McDonagh's Behanding in Spokane, With Walken as Obsessed American, Opens March 4

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04 Mar 2010

Christopher Walken
Christopher Walken
Photo by Joan Marcus

The world-premiere Broadway production of Martin McDonagh's A Behanding in Spokane — a play with a title dipped in McDonagh's characteristic dark comedy — opens March 4 after previews from Feb. 15 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.

Christopher Walken, Zoe Kazan, Anthony Mackie and Sam Rockwell star in the 90-minute play set in a rotten hotel room (the set is by Tony Award winner Scott Pask) in an unnamed city (the title act took place in the past, we learn). At the hotel, the one-handed Carmichael — played by black-garbed Walken, whose character has been searching for his lost hand for more than 40 years — corners a pair of young con-artists (Mackie and Kazan). A hotel clerk (Rockwell) with a penchant for colorful zoo stories may be their only hope.

John Crowley (A Steady Rain and McDonagh's The Pillowman) directs Irish writer McDonagh's first play set in the U.S. It's also McDonagh's first play to originate on Broadway. The epithet-filled work — which, typical of McDonagh, shocks the audience with at least one gruesome revelation — is playing a 16-week limited run.

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According to the producers, "The title is just the starting point; take a man searching for his missing hand (Walken), two con artists out to make a few hundred bucks (Mackie and Kazan), and an overly curious hotel clerk (Rockwell), and the rest is up for grabs. A Behanding in Spokane is Martin McDonagh's hilariously black comedy, a world premiere which marks McDonagh's first American-set play."



The design team comprises Pask (set and costume), who won a Tony Award for his set design for The Pillowman, and Brian MacDevitt (lighting), who won a Tony Award for his lighting design for The Pillowman. David Van Tieghem handles original music and sound.

McDonagh's plays include Broadway's The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Lonesome West, The Pillowman and The Lieutenant of Inishmore, all of which received Tony Award nominations for Best Play; and Off-Broadway's The Cripple of Inishmaan. He received the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short in 2006 for his film "Six Shooter." His most recent film, "In Bruges," received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

A Behanding in Spokane is produced by Robert Fox, Carole Shorenstein Hays, Debra Black, Stephanie P. McClelland, Ostar, Roger Berlind, Scott Rudin and The Shubert Organization in association with Robert G. Bartner, Lorraine Kirke and Jamie deRoy/Rachel Neuberger.

The company understudies are Glenn Fleshler (Carmichael), Dashiell Eaves (Mervyn), Meredith Forlenza (Marilyn), Tory Kittles (Toby). Lisa Buxbaum is the stage manager. Frank Lombardi is production stage manager.

The Schoenfeld Theatre is at 236 W. 45th Street. Tickets are on sale through Telecharge by phone at (212) 239-6200 or (800) 432-7250, or online at www.Telecharge.com.

For more information, visit www.abehandinginspokane.com.

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Walken won the 1978 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Michael Cimino's "The Deer Hunter." He also received a 2002 Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and won BAFTA and SAG awards for his role opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Steven Spielberg's "Catch Me If You Can."

He appeared in the Broadway production of The Lion in Winter, and Off-Broadway in The Seagull and The Rose Tattoo. In fall 1999, he co-starred in the stage adaptation of James Joyce's The Dead. In the summer of 2001, he again appeared in a revival of Chekhov's The Seagull for the New York Shakespeare Festival, directed by Mike Nichols, opposite Meryl Streep.

Sam Rockwell (Mervyn) appeared in the Labyrinth Theatre Company's The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Face Divided, which was part of the EST Marathon series, as well as the Off-Broadway production of Mike Leigh's Goose-Pimples. He has also appeared in The Dumb Waiter and Hot L Baltimore for the Williamstown Theatre Festival. His films include "Moon," the upcoming "Everybody's Fine" opposite Robert DeNiro, which gets released on Dec. 4, and "Betty Anne Waters," as well as "Iron Man 2" (May 2010), "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," "Snow Angels," "Welcome to Collinwood," David Mamet's "Heist," Charlie's Angels," "The Green Mile," "Galaxy Quest," "Frost/Nixon" and more.

Mackie (Toby) was classically trained at the Julliard School of Drama. He starred as Tupac Shakur in the Off-Broadway production of Up Against the Wind and made his Broadway debut opposite Whoopi Goldberg in August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. He starred in Stephen Belber's McReele at Roundabout and starred in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play A Soldier's Play. Mackie was part of the August Wilson's 20th Century at the Kennedy Center, where staged readings of all ten plays in August Wilson's cycle were performed.

Kazan (Marilyn) received high praise for her role in Sam Mendes' "Revolutionary Road." An acclaimed theatre actress and graduate of Yale University, Zoe made her New York stage debut in the Off-Broadway revival of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Other Off-Broadway work includes Things We Want and 100 Saints You Should Know (Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play and a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress). Kazan made her Broadway debut in a revival of William Inge's Come Back, Little Sheba. Kazan is the only actor to be awarded the Derwent Award for three roles in one year: Come Back, Little Sheba, 100 Saints You Should Know and Things We Want. She returned to Broadway in the adaptation of the critically acclaimed London hit The Seagull. She is also a playwright whose family drama, Absalom, was produced at the 2009 Humana Festival at the Actors Theater of Louisville. A second play has been commissioned by Manhattan Theater Club.

Crowley received a Tony Award nomination for his direction of The Pillowman, which he also directed at the National Theatre in London. Other London credits include Love Song, On an Average Day and Macbeth (West End), Tales From Hollywood, Juno and the Paycock, The Maids, How I Learned to Drive and Into The Woods (Donmar Warehouse). His films include "Is Anybody There?," "Boy A" and the television film of Harold Pinter's Celebration.