STUCK written and performed by Christel Bartelse and Christina Sicoli, directed by Michael Kennard. Presented by Burnt Marshmallows at the Space (489 Dupont). July 10 and 12 at 9:30 pm, July 11 at 8 pm, July 13 at 2 pm. Rating: NNNN
if real estate is all about loca tion, comedy and clown are defined by chemistry. The Burnt Marshmallows , Christel Bartelse and Christina Sicoli , must have a post-grad degree in the subject. Stuck , their latest show, is a series of mega-Bunsen-burner sketches in which they demonstrate true showbiz pizzazz, even if one or two sections don't quite ignite.
All the scenes focus on being stuck in some fashion - physically, emotionally, intellectually - and trying to move on. An over-bubbly duo trying to be in the now, tap-dancing road ragers, a pair of marvellously nasty dwarves and a spider luring a fly into her web are some of the delightful bits that make up this engaging show.
OUR DAILY BREAD by Peter McGarry and Sarah Quick. Presented by Quick Change at the Tranzac (292 Brunswick). July 10 at 8 pm, July 11 at 6:30 pm, July 12 at 5 pm, July 13 at 7 pm. Rating: NNN
after three years of fringe comedy, Quick Change turns to a largely serious piece about the welfare system, the problems of child-raising and male-female relationships. Co-author Sarah Quick offers a nicely nuanced performance as Sharon, a British mom on welfare who's already had two children adopted after they've been found to have non-accidental injuries.
Tina Moreau 's Janice, a social worker, isn't as well defined, either in her professional life or in a home life that's as lonely and dismal as Sharon's.
TYRANNOUS REX written and performed by Nicola Gunn, directed by Mark Chavez. Presented by c NaNa at the Robert Gill. July 10 at 8:30 pm, July 11 at 11:30 pm, July 12 at 2 pm. Rating: NNNNN
nicola gunn's one-person, seven -character show set in a mysterious Scottish estate goes beyond mere physical theatre to satisfy on nearly every level. Whether she's playing a gregarious whisky seller, a Miss Brodie-ish snob or (most poignantly) a lonely middle-aged man awakened by love and lust, she commands our attention. Mark Chavez 's direction helps make this gem of a show shine brilliantly.
THE UGLY DUCHESS by Janet Munsil, directed by Britt Small. Presented by Terry and Intrepid Theatre at the Robert Gill. July 10 at 4 pm, July 11 at 12:30 pm, July 12 at 8 pm. Rating: NNNN
paul terry delivers a nuanced , perfect performance as the notoriously ugly 14th-century Tyrol ruler Margaret Maultasch, aka "Pocket-mouth." Janet Munsil 's fine script opens up a fascinating world of politics, religion, sex, beauty and illness, including a look at the Black Death. Though the play could be more artfully structured, Britt Small stitches together a gleaming production with evocative light and shadow.
RUTABAGAN IN "DOWN TOWN" created and performed by Christian Laurin, directed by Michael Kennard. Presented by Rutabagan at the Space (489 Dupont). July 10 and 12 at 8 pm, July 11 at 9:30 pm, July 13 at 3:30 pm. Rating: NNN
christian laurin's rutabagan is a member of the bouffon school of clown, the less cuddly variety. Misshapen, with a gravelly voice and goofy laugh, he lives on society's edge, filching breakfast from garbage cans (but turning it into a feast), searching for liquor and chastising himself for his life. Laurin plays cleverly with the audience in best clown fashion, and his performance is at its most engaging when he reveals the tenderness of Rutabagan's dreams.
THOUSAND-DOLLAR ZOMBIE by David Dupont and Jody Racicot, directed by Dupont. Presented by the Bendigo Film Company at the Factory Mainspace. July 11 at 10 pm, July 12 at 5 pm, July 13 at 4 pm. Rating: NNN
it's hard to resist this lewd and crude 40-minute farce about a film director making a horror flick who joins forces with a porn producer to create - you guessed it - a "horno." The ending feels a bit limp, but the likeable cast - including Eric Goulem as a thespian and Walter Rinaldi as the sleazy producer - look like they're having a ball. A guilty pleasure, especially the orgasm showdown.
