Buncha' Young Artists Festival presented by Theatre Direct Canada at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson). Runs in rep to March 23. $12-$20., 416-504-7529.
the phoenix rides a skateboard by Kate Rigg, directed by Lynda Hill, with Marjorie Chan. Rating: NnNN
kate rigg loves language, loves the city and loves the clash and cacophony of cultures. Too bad she doesn't love structure enough to know how to end her very good play The Phoenix Rides A Skateboard.When we first meet adopted Asian girl Kim (Marjorie Chan), she's on the run from her ethnocultural baggage, her insensitive classmates and her hypocritical school counsellors.
Soon she discovers skate culture and becomes obsessed with the possibility of a smooth ride through life.
In Phoenix's first two-thirds, Rigg successfully examines Kim's world in quasi-documentary style, her wide range of characters including a poignant snapshot of a Chinese restaurant worker.
Chan, aided by director Lynda Hill, fleshes out these multiple figures with awesome concentration and focus. It's her best work to date.
Rigg's ear for language and pop culture is impeccable, her use of electronic media prompting us to re-examine phrases like "access denied" and "password." If only the piece didn't end so abruptly.