Okay, this show is better than it sounds. Four pathetic misfits – the squeaky-voiced Jerry Lipkin (Brandon Howell), the odiferous misogynist Spider Chavez (Ruben Rosthenhausler), the effete, self-absorbed Preacher Sanders (Luke Howell) and Hi Gronowski (Michael Howell) – I don’t know what he is – induct the newest member, Chris Ronald (Stephanie Howell) into the Christopher Walken Club. Spider is against inducting a woman into the club until he realizes that she has the same nickname as his idol, the wonderfully distinctive and eccentric actor Christopher Walken.
Did I say idol? I meant god, great father, hero and role model. For the members of the Christopher Walken Club, there’s only one way, and it’s the Walken way. Their great mission: raise $15,000 for the erection (their term) of a statue of Christopher Walken next to the statue of Pancho Villa in Tucson, Arizona. ($14,975 yet to go.)
They spend a portion of their meeting talking in the Walken patios – all elongated vowels and bitten-off words; the pacing breathless, making it sound as though a Southern Baptist preacher had come out of Brooklyn. They show a film clip in which Preacher and Spider appear before a group of bewildered pre-schoolers to explain how Christopher Walken teaches them to say no to drugs. (“Did any of you see The Deer Hunter?” Spider asks. “I saw Bambi,” one toddler [Jessica Rosthenhausler] volunteers helpfully.)
But the great overarching dream of this Christopher Walken Club is to compete in the first annual Walken In His Shoes Pageant, in which contestants are judged on how their hair resembles the master’s stand-up coif; on how well they can deliver lines from the great works in the Walken voice (you have not heard Shakespeare until you hear “To be or not to be” delivered Walken-style); on how Christopher Walken has affected their lives and on their tributes – song, dance, standup routine – to the great man.
Our protagonists face deadly competition in the person of 10-year-old Jordan Steele Jr. (Matt Howell) – a sort of Christopher Crawlen – who has the advantage of being the son of the pageant host (Leah Rosthenhausler).
Walken in His Shoes
by Ruben Rosthenhausler
at Redrum – Fort Fringe
610 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Details and tickets
And you may be reading this and saying to yourself, “this is ridiculous. This is silly. No one would believe this.”
But you’re wrong. It’s cool.
Just like Christopher Walken.