IT'S RAINING FUN! written and performed by Julie Dumais, Brendan Gall, Martin Gero, Ryan V. Hays, Becky Johnson, Kurt Smeaton and Graham Wagner. Presented by the Awesome Club Playhouse at the Royal St. George. July 11 at 3:30 pm, July 12 at 9 pm, July 13 at 2 pm. Rating: NNN
a group of talented sketch com- ics play friends trying to assemble a time capsule for a future robot world. There's some fun as well as some lame material, but the cast - Martin Gero and Ryan V. Hays are standouts - bring energetic silliness to live and video scenes about Aryan diversity, poles through the head, camp songs and laser babies.
BILLY NOTHIN' by Sean Dixon, directed by Amiel Gladstone. Presented by Theatre SKAM at Honest Ed's loading dock (581 Bloor West). July 10-13 at 7 pm. Rating: NNNNN
frustrated in love, a city slicker develops a cowboy alter ego and moves to a lyrical Wild West where cellphones double as six-guns and time and space can be bridged by poetic imagination. Sean Dixon expertly blends humour and seriousness, and the Theatre SKAM ensemble - directed by Amiel Gladstone , with Matthew Payne a standout as the confused central character - give the script a rootin', tootin', entertainin' production. Splendid in a Fringe or any other context.
POINTY EARS, HAIRY WARTS AND OTHER MONUMENTAL MISUNDERSTANDINGS by Thomas Morgan Jones, directed by Eric Rose. Presented by Invisible Elephant at the Palmerston Library. July 11 at 1:30 pm, July 12 at 7:15 pm. Rating: NNN
an elf and a troll - mortal ene- mies - confront each other when they both discover a treasure. They learn how to trust and see each other as "human" rather than as stereotypes in this engaging show. There's sharp direction by Eric Rose and energetic, committed performances by Darryl Hinds as the lumbering troll and Sarah Sheps as the quicksilver elf.
HAPPY written and performed by Victoria Goring, directed by Kelly Fanson. Presented by Urban Spine at the Velvet Underground (508 Queen West). July 10-13 at 8:30 pm. Rating: NN
pursued by a pack of aggressive, man-eating women at the Velvet Underground, Victoria Goring plays a put-upon, confused guy (in drag she looks like actor James Spader) who rants about estrogen in the environment and changing gender roles and rules. There's no arc or shape to the piece, which could easily make its banal points in 15 minutes but takes an hour, including an intermission no doubt added to sell drinks.
THE THREE B'S by Greg Finnegan, directed by Shane Anderson. Presented by Blue Martini at the Palmerston Library. July 10 at 4 pm, July 11 at 7:30 pm, July 12 at 8:30 pm, July 13 at 1:30 pm. Rating: NNNN
greg finnegan's sly but affection- ate parody of Nancy Drew and other girl-detective books is at the Kids- Venue, but it works just as well - maybe even better - for adult viewers. The cast have their tongues firmly in cheek under Shane Anderson 's smart direction in this tale of a trio of sleuths with a nose for mystery, a haunted nightclub, a reclusive millionaire and a strange beautician. Don't ignore David Walden 's tone-setting soundscape.
A PAIR OF SHORTS by Matt Toner and Donald Molnar. Presented by Placebo Group and Cabbagetown Theatre at St. Vlad's. July 10 at 3 pm, July 11 at 2 pm, July 13 at 8:30 pm. Rating: NNN
the better of these two one-acts is Matt Toner 's Killing Time At The Crossroads Of The World , in which an off-duty New York City transit worker deals with a mole man (subway dweller) who may be psychotic and dangerous. Russell Bennett and the always-clever Stephen Flett generate nice theatrical tension in a script with biblical overtones.
Donald Molnar 's monologue Ring It , about a former altar boy and his brother, is predictable, but Blake Thorne 's performance hits the right notes.
