Sunday, October 14, 2012

QUICK TAKE REVIEW American Gothic By Beverly Creasey

If you were to hear a gunshot, you wouldn’t seek out the gunman, would you? And you certainly wouldn’t insult the man brandishing the gun---and you would never, never insult his mother! A BEHANDING IN SPOKANE (at Charlestown Working Theater through Oct. 27th) is chock full of oddballs who constantly act against their own self interest----which, of course, is very funny.

Theatre On Fire’s production isn’t nearly as gruesome as it sounds. Celebrated Irish playwright, Martin McDonagh has a solid reputation for making the macabre hilarious. Think of The Lieutenant of Innishmore or his film, In Bruges. What’s different about this play is that there isn’t an Irishman in it.

Director Darren Evans has a way with the sardonic. Jeff Gill gives a wry, deadpan performance as the one-handed psycho in town to search for what was stolen from him thirty years back. Strangely enough, he’s the only character with his wits about him. He’s surrounded by two wacky weed dealers (Tory Bullock and Becca A. Lewis) and a nosey desk clerk (Greg Maraio) who won’t leave the psycho alone.

Maraio is deliciously spacey in flowing, hippie locks, waxing about a great love for an animal he once knew (which endeared him to me). Bullock and Lewis’ characters get sidetracked so often, you wonder how successful they really are at peddling dope. They just can’t concentrate on the crisis at hand. (I’m sorry for that.) 

It’s a wild ride which Evans drives full throttle.