Think performing is a walk in the park? There's a lot more cardio involved in some performances than others, as a pair of returning shows prove this week. Both have been done in shorter, individual bites before, but now each goes for the endurance gold. Even better, the shows push the theatre envelope in a striking artistic fashion. First up is something about a river , bluemouth inc. 's three-part piece that uses Toronto's underground Garrison Creek as both symbol and performance site to highlight various forces latent in our society. The five-hour environmental show - transportation is provided from Theatre Passe Muraille to the sites and back to Passe Muraille - takes audiences to a porn house, a park and a warehouse for a performance that's physically and emotionally riveting.
Dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes; the audience needs stamina, too.
In Job: The Hip-Hop Saga , you won't have to work as hard as writer/performers Eli Batalion and Jerome Saibil , whose pair of non-stop riffs - first on the biblical story of Job and then the tale's continuation into a God-is-dead Nietzschean world - have wowed viewers at the last two Fringe fests. You needn't be a philosophy student or dig hip-hop to appreciate the cleverness and energy of the shows, done in a two-act version by these extraordinary guys. See theatre listings openings page 82.
You won't find a more bizarre set of neighbours than those in Morris Panych 's 7 Stories , in which a man ( Jameson Kraemer ) contemplates suicide from seven flights up but is constantly sidetracked by the floor's residents. The comedy came through in last week's uneven production by Same Plane Co-op , but too often director Matthew Kutas and his cast stayed at the level of broad caricature and ignored the humanity that underlies the laughter. Best in the cast were Melissa Good , whose tart Nurse Wilson had just the right edge of weary, clinical disdain, and Raven Dauda as her ancient charge, Lillian, a shut-in whose wisdom gives the troubled man a miraculous new beginning.