THE GIRL WITH NO DOOR ON HER MOUTH by Gavin Bryars/Jules Verne, Rainer Wiens/Victoria Ward and Wende Bartley/Anne Carson, co-directed by Mark Christmann and Fides Krucker, with Krucker. Presented by Good Hair Day in the Passe Muraille Backspace (16 Ryerson). Runs to April 28, Wednesday-Thursday and Saturday 8 pm, matinee Sunday 2:30 pm. $25, stu/srs $20, Sunday pwyc ($10 sugg). 416-504-7529. Rating: NNNN
astounding singer/actor fides Krucker could give vocal and dramatic life to the death yowls of a wild beast. At times in the three-part The Girl With No Door On Her Mouth, that's what she seems to do. And I mean that in the best way.Krucker's voice stretches octaves, and the emotional truths she brings to these pieces range as broadly under the co-direction of Mark Christmann and sound design by Darren Copeland. Gavin Bryars's The White Lodge, to a French text by Jules Verne, is, on the surface, a meditative piece dealing with phosphorescent marine algae -- not the most theatrically exciting of subjects -- but Krucker's work and the extraordinary lighting by Philip Beesley, Dereck Revington and Jim Ruxton create a mesmerizing 17 minutes.
The Mercy Suite, adapted from the opera Down Here On Earth by Rainer Wiens and Victoria Ward, features a homeless woman who's had an abortion, her mind jumping from children to the moon and angels, and her voice from deep, rough groans to coloratura heights. The title multimedia piece, with music by Wende Bartley and text by poet Anne Carson, uses a feminist framework to examine the mind/ body duality, as Krucker's character progresses -- with ironic humour -- from repression to freedom.
The contemporary scores -- electroacoustic tape, prepared guitar, variously coloured percussive sounds and more -- won't appeal to everyone, but it's hard not to be drawn into Krucker's allure, especially in the small venue. She can sing with dead-on accuracy, mine the overtone sounds in the crevices between notes and ululate wordless chants with eerie vocal magic. An hypnotic show.