Comic-Book Zip

FOURTYSEVEN by Nicole Manek and Margaret Smith, directed by Smith, with Manek. Presented by Tecumseth Massive at the Alumnae Studio.


FOURTYSEVEN by Nicole Manek and Margaret Smith, directed by Smith, with Manek. Presented by Tecumseth Massive at the Alumnae Studio (70 Berkeley). Runs to May 12, Tuesday-Saturday 8 pm, matinee Sunday 2:30 pm. $15, Sunday pwyc. 416-367-2462. Rating: NNN

Rating: NNN

kapow! there’s plenty of energy onstage in Fourtyseven, the Fringe hit that blends drugs, superheroes and evildoers in a comic-book tear. Created by director Margaret Smith and actor Nicole Manek, it follows teen Veronika Pharonessa and her superhuman alter-ego, The Pharaoh’s Daughter, on a quest to stop the world-takeover plans of the fiendish, hissing Deveaux.Manek morphs convincingly between the geeky Veronika and the self-assured superhero, using a pair of glasses and vocal changes to distinguish between them. She also neatly creates others in the story, including the owner of a comic-book store and the Daughter’s guide, who’s a bit like Star Wars’ Yoda translated into a pill-popping raver.

The eclectic score — sampled sound and rock tunes — punches the story along, but while there’s an intentional blur between illusion and reality, drug-inspired adventures and everyday threats (does the action occur in an inner or outer world?), the narrative’s different elements need more clarity.

It’s a fun hour, with a clever last flick of the tale’s possibilities, but sharpening some of the story lines would bring us more firmly into the central character’s worlds.

jonkap@nowtoronto.com

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