EN-GER-LAND written and performed by Baz Barrett, Stewart Matthews and Justin Sage-Passant. Presented by Screwed & Clued at the Factory Mainspace. July 11 at 12:30 pm, July 12 at 8 pm. Rating: NNNN
fringe regulars screwed & clued's look at two British friends who vow to attend every World Cup even as their careers and friendship take different directions scores a major theatrical goal. If the portrait of a disintegrating friendship feels calculated, the piece is always inventively staged, with Stewart Matthews an engaging, informative referee and Baz Barrett and Justin Sage-Passant believable in their passionate love of the game. Highly recommended even for those who know nothing about soccer... er, football.
Bangkok needs cuts
BANGKOK by Lilla Csorgo, directed by Kimberly Purtell. Presented by Ambivalent at the Glen Morris. July 10 at 11 pm, July 13 at 6:30 pm. Rating: NN
set at the pool of an elegant re sort, Bangkok moves back and forth in time to trace a woman's four visits to Asia and the men she meets there. Lilla Csorgo 's script could use some stronger characterizations and be pared by 20 minutes, but director Kimberly Purtell shapes the material well. Stephanie Baptist gives a glowing performance as the woman, while Stephen Reich as her friend/confessor moves nimbly between supporter and interrogator.
MOTHERS written and directed by Vanessa Shaver. Presented by Sr2 productions at the Factory Mainspace. July 10 at 6:30 pm, July 12 at 11 pm. Rating: NN
vanessa shaver's overwritten, overpopulated and overlong (85 minutes) play about various characters' connections to mothers and motherhood lacks shape and direction. Apparently, it's been cut down for the Fringe production, but Shaver would be better off focusing on one or two of her clichéd scenarios, which range from the estranged daughter bit to the single-mother theme. Still, there are a couple of nice performances, including two powerhouse ones by Athena Lamarre and Michelle Polak and a small calming one by Ella Chan .
BY THE BOG OF CATS by Marina Carr, directed by Jeannette Lambermont. Presented by DDT at St. Vlad's. July 10 at 10:30 pm, July 11 at noon and July 13 at 6:30 pm. Rating: NNN
playwright marina carr's full- length play - an update of the Medea story set in rural Ireland - gets truncated for the Fringe, though its power is still palpable. Ellen-Ray Hennessy plays grieving Hester Swane, rejected by her husband ( John O'Callaghan ) for a younger, richer wife ( Anne Ross ).
Director Jeannette Lambermont 's production could have used another two weeks' rehearsal and the play should be offered complete. But there's some splendid character work by many in the 11-member cast, including Richard Harte as Hester's ghostly brother, Robert B. Kennedy 's sympathetic mystery man, Deirdre Kirby 's curmudgeonly grandmother and Mary Durkan 's seerlike, blind Catwoman.
TEACHING WITCHCRAFT written and performed by Keir Cutler. Presented by Doctor Keir Co. at the Helen Gardiner Phelan. July 10 at 8 pm, July 11 at 2 pm, July 12 at 9:30 pm. Rating: NNN
in his latest stand-and-deliver lecture pretending to be theatre, Keir Cutler adapts the writings of various 15th-century inquisitors to get lots of knowing, ironic chuckles. Adopting a self-righteous, smug and clearly deluded onstage persona, he sells his misogynist and unscientific pronouncements about identifying and torturing witches a bit too bluntly, and there's a lack of tension to the show.
the seducer's diary by Daniel Sadavoy and Darrah Teitel, directed by Teitel. Presented by Ubermarionette at the Glen Morris. July 11 at 2 pm, July 12 at 7:30 pm. Rating: NN
there's a clever idea in this young company's three-part story, which combines the troubled relationship of Søren Kierkegaard and his fiancée, Kierkegaard's fictionalized version of the tale and a modern spin on the seducer theme, all with an echo of Les Liaisons Dangereuses. The production, though, is more histrionic than dramatic, despite some good work by performers Daniel Chapman-Smith , Darrah Teitel and Tracy Fuller .
