It’s funny that I’ve often heard Fringe described as having “everything” in casual conversation, yet COCONUTS, CEDAR TREES, AND MAPLE LEAVES is the first stand-up show I’ve seen at the festival in three years of writing reviews. I really enjoyed this show, and thought that its medium and tone made it stand out among the countless other Fringe shows that I’ve seen before.
COCONUTS, CEDAR TREES, AND MAPLE LEAVES features two sets by Toronto-based comedians Habib Siam and Jean Paul. The theme of the show is their experiences in coming to Canada, and making Toronto their home. Both of their sets are hilarious, oftentimes insightful, and will leave you with a deep fondness for this city.
COCONUTS, CEDAR TREES, AND MAPLE LEAVES is stand-up comedy through and through. It’s much more relaxed than anything I’ve seen at Fringe, and maybe this is a point of personal preference but I found that really refreshing. Habib remarked at one point that he was surprised to discover that Fringe has a strict no re-entry policy, and that he wished people could get up to grab a beer halfway through. Jean joked that Habib reminded him about the show on opening day and he was surprised to show up and see they had posters.
By the end, the comics are just Habib and Jean; you feel like you know them, and that means they’ve done their job very well as comics. COCONUTS, CEDAR TREES, AND MAPLE LEAVES is casual, conversational, and fun. I love this kind of thing, and if comedy is your jam then you will as well.
Don’t let the laissez faire attitude and jokes about posters fool you, these comics have worked very hard to hone the 35-40 minute sets they perform for the audience. It is crazy-hard to write five minutes of comedy, let alone forty, and I was impressed by how well the energy carried throughout the show. My friend and I were laughing throughout.
- COCONUTS, CEDAR TREES, AND MAPLE LEAVES plays at Sarah’s Bar and Cafe. (1426 Danforth Ave.)
- Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (707 Dundas St. W.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Content Warnings: Mature language; Unsuitable for minors.
- The Fringe Festival considers this venue to be wheelchair-accessible.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- Wednesday July 4th, 7:00 pm
- Thursday July 5th, 7:00 pm
- Friday July 6th, 8:00 pm
- Saturday July 7th, 8:00 pm
- Sunday July 8th, 7:00 pm
- Monday July 9th, 7:00 pm
- Tuesday July 10th, 7:00 pm
- Wednesday July 11th, 7:00 pm
- Thursday July 12th, 7:00 pm
- Friday July 13th, 8:00 pm
- Saturday July 14th, 8:00 pm
- Sunday July 15th, 7:00 pm
Photo of Habib Siam and Jean Paul by David Cyr.