Flagstaff home. He constantly tries to send Jamal to either Dianne's Tea Shop or Maria's Bakery to find Samantha, who he locks in her bedroom.
All of Bertie and Joseph's attempts to end the children's budding love affair becomes futile as a twist of the ending leaves the two men, and the audience astounded by the curtain call.
In between scenes, the audience was entertained by the Carvalho Dolls who danced throughout the show to songs such as More Zessing, El Taxi and Hotline Bling. Carvalho said he wanted to introduce a different element to comedy shows with the dancing.
The set was a standard living room set shared between the two households, but it was not difficult for the audience to decipher when the scene was in Flagstaff and when it was in Belmont.
The motif for the costume and set design was based on the US taxi cab with accents of yellow and black and white checkerboard throughout the set and costume.
Full of bacchanal and drama, Taxi Cab Confessions is a brilliant comedy that was worth seeing. Carvalho hopes to have another set of performances of the play, this time in Tobago, and this reviewer suggests if given the chance, to go see the show the next time it is performed. It was worth the watch.