Boffo Bard blend
shakespeare's gladiator games by Chris Coculuzzi, Matt Toner and William Shakespeare. Presented by Upstart Crow Sports Network at Trinity College field (east of George Ignatieff, 15 Devonshire). July 10 and 11 at 8 pm, July 12 and 13 at 2 pm. Rating: NNNN
et tu, shakespeare? upstart crow's latest blend of the Bard with vaudeville routines, corny jokes and a sports free-for-all turns Shakespeare's Greek and Roman plays - including Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar and Antony And Cleopatra - into a massive gladiator show and tournament, with Rob McKee , Seamus Dudley and Stephen Flett providing often funny commentary.
The Lion King parody is a hoot, as is the final impressive naval battle between Antony and Octavius. Great energy, inventive writing and staging.
By the book
ENCYCLOPEDIAS by Joanne O'Sullivan, directed by Sam Hancock. Presented by Interzone Productions at the Factory Studio. July 11 at 6:30 pm, July 12 at 4:30 pm, July 13 at 7 pm. Rating: NNN
there's an intentionally claustrophobic feel to Joanne O'Sullivan 's promising two-hander about a wife forced by her professor husband (a stiff Ian Matthews ) to memorize a set of encyclopedias in their basement so she won't humiliate him in front of his peers. But the work's themes feel contrived, and we never learn enough about the characters - how did they meet? what was their courtship like? - to make this look at abuse more emotionally compelling.
job ii: The demon of the eternal recurrence written and performed by Jerome Saibil and Eli Batalion. Presented by Foqué dans la Tête at the George Ignatieff. July 10 at 11:30 pm, July 11 at 2 pm, July 12 at 8 pm. Rating: NNNNn
is their cleverness boundless? Jerome Saibil and Eli Batalion , whose Job: The Hiphop Musical first wowed us at the Fringe last year, are back with Job II , which pushes the writing and performing envelope even further. After recapping part one at the start, Job II follows the story of gun-happy MC Cain and his victim, MC Abel. In a now-godless world, Abel is abducted and retrained in hiphop and rap by the existentialist Fred (read Nietzsche).
With rhymes and syncopated rhythms more complex than part one's, this tricky Demon seduces with its witty, splendidly kinetic energy.
MARDI BRA written and performed by Renee Percy and Jen Radomsky, directed by Marco Timpano. Presented by Ham Job at Artword. July 11 at 8 pm, July 12 at 1:30 pm, July 13 at 4 pm. Rating: NNN
up-and-coming comic talents Renee Percy and Jen Radomsky display lots of range and imagination in this program of sketch, video and song about breasts and other modern-day obsessions. Some sketches need work and the production's a little rough, but there's no mistaking the pair's chutzpah and energy. Keep your eye on them.
TANGURAY & MANGURAY IN "VORTEX BUNNY!" written and performed by Tim Doiron and Ryan Ward. Presented by Nebulina Clementina at the Robert Gill. July 11 at 3:30 pm, July 12 at 6:30 pm. Rating: NNN
clowns tanguray (tim doiron) clowns tanguray (tim doiron) clowns tanguray (tim doiron)
and Manguray ( Ryan Ward ) display great chemistry and evoke the dynamics of childhood game-playing in this whimsical look at a magic body-chopping vortex. Not everything's in place here, but there's good character work. The short and stocky Tanguray is appropriately bossy and strutting - he talks like a Texas salesman yet strikes dance move poses - while the tall and thin Manguray is fine as his seemingly dim-witted foil.
ONE MAN 80S BLANK TAPE written and performed by Charles Ross, directed by T. J. Dawe. Presented by Chicken for Supper at the Robert Gill. July 10 at 7 pm, July 11 at 8:30 pm, July 13 at 2:30 pm. Rating: NNN
recreating key pop culture mo ments of the 80s via a fictional taped-over VHS tape, master caricaturist Charles Ross shows the same energy and imagination he brought to last Fringe's One Man Star Wars Trilogy. With awesome technique, he captures iconic moments in sitcoms and films, identifies unfortunate trends (Shirley MacLaine screaming in weepie chick flicks, interchangeable action movies about POWs) and plays with commercials.
