mr. raisin head & kid written and performed by Erika Batdorf. Presented by Moleman Productions at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson). Runs to November 18, Thursday-Saturday 8 pm, Sunday 7 pm, matinees Saturday-Sunday 2:30 pm. $15-$25, Sunday matinee pwyc. 416-504-7529.
in the program notes for mr. Raisin Head, the first piece on her solo double bill, Erika Batdorf explains it's inspired by the writings of Baha'ullah, founder of the Baha'i faith.Um, if you say so, Ms. Batdorf. As far as I can tell, the piece is a study in perspective and urban alienation.
Batdorf's reptilian title character is a lascivious bachelor with a New Yawk accent, obsessed with water and various virtues.
Batdorf is a first-rate physical performer, and she gets into the skin of her men and women with equal skill. The narrative wanders, however, and it's never clear what the heck the raisin metaphor means. Age? Wisdom? The piece might be more successful as dance than theatre.
Her second piece, Kid, is more successful, if predictable. It's an examination of the effects of child abuse. Again, Batdorf adds magical physicalization to her various characters, who include creatures that helped the former child cope.
As in the earlier piece, though, the charismatic Batdorf has trouble with narrative and resolutions.