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Broadway play uses Spokane in name only

Garrison Keillor returns to Spokane on June 12.  (Associated Press)
Garrison Keillor returns to Spokane on June 12. (Associated Press)

Looks like the new Broadway play, “A Behanding in Spokane,” has only a backhanded, let’s say, connection to Spokane.

This Martin McDonagh dark comedy opened for previews on Feb. 15. An interview with playwright McDonagh in Variety on Feb. 19 indicated that the play is not necessarily set in Spokane.

“The show is set in a grungy hotel in small-town America, exact location unspecified,” wrote Gordon Cox in the show business trade magazine.

“As for Spokane, the site of the titular dismemberment, the Anglo-Irish writer (McDonagh) has only passed through it while asleep on a train. ‘I always liked the word,’ he says. ‘That K in the middle is really nice.’ ”

The main character, played by Christopher Walken, apparently had his hand cut off in Spokane, but the action of the play takes place several decades later.

The show is getting plenty of positive attention in New York, but reviews won’t come out until after the official opening on Thursday.

No Slater

Christian Slater never did arrive in Spokane to co-star with Cuba Gooding Jr. in “The Hit List,” as originally planned.

Instead, Gooding’s two main co-stars in this Spokane-filmed thriller are:

Cole Hauser, a busy Hollywood actor who has appeared in “Good Will Hunting,” “2 Fast 2 Furious” and several episodes of “ER,” among many other projects.

Jonathan LaPaglia, an Australian actor who has guested on numerous TV shows including “Law & Order,” “The District” and “Cold Case.”

By now, filming should be wrapping up.

‘Prairie Home’ tickets

Tickets go on sale March 12 for the live taping of “A Prairie Home Companion,” June 12, 2:45 p.m. at the Spokane Arena’s Star Theatre.

Host Garrison Keillor will return with his usual crew including Sue Scott, Tim Russell, Fred Newman, Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band and regional guests to be announced.

This will be the second time Spokane Public Radio has hosted Keillor and Co. The last time was in 1998.

This time, there will be seating for 5,500 people – but don’t dawdle on tickets. They sold out fast for the two shows in 1998.

Prices are $65, $55 and $45, which sounds pretty steep except for one thing: Keillor is an American treasure.

Tickets will be available through TicketsWest outlets (800-325-SEAT,

A new Gorge stage

Live Nation, which owns the Gorge Amphitheatre, is beginning work on a brand new stage and light-rigging system. They say it will bring the stage up to modern standards.

We mention this only as an excuse to point out that the Sasquatch Music Festival lineup at the Gorge was announced last week and the headliners include: Pavement, Massive Attack, My Morning Jacket, Ween, Vampire Weekend, MGMT, Kid Cudi, LCD Soundsystem, The National and Band of Horses.

Comedians will include Craig Robinson and Rob Riggle.

This is just a sample of the dozens of acts booked for the May 29-31 event (Memorial Day weekend).

Tickets are on sale for $70 per day, through and all Ticketmaster outlets (note that this is not the same as TicketsWest). For more information, go to

‘Letters from Lincoln’

The Spokane Symphony’s “Letters from Lincoln” CD received some priceless national exposure when NPR’s “Performance Today” featured key excerpts on Feb. 15. Dozens of radio stations all over the country aired it.

Baritone Thomas Hampson, who sang this world premiere work by composer Michael Daugherty one year ago today, told the symphony via e-mail that he was proud to be part of the “birthing process” and was “very proud of Spokane and the hometown team.”

Oscar Night Gala

Get your tickets now for the biggest and glitziest Oscar party in town, the annual Oscar Night Gala to benefit the Spokane AIDS Network.

It starts at 4:30 p.m. on March 7 at the Northern Quest Casino’s Pend Oreille Pavilion. Tickets are $125, which includes a three-course dinner.

Call the Spokane AIDS Network at (509) 455-8993 or visit


Fans of literate, poetically written theater still have two more chances to catch “Blackbird,” a contemporary play by David Harrower.

Sandra Hosking directs this play about guilt, rage and love. The cast includes Jamie Flanery, Emily Hiller and Alyssa Parkinson.

The final performances will take place Saturday, 3 and 7:30 p.m. at the West Central Community Center’s Newton Lounge, 1603 N. Belt St. Tickets are $10 at the door.

A panel discussion will follow the afternoon performance.