Problem is, if you weren't watching a lot of TV in the 80s (and, hey, where are the celebrity-based programs, sports events and serious dramas?) you won't appreciate the show. You can tell from the laughter, which comes in pockets, that by its nature the show's hit-and-miss.
balance created and performed by Frank Meschkuleit and Gordon Robertson. Presented by Invisible Inc at St. Vlad's. July 10 at 6 pm, July 11 at 8 pm, July 12 at 3 pm. Rating: NNN
on a table-top island world, pup peteers Frank Meschkuleit and Gordon Robertson create two characters - one robust, one sickly - who meet, fight and try to learn something about sharing. The puppetry is sometimes cutesy but more often charming and subtly emotional, with an unexpected kicker in the last few seconds. Sit close.
A CHOICE LIFE by Dan Darin-Zanco, directed by Nina Aquino. Presented by Reality Live Productions at the Factory Mainspace. July 10 at 5 pm, July 11 at 11:30 pm, July 12 at 3:30 pm. Rating: NNN
darin-zanco's two-hander about strangers who meet in a park holds its thematic cards a bit too close to its chest. But director Nina Aquino and a strong design team up the tension and keep us guessing about the characters' motivations. There's a strong performance by Kimberly Thorpe as a questing mental patient, but Darin-Zanco feels slightly miscast as an overworked corporate soldier trying to do his job.
Dawe does it again
A CANADIAN BARTENDER AT BUTLIN'S written and performed by T. J. Dawe. Presented by Big Sandwich at the George Ignatieff. July 10 at 10 pm, July 11 at 12:30 pm, July 12 at 9:30 pm. Rating: NNNN
one of the most engaging performers on the Fringe circuit, T. J. Dawe knows how to tell a story better than just about anyone else.
This time he recounts his experiences at Butlin's, a British holiday camp, where he's the exotic because of his Canadian accent. Not only does Dawe create a dozen or so comic characters, but he weaves seemingly random pieces of shaggy-dog stories into what emerges as a complex, emotionally vivid tale.
rodeo star by Paulino Nunes, directed by Adam Nashman. Presented by Mid Atlantic and Bald Ego at St. Vlad's. July 10 at 7:30 pm, July 11 at 6:30 pm, July 12 at noon. Rating: NNn
a man and a woman meet in a hotel room. And meet again. And remeet. Paulino Nunes 's intentionally twisted narrative plays out different possibilities of this duo's lives, keeping dialogue and sensual attraction each time but changing the immediate situation. The ending is a bit truncated and confusing, but Nunes and Marie-Josée Lefebvre concoct believable passion and a generous bonfire of theatrics.
DOUBLE TEAM SUPREME written and performed by Rachel Hamilton and Tamara Bick, directed by Paul Stein. Presented by the Hey Hey Girls at Artword. July 12 at 7:30 pm. Rating: NNNN
with her fearlessness and carol Burnett smile, comic Rachel Hamilton exudes a brassy confidence that makes her autobiographical account of surviving private school in Washington, DC, both moving and funny in this double bill of monologues. There are holes in her story, it's easy to see afterwards, but there's also lots of insight into human cruelty and loneliness, delivered with panache. The same is true of Tamara Bick 's account of cycling 618 miles to honour a friend with AIDS. Both pieces about surviving and moving on with a good laugh are sharply directed.
THAT BOY script and music by Paul Gibson, directed by Karen Turner. Presented by Gibstein Productions at the Robert Gill. July 10 at 2 pm, July 12 at 9:30 pm. Rating: NNNN paul gibson's snappily written play about two musicians pooling their talents to finish a song for a pop-rock diva while rehashing past grudges (one was dumped by the diva, the other's currently dating her) could be called 2 Guitars, 4 Hands. Full of authentic details about songwriting craft and art in general, the show touches us with its portrait of two men's contrasting characters. Karen Turner 's sharp direction keeps us hooked despite the occasional repetitive refrain.
