COCONUTS, CEDAR TREES, AND MAPLE LEAVES by Habib Siam and Jean Paul (Habib Siam and Jean Paul). At Sarah’s Cafe (1426 Danforth). July 7 and 13-14 at 8 pm, July 8-12 and 15 at 7 pm. See listing. Rating NNNN
Here’s a two for one stand-up comedy special in an intimate bar on the east end. The promotional hashtag #cedarnuts brings up a photo of two not Caucasian dudes on Instagram. This show explores what it means to be an outsider in our multicultural world. Spoiler alert: it involves dealing with immigration officers.
Habib Siam is a Lebanese “cast away” (immigrant), who’s had to make friends with white kids in soccer shorts. A story common enough, considering that foreign-born Canadians make up 20 percent of the population. The dichotomy of being too white for Arab people and too Arab for suburbia is one that hits close to home.
Veteran comic Jean Paul is a slow burn, what with his deep silky tones and slight Caribbean lilt. This code-switching redbone is everything Views-era Drake wishes he was. JP leaves his native Trinidad and Tobago at a young age only to later give birth to “white kids.” You’ve got to hear his bit on talking to them about basketball.
There’s enough heart and life experience in the show to achieve catharsis regardless of your cultural background. All the comedians ask is that you check your privilege at the door and come ready to laugh.