BOXHEAD, by Darren O'Donnell, directed by Chris Abraham, with Paul Fauteux and O'Donnell. Presented by Go Chicken Go at the Factory Studio Cafe (125 Bathurst). Runs to June 18, Thursday-Saturday at 8 pm, Saturday 10:30 pm ($9.99), Sunday matinee 2:30 pm. $15-$18, Sunday pwyc. 504-9971. Rating: NNNN
Metaphysical mysteries and monkey business share the bill in Boxhead, a delightful and witty work by Darren O'Donnell. It opens as geneticist Thoughtless Actions wakes up with a cardboard box on his head.
If one boxhead can function, why not two? He's soon joined onstage by another scientist, Wishful Thinking, and the pair try to develop an echoless yell, fall in love and have a baby. The two are parallelled by a pair of disembodied narrators -- who may be gods -- and later by the voices inside the narrators' minds.
For a production in which we see no craniums at all, this is pretty heady business, rigorously followed to the end of its absurd logic. But it's also wonderfully funny -- every other line raises at least a smile if not a chuckle -- and, under Chris Abraham's sharp direction, a joy to watch. Paul Fauteux and O'Donnell, spot-on in their characterizations and movements, play all the figures, thanks to stage manager Stephen Souter's deft switch-flicking to signal the changes.
With composer Roman DiNillo adding a percussive score -- and a pair of ghostly white hands -- in Cand Cod's set, lit magically by Steve Lucas and Sandra Marcroft, Boxhead is the wittiest, slickest, most manic show in town.