ON THE ROOF written and performed by Sara Weber, directed by Raymond Louter. Presented by Dry Bones at the Glen Morris. July 10 at 9:30 pm, July 11 at 3:30 pm, July 13 at 5 pm. Rating: NNN
a comedy about cancer? don't run for the hills, because writer/performer Sara Weber 's account of her mother's battle with the disease is both touching and genuinely funny. There's a refreshing openness and honesty about Weber's work, which is surprisingly light in tone despite the occasional preachy or treacly moment.
You know you're in for some unexpected episodes when Weber admits that she comes from a long line of mooners.
THE GLASSBLOWER'S CHILDREN adapted and directed by Michael Shepherd, co-directed by Colleen Williams. Presented by Kids' Classics at the Palmerston Library. July 11 at 2:45 pm, Jul 12 at noon, July 13 at 6 pm. Rating: NN
this young-audiences adaptation of a Hansel-and-Gretel-influenced children's book rarely engages the audience, because adapter/co-director Michael Shepherd relies too much on relating events rather than showing them. He's lucky, though, to have Colleen Williams as the narrator, for her engaging performance anchors the sometimes confusing story.
toothpaste and cigars by T. J. Dawe and Michael Rinaldi, directed by Amiel Gladstone. Presented by Theatre George at the Glen Morris. July 11 at 9:30 pm, July 12 at noon, July 13 at 3:30 pm. Rating: NNN
wallace and chantry meet at a party, flirt in the usual tentative fashion and less conventionally by reading some haiku-like poetry and develop a kind of relationship. T. J. Dawe 's and Michael Rinaldi 's clever script, playing out the possibilities of how the pair's lives might intertwine, loses steam in the last 15 minutes. What nails the production as good theatre, though, is the chemistry between actors Tallulah Winkelman and Rinaldi.
JOINT ACCOUNT written and performed by Jason Jazrawy, directed by Megan Somerville. Presented by Pawprint Productions at the Factory Studio. July 10 at 4:30 pm, July 11 at 9:30 pm, July 12 at 3 pm, July 13 at 5:30 pm. Rating: NNN
jason jazrawy's account of the pleasures and paranoias of smoking weed is initially sparked up by the actor's kinetic delivery and electric stage presence - he's like a young Elias Koteas. But the script only starts smoking halfway through in vividly detailed scenes about a bank teller that show his character's Poe-like heightened perception.
EROS AT BREAKFAST by Robertson Davies. Directed and presented by DOM iDEAS at Factory Studio. July 10 at 7:30 pm, July 12 at 6 pm. Rating: NNN
set in the solar plexus of a 21- year-old man who's newly in love, Robertson Davies 's rarely produced 1940s play is full of the writer's trademark gentle irony and satire. Some details feel dated (dance cards, the choice of music), but the work holds up well in its whimsical look at human behaviour that fascinatingly anticipates his interest in the anima and animus. A pleasant curio given a solid production.
THE INTERVIEW by Elizabeth Helmers, directed by Hilary Green. Presented by Lion's Share at the Factory Studio. July 10 at 9 pm, July 11 at 5 pm, July 12 at 1:30 pm, July 13 at 8:30 pm. Rating: NNN
elizabeth helmers's script about a menacing, out-of-control job interview relies too often on monologues, a cheap and easy way of relaying information. But there's lots of absurd fun and some solid performances, especially by scene-stealer Lisa Codrington as a know-it-all secretary.
p.s. 69 written by Mary Fulham and Susan Jeremy, directed by Fulham. Presented by Watson Arts at the Helen Gardiner Phelan. July 10 at 3:30 pm, July 11 at 10 pm, July 12 at 2 pm. Rating: NNN
anyone in new york state with a B.A. and no police record can be a substitute teacher. That's the start of P.S. 69 , a funny, entertaining one-woman show featuring Susan Jeremy as the myriad characters - outrageous students, teachers and parents - encountered by shy substitute Molly DeKowski in a Brooklyn elementary school. There are touches of stereotypes but much cleverness in the performance. And as an extra bonus, there's positive lesbian content.
