Mr. Raisin Head is a comic monologue told by a lascivious bachelor who has air in his head and is obsessed with water. As he looks for his true self, we met the grape he marries and a variety of Virtues including Purity and Justice. Eventually his love for water and an encounter with the gorgeous Trustworthiness triggers his ultimate transformation. (45 minutes long)
The Village Voice, James Hannaham "Batdorf... slinks her way through... with great facilty and quirky humor. In "Mr Raisin Head" she inhabits a Southie-type flunkie who tries to stave off his impending age and obscurity by learning something about art; hoping that 'virtues' will recognize him. In the process he begins to discover a personal philosophy and a new way of perceiving the world."
Backstage, Jane Hogan "Batdorf has created a one-woman show that keeps you watching-- and guessing.... Batdorf is extremely skilled at creating the complex character through her physical movements... Batdorf's work is both intense and subtle..."
The Boston Globe, Skip Aschein “Batdorf’s gently surreal Mr. Raisin Head.... is imaginative and richly entertaining... as an actress, she combines an ear for fine-tuned inflection with canny comic timing... the ending is an evocative visual metaphor...”
The Globe and Mail, Toronto ****Kate Taylor “...impressively convincing...it felt like some wierdly productive cross between Pilgrim’s Progress and a tawdry cabaret act... it’s the contrast between her recherche themes and her warm physical comedy that makes Batdorf’s work remarkable.”
Propaganda - NYC Fringe Paper, Rachel Scott "Erika Batdorf's creation is sharp, insightful and entertaining... Batdorf creates rich characterizations that embrace physicality with such specificity and vivacity that this hour long show is packed with entertainment and surprises.... But this isn't simply an actor tossing off clever character work; the pieces resonate with deeper and more complex questions about how we live. Beneath Batdorf's sporty physical and vocal work, the characters are wrestling with the agonizing problems of being human...a funny and touching theatrical experience, showing that the grotesque is only one step before the divinely beautiful."
NOW magazine, Toronto, Glenn S “charismatic, Batdorf is a first-rate physical performer and she gets into the skin of her men and women with equal skill.”
NOW magazine, Toronto, Jon Kaplan “Batdorf is marvelous at physically characterizing ‘Mr. Raisin Head’, down to the bend in his toes and the lizardlike flicking of his tongue... Batdorf gives the angst ridden ‘Raisin Head’ an appealing humanity.”
EYE magazine, Toronto, Kevin Connolly “impressive, unique creation” “humor, cunning internal logic and quiet intimacy” “...a piece of good intellectual theatre.... Batdorf is uncanny in her shifts in and out of male persona, knows how to soft-sell poetic structure and uses an earthy Brooklyn accent as an effective counterpoint to her character’s metaphorical speechifying. Textbook movement-based theatre delivered from its musty binding, and with the kind of cross-gender compassion and intelligence that gives performance art a good name.”
Bay Windows, Boston, Dawn Dougherty “Batdorf transforms herself into her male and female characters with style and ease (playing multiple characters/identities seems to be one of her strong points), and Paul’s (Mr. Raisin Head) lizard-like journey of discovery is both humorous and tortured. She captures the nuances of his male character without exaggeration or insult and you are drawn to his sweet and insecure nature.
Theatre Mirror, New England, Larry Stark “It’s not just the shirt and tie, pants and suit jacket she wears that transforms Erika Batdorf into a man--- it’s stance, gesture patterns, accent, and attitude. And she shows how easy it is by winding herself into a fluffy pink boa from time to time to become Mr. Raisin Head’s girlfriend...When Batdorf’s Mr. Raisin Head becomes a fish, the transformation is as effortless and miraculous as that from man to woman and back. Batdorf’s body does amazing things, effortlessly, and there is a hidden hint of searching spirituality shining through all her work. She’s amazing.”
The Boston Herald, Karen Campbell “Mr Raisin Head” grows on the audience quickly... a man in the throes of self-examination. He vacillates between addressing the audience with his metaphysical musings and chiding himself in an invisible mirror. Batdorf, wearing a suit and a nearly perpetual leer on her wonderfully malleable face, creates Mr. Raisin Head with macho swagger and a deft Brooklyn acent... it’s a memorable character... and one that asks some intriguing questions.”
Mr. Raisin Head (ages 10-adult) is adaptable to a variety of spaces and needs minimal lighting and basic sound equipment. Mr. Raisin Head combines well with kid for contrast or with Litko and Sermon by David Mamet performed by Batdorf for a full evening of wild and sophisticated comedy. This show has toured across the USA and Canada, twice in NY, many runs in Boston and also ran for 3 weeks in Toronto.