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.
Misha by Adam Pettle, directed by Richard Greenblatt, with Jacob Barker, Miklos Perlus and Daniel Stemer. Rating: NNN
inspired by the murder of teenMatti Baranowski, Misha explores neither the murderer nor the victim, but rather the friend who was left behind. Adam Pettle's articulate, intelligent play takes place in the mind of Max (Miklos Perlus) as he recalls the death of Misha (Daniel Stemer) at the hands of the war-trained Aaron (Jacob Barker) three months earlier.Director Richard Greenblatt gives the comedy a machine-gun quality in the early scenes, but only Barker is able to suggest the emotions beneath the surface of these figures, two of whom live in Max's imagination and memory.
The strong script -- which juggles Peter's denial of Christ, the eternally youthful Peter Pan and scenes of violence replayed on the suicidal Max's internal VCR -- needs emotional resonance to sink into our consciousness. Too bad this production lacks firstname.lastname@example.org