Andrew Weems Promises to be "Brutally Funny" in A Behanding in Spokane at the Alley

Categories: Stage

Jann Whaley
(L-R) Chris Hutchison as Mervyn, Andrew Weems as Carmichael, Sean-Michael Bowles as Toby, and Emily Neves as Marilyn in rehearsal for A Behanding in Spokane.
Actor Andrew Weems' father worked for the U.S. State Department, so young Weems was travelling the world at an early age.

Born in Korea, by age 10 he was in Nepal, acting one of his first roles in an amateur theatrical. The show was A Thousand Clowns and on the first night, Weems made an entrance during the wrong scene.

"I came on a scene early. I was so eager to get up on stage and do my thing," he told Art Attack. "The man playing my uncle sort of made up some lines and told me to get offstage and I left the stage and I thought I'd ruined everything."

"I was screaming and crying. The director of the play came running backstage from the audience and he gave me this pep talk. 'Everybody's counting on you. Stop crying. Get out there and do the play.' I've never forgotten it. In fact, I wrote a solo play and that's one of the stories in the play. Everybody makes a mistake. You've got to give it all you've got."

Weems, who so recently appeared to good effect in the Alley production of Intelligence-Slave, is back on the Alley's Neuhaus stage in A Behanding in Spokane, which opens this Wednesday. He plays Carmichael, a man who lost his hand years ago and is back on a mission.

Actually, Weems doesn't have to go around the stage without a hand--the costume department made him a prosthetic device that makes him look like he has a "nub hand," as he puts it. It's one more thing to take in stride--in Intelligence-Slave he played a Jewish engineer who had to work without his glasses ("I'm always working with some kind of deprivation," he says).

A Behanding in Spokane is almost the polar opposite of Intelligence-Slave, the latter being based on a true story. By comparison, the 90-minute long Behanding is "a pretty dark vision of the world and it's much more fanciful," Weems says. "It's almost like a parable or a Sergio Leone movie."

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