None Too Fragile stages darkly funny 'Behanding in Spokane'

by April Helms special products editor Published:

There are two words that come to mind when watching "A Behanding in Spokane" by Martin McDonagh: "absurd" and "bizarre."

There's a third word that can be added as well: Funny. Very funny.

This (extremely) dark comedy can be seen at None Too Fragile Theater through March 9. There was much laughter throughout the production from the Feb. 9 audience.

"It was our first time at this theater, and it was great," said Bob Wodzisz of Boston Township. "We didn't stop laughing."

"It was hilarious," added his wife Shoshana.

"A Behanding in Spokane," like most of None Too Fragile's productions, is not for the easily offended or faint of heart (or for minors). But adults who don't mind political incorrectness will enjoy this show.

In the play, Carmichael (played by Michael Reginer) has been searching across the country for his missing hand, which was severed off decades ago by a gang of hoodlums. He runs into two small-time crooks, Toby (played by Brian Kenneth Armour) and his girlfriend Marilyn (played by Kelly Strand), who claim they have found the hand. Unfortunately for them, Carmichael doesn't believe the hand they have given him is really his hand, and Toby and Marilyn find themselves in danger of their lives. Help at first seems to be at hand from the hotel receptionist Mervyn (played by Nick Yurick) but, in another stroke of bad luck, Mervyn also seems to have a bit of a screw loose, as well as a long-standing grudge against Toby for a drug deal gone bad from years ago. Toby and Marilyn find themselves trying to work together to get out of their predicament while all along feuding with each other about who is more to blame.

"It is very absurd and crass and crude, but that's the whole thing," said Sean Derry, theater co-founder and director. "McDonagh has a way of taking these things and turns them on their head, and he makes us think of these things."

Ticket and show information

Show times are Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. There is one Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. on Feb. 17 and one Monday evening performance at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 18. Tickets are $20 or pay as you can, and can be purchased at the door or online at www.nonetoofragile.com. Complimentary valet parking is available for Friday and Saturday shows.

None Too Fragile Theater is at 1835 Merriman Road in Akron; the theater and box office is accessed through Pub Bricco.

Next on stage

None Too Fragile will next produce "Oh, The Humanity and Other Good Intentions" by Will Eno, which will run April 12 through May 11.

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