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
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.