BELIZE written and performed by David Austin, directed by Chris Abraham. Presented by Life Theatre at the Helen Gardiner Phelan. July 11 at 5 pm, July 13 at 8:30 pm. Rating: NNN
david austin's autobiographical account of being down, out and hooked on crack in Belize has a crude power even if it's not especially insightful about addiction or human behaviour. At times annoyingly smug and cocky, Austin does know how to spin a tale, whether it's describing his infected leg or winding up in prison.
When he's not comparing things to pop movies, his powers of description are often vivid, even if there's too much repetition in this 90-minute show.
Stand-up a downer
zigazig ha! by Dan Hershfield, directed by Richard Beaune. Presented by Penny for Your Brain and Simple Truth at St. Vlad's. July 10 at 1:30 pm, July 12 at 6 pm. Rating: NN
a bad stand-up comic has as much trouble with his love life as with his act in this sophomoric script. Though it has a few laughs, it could lose the largely extraneous second storyline in which a pair of devils - Incubus and Succubus - recite rhymed-couplet philosophy.
NHARCOLEPSY created and performed by Richard Harrington and Chris Kauffman, directed by Patricia Buckley. Presented by Harrington and Kauffman at the Royal St. George, July 10 at 4:30 pm, July 11 at 11 pm, July 12 at 7:30 pm. Rating: NNNN
gustave flaubert (no, not the writer but a Belgian cabaret performer) and his sidekick Nhar travel to the North Pole to search for a yeti in this unpredictable story that draws equally on quirky humour, clown and physical theatre. Immensely likeable writer/performers Richard Harrington and Chris Kauffman have great chemistry in a show that includes a singing seal, a 1916 Peugeot and performances on zither and accordion.
And, oh yeah, the audience gets to lob balls at the characters.
THE GREAT RECYCLING CIRCUS written and performed by Jim Dalling. Presented by Singing Fish at the Palmerston Library. July 10 at 7:15 pm, July 11 and 13 at noon, July 12 at 4:15 pm. Rating: NNN
winning performer jim dalling turns a child-focused lesson on the importance of recycling and how to do it into an entertaining story about the blue-box-blood Kontainer family - found-object puppets like a mayo jar and a plastic yogurt tub. Flubs, ad-libs and interaction with the audience add to the fun, and the kids end up screaming their delight. Watch for the ill-fated romance between Penelope Pop Bottle and that dangerous-waste wastrel Bobby Battery.
SHEROES by Sarah Martyn, directed by Rebecca Brown. Presented by Mad George Productions at Artword. July 10 at noon, July 11 at 9:30 pm, July 12 at noon. Rating: NNN
sarah martyn's script about three young women caught up in a plot to steal $100,000 worth of coke has been tightened and tweaked since its 2001/2002 Theatre Passe Muraille production. I still find the women-empowering theme in the title grafted on. But as directed by Rebecca Brown , there's lots of tension in the piece, and the performances - especially Martyn's jaded, world-weary Cat - ring true. The ending, though, comes too abruptly and doesn't built to an earned climax. This feels like a very good first act.
NOW WATCH THIS DRIVE! By Ralph Chapman, directed by Teresa Pavlinek. Presented by Glowing Forehead Productions at the Robert Gill. July 10 at 11:30 pm, July 11 at 2 pm, July 12 at 12:30 pm, July 13 at 7 pm. Rating: NN
ralph chapman poses some inter- esting ideas about modern-day love and survival, but he needs to focus and see what he really wants to say. There's mystery to his characters - a triangle of current and former lovers - and the weird and weirder scenario is intriguing.
But too much time is spent ranting about vegetarianism. Good comic turn by Chapman as a dim husband.