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"Following is a review that a user felt was inappropriate::

www.newyorkcitytheatre.com/review/review_single.php?item_id=214&id=1873

Summary - A Be-Walleting in Manhattan
Review - “If you have to go to the restroom, you may not be re-seated.” The stern middle aged lady walked down the aisle whispering pointedly to theatergoers five minutes before curtain went up at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater’s opening night preview of “A Behanding in Spokane”. I’ve only been to six, maybe seven Broadway shows in my life, but I’d never had someone threaten the obvious to my bladder before. Was it an omen? A threat? Christopher Walken’s sense of humor? Walken is always smilingly sinister: the guy’s had me jumpy for years. I’m not talking just Pulp Fiction, either; I’m referring to his role as the Commie-phobic dad in Blast from the Past. As the lead character Carmichael in ”Behanding”, Walken rests on the caricature of old roles, washed up and still dripping. Sam Rockwell co-stars as Mervyn the night receptionist at a dumpy hotel. Rockwell doesn’t stray too far from familiar ground either. He’s the insecure misfit, the sort of neglected kid who lashes out because he has so little to live for. My guess is that playwright Martin McDonagh had drinks with Walken, and wrote a play to Walken’s fallback persona, tossing in some Ron Popeil playwriting for good measure…“But wait…there’s more.” These interjections of racism and profanity were meant to add layers, but instead made the audience uncomfortable. Back where I sat, it was the kind of laughter that conceals vague embarrassment. The symbolism, on the other hand,was sophomoric, and the ending was a disappointing cliche. It was smart not to have an intermission. Along with the bladder threat, they might have lead to a steady stream from the Schoenfeld. Between the first and second acts, Rockwell’s character Mervyn gives his captive audience a connection by referring to perverse fantasies about the Columbine High school killers. Nigger and cunt jokes aside, not many showed laughter or gasping at this gaffe. A high point in the plot for me was when a young girl of color in the middle of my row in the theater rebelled with an unforgivable need to use the bathroom. We dutifully did the Broadway, one-row version of “the wave” to let the poor thing express with her bladder what McDonagh was doing with his script, but at least she didn’t do it down one leg and make everyone watch. Walken was his smarmy self without apology…or energy. Rockwell was annoyingly apt as Mervyn. The two supporting actors, Anthony Mackie (Toby) –who did a great job in The Hurt Locker--and Zoe Kazan (Marilyn) were more entertaining than the headliners, but their roles didn’t catch me…they had me wanting to bite, but the words were too overwritten to swallow. There are two saving graces of this 16-week run: first the set, which, in contrast to many minimalist Broadway productions, was a perfect dingy hotel room, framed with an even dingier ripped house curtain. The second saving grace is hope. When I see a good playwright “mail one in” it gives me hope that something I write may someday get a nod from an editor or a producer. You would think that with a name like Erich Jungwirth the associate producer of “A Behanding in Spokane” would have understood the offensive symbology of the script and reconsidered his backing, or perhaps the other producer Richard Jordan, might have realized he’d have to cross the River Jordan to finance another production after being personally be-walleted…on Broadway.
Source - Claire Baiz
Review ID - 1873
Location - Great Falls MT
Visitor IP - 66.108.79.32
Date Review was Added - 2010-02-16


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