by Kate Watson
Hilarious or heartbreaking? It’s a toss-up as to which word most accurately sums up Girl in the Goldfish Bowl. Let’s just say that either way, this is one fantastic production. Sherry Smith is utterly charming as 10-year-old Iris, a precocious child who’s parented (I use the term loosely) by her fragile and frustrated mother Sylvia (Kathryn MacLellan), her damaged and aimless father Owen (John Beale) and her man-eating god-mother Miss Rose (Mauralea Austin). With the magical logic of childhood, Iris has imbued her goldfish Amall with the power to hold her family and, indeed, the world together. When the fish dies, Iris transfers Amall’s power onto an inscrutable stranger (played brilliantly by Graham Percy) who becomes a kind of blank canvas for the projections of the troubled characters. Be prepared to leave this show with aching sides and an aching heart. Girl in the Goldfish Bowl runs until Sun at the North Street Church (5657 North), Fri 8pm, Sat-Sun 2pm, 8pm, $15-$20, 868-1168.