ADVERTISING AT CURTAINUP
Short Term Listings
BOOKS and CDs
LETTERS TO EDITOR
A CurtainUp Review
A Behanding in Spokane
A transient (Pearce Bunting) with no visible means of support is on a quest to find his hand, which was cut off near Spokane 27 years before. After a killer opening scene, an amazing amount of offensive, desperate, comical, and kind of sweet stuff crams into 90 minutes.
Ridiculous piles on ridiculous, as apologies for political incorrectness follow blatant racist remarks and slurs on the mentally challenged. Glimpses of thin layers of larger implications and psychological underpinnings are paired with outrageousness. It gives one pause: It’s damn funny, but is it OK to laugh?
In Theatre Exile’s production, seasoned assured actors inhabit lunatic, scary, and dumb-as-dirt characters from society’s margins. Inspired actors can bring truth to a role, no matter how bizarre, as evidenced by Bunting’s dangerous, lonely Carmichael, and Matt Pfeiffer’s twisted Reception Guy. The always intriguing Amanda Schoonover and newcomer to Exile, Reuben Mitchell, complete the fine ensemble. In the hands of actors like these, a fifth character on the phone, never heard or seen, comes off as real as the people on stage.
The general lack of common sense recalls early B&W comedy actors who couldn’t do anything right: Even as you laugh in frustration at their nincompoopery, you somehow feel sorry for them.
Unless you’ve already seen it or have read reviews, it’s not politic to disclose too much about this sort of small scale play that relies on apprehension and surprise. No one wants to be like the trailer that exploits a movie’s best moments so that when you finally see it, you’ve been-dere- done-dat. But trust me, unlike many absurd intellectual plays that are abstractly humorous but not really funny, Behanding is darkly, offensively, and apologetically hilarious.
If you like things nice and normal, stay home. But if , to borrow a line from Billy Joel, it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for, then Martin McDonagh’s your man and Exile’s your theater.
Slings & Arrows- view 1st episode free
Anything Goes Cast Recording
Our review of the show
Book of Mormon -CD
Our review of the show