by Brit Charek
When you really get down to it, 'A Behanding in Spokane' is just the story of a guy trying to find a missing piece of himself.
Symbolically and literally.
The drama's antihero, a curmudgeonly one-handed man named Carmichael, is on a quest to find his missing appendage that had been cut off 37 years prior in Spokane, Washington. A quirky bickering interracial couple, Toby and Marilyn, try to pull one over on him by selling him a phony, but this is clearly not a first for Carmichael.
The story goes down at a hotel where we discover that the receptionist, a dimwit roaming around in his boxers named Mervyn, has a bone to pick with Toby and a crush on Marilyn. Needless to say, he's not too helpful when Carmichael leaves them handcuffed to a radiator with a lit candle in the mouth of a gas can, classic James Bond villain style.
|The whole play takes place in a single room.|
Just when we are about to write Mervyn off as a bumbling idiot rambling on about what other people should do and how he wants there to be a massacre so that he can be the hero, he turns around and says one of the most profound lines in the entire play, "Where's a story like that gonna go?" Crazy as it sounds, Mervyn is much like Hamlet's Polonius, who rambles on and on giving others unsolicited advice with the occasional inspiring quote-- Good luck finding a graduation ceremony where you don't hear, "To thine own self be true"-- and just like as with Shakespeare, we leave the play not really knowing what kind of guy Mervyn is.
'A Behanding' is a delightful roller coaster of an evening, as long as you can handle some offensive language, a considerable amount of racial tension, and the occasional bloody severed hand thrown across the stage in a nonchalant manner all in an intimate black box style theater setting.
|Make sure to grab some grub from Pub Bricco before or after the show.|
'A Behanding in Spokane' closes this weekend. Make sure to catch it Friday, March 8 or Saturday March 9 at 8 pm. Tickets are $20 or pay-what-you-can.