Fringe Review: May Day Parade

Wayne Harris is a multitalented performer who calls on a memorable time in his childhood and brings it, and all the colourful characters involved, vividly to life in this charming and funny memoir. It’s the early 1960’s in St. Louis, and young Wayne is enthralled by the approach of the May Day parade, a century-old tradition and a highlight of the year for St. Louis’ black community. Eight-year-old Wayne would love nothing better than to actually participate in this spectacle, and suddenly he gets his chance. But before his moment of triumph can arrive, he has to face down all kinds of obstacles. By the time the day of the big parade arrives, we’re totally with him and rooting for him to succeed. Harris’s energy, enthusiasm, and love of music are infectious, pulling us in right from the start. He sets the mood, paints the scene, and brings each character uniquely to life. He touches briefly on the dark side of life in the South, but the overall mood is playful and joyous. The show is engaging and held my attention right through to the gripping and poignant conclusion. A definite winner!

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