RHYMES WITH WOW created by Yaw Attuah (YX Productions). At Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. July 8 at 9:45 pm, July 10 at 1:30 pm, July 11 at 4:45 pm, July 12 at 2:45 pm, July 14 at 6:15 pm, July 15 at 4 pm See listing. Rating: NNNNN

Yaw Attuah is the perfect Black friend the world needs. In a time of unjustified Starbucks arrests, his solo exploration of love and friendship might be the salve that reminds us of how much we all have in common.

With a muscular frame rivaling Erik Killmonger’s, Yaw struts across the stage with a ballerina’s grace. He never breaks eye contact with the audience. This is his origin story. He’s second generation African diaspora, raised in Fort Erie, Ontario. For him there is no culture shock, just a young man trying to get the most out of life. Race matters, but it it isn’t the conceit of the show.

Who hasn’t had to stand up to a bully? Or remember an awkward ass adolescent confession of love? These are moments that would break us if it weren’t for for the people in our lives who love us. Attuah creates dynamic impersonations of the wacky cast of his life with such charm I could swear those were my own friends.

Director Ashley Medeiros-Felix keeps Yaw on his toes so he never misses an emotional shift or silly sound effect that plays when he winks. The story is simple, but Yaw’s sincerity and openness are what sell it.

His confident gaze invites us all into his world, his point of view. Please be my friend, Yaw.

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