DC Metro Theater Arts: A Behanding in Spokane

Behanding-14-EditA Behanding in Spokane is an unexpected guilty pleasure.

Colin Smith deserves thunderous applause for his direction that successfully delivers maximum laughs without going over the top. The story has an absurd premise and a bounty of challenges waiting to explode but Smith manages to avoid the landmines while maintaining a clear vision of the story being told.

Bradley Foster Smith’s performance is a tour de force. His monologue, ranging in topics from caged gibbons to high school massacres, is spellbinding. While he is not the play’s protagonist, the range and depth he gives to his character moves us to see much of the play’s action through his eccentric worldview.

In the role of the one-handed man…Mark Rhea, gives an understated energy that keeps Carmichael from becoming a caricature…He seems to communicate that his obsessive journey to find his lost hand is counterbalanced by his lack of benefit and purpose once he does find the hand.

Laura Herren does well with what she is given. She has the thankless job of playing straight man to Manu Kumasi’s fast talking, nearly hysterical Toby. Kumasi is given the most obvious humor of the show and manages to pull it off with great comic timing, clear enunciation and dynamic facial expressions as he swings between highs and lows.

The set, designed by Colin Smith with set dressing and properties by Carol H. Baker, is appropriately dingy with peeling wallpaper, a retro phone, and torn curtains.

Read the Full Review at DC Metro Theater Arts