Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Play's The Thing! (We Did On Wednesday Night)

Yes, it's true, we're working hard to get ready for the already outlandishly successful Greg Haberny - The Homeless Boys Social Club which previewed last week and opens for real this Friday night, April 16th. But all work and no play makes our staff start stabbing people, and nobody wants that. So we were so thankful to be given some tickets to A Behanding In Spokane. Here's the short review: we had a blast. Want to go see it too? We've got a very special code that'll work on until May 9th, a code that can immediately get you almost 45% off your tickets! Read our little review below to learn what that code is. And, honestly, we hope that review will convince you to go, because A Behanding In Spokane really is an excellent play.

The high point of the show, as expected, is Christopher Walken. He's playing Carmichael, the man with one hand and a dark-yet-ridiculous story of how he lost the other. When the curtain opens he's sitting in a room, waiting for something, and that something... is a hand. Aw, come on, it says "hand" right in the title, we didn't ruin anything. If we wanted to ruin it we'd tell you about what immediately starts knocking on the closet door. See? Don't you want to know what happens next? That's the kind of play we're talking about here, the kind that sucks you in and makes you really interested it how the action unfolds.

Though we never really leave Carmichael's hotel room, we're still introduced to three other actors. First is Sam Rockwell (as Mervin, the employee who's watching the front desk) and then to Anthony Mackie (playing Toby, the sensitive drug dealer) and finally Zoe Kazan (as Marilyn, Toby's kinda-stoner girlfriend). The small cast gives the four actors an equal chance to shine, and all us LtS'ers were very surprised by just how much shining they did.

The writing was sort of Pulp Fiction meets Seinfeld, if you will, and every now and then veered a tiny bit too far into the clever. But these moments were rare, and almost always covered by the actors, especially Walken, who seemed perfectly happy understating his over-the-top bizarre. And when the writing was glorious, which was most of the time, the crowd just couldn't stop laughing. During the telephone call at the end (you'll understand when you get there) Marisa was laughing so hard she actually kicked the woman in front of her! It was nice of you to be so understanding, poor kicked woman. But you might not even have noticed, since you were laughing so hard as well.

It's rare that one can actually say "there's no way you can guess what happens next" and mean it, but A Behanding In Spokane really is full of great gags and moments that simply can't be guessed in advance. We'd give you an example, but that would be rude! Instead we'll just say that this is a play which covers racism, interpersonal relationships, seedy hotels and the nature of revenge. The play will be running until June 6th, so why would you decide to miss out? Especially since we want to invite YOU to go and see it for less! Visit or call 212-947-8844 and use code BSMUG38 to take advantage of this very special deal for a very very wonderful play.

Also, a word of advice, if you're one of those people who come in after the play starts, Walken will give you an exasperated withering look from the stage. Naturally, we were not those people. Don't you be those people either!

Image:Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
Christopher Walken, left, Zoe Kazan and Anthony Mackie in “A Behanding in Spokane.”