Search and Destroy

Despite the fact I was born in the decade, mention of the 1980s always stirs thoughts of alarming hair and terrifying power ballads. I couldn’t help but wince in sympathy as Search and Destroy’s “hero,” a lovable buffoon, seeks asylum from the ‘80s’ absurd materialism. Martin (Gabe Franken), a disillusioned yuppie, falls madly in love with the philosophy of self-help guru Dr. Waxling (Bert Matias)—a sort of pimped-out Mr. Miyagi—and tries to redeem his profligate existence by securing movie rights to the doctor’s book. Martin’s ingenuous quest is greeted with scorn and various indignities—including being handcuffed and subjected to a wickedly funny man-on-man lapdance by Waxling’s crazed puppet of an assistant (Bobby Temple)—as he ultimately sloughs off his innocence and descends into iniquity. Enter Kim (Thomas Maier), a slick-haired rascal who just happens to have a “contact” (Shobit Agarwal) who can score the pair kilos of coke to raise the funds for Martin’s movie. With unabashed shallowness and egotism again the latest trend in American pop culture, Howard Korder’s “comedic modern odyssey” takes on a keen relevance. Doing credit to the script, the cast exhibited some of the best acting I’ve seen on a Seattle stage in a good long time. Standout performances include Virginia Gabby’s accountant, teetering on the edge of an aneurysm. Like a good chef, director Curtis Eastwood adds cinematic polish to the whole performance, fanning high (but accessible) drama and backing off from the intensity with faultlessly timed bits of comic relief. Search and Destroy is great motivation to DV-R SNL for one night and mosey down to Capitol Hill. JENNA NAND 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. Ends Sept. 13.

Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Aug. 21. Continues through Sept. 13, 2008

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