Despite the fact I was born in the decade, mention of the 1980s always stirs thoughts of alarming hair and terrifying power ballads. I couldnt help but wince in sympathy as Search and Destroys 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. Miyagiand tries to redeem his profligate existence by securing movie rights to the doctors book. Martins ingenuous quest is greeted with scorn and various indignitiesincluding being handcuffed and subjected to a wickedly funny man-on-man lapdance by Waxlings 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 Martins movie. With unabashed shallowness and egotism again the latest trend in American pop culture, Howard Korders comedic modern odyssey takes on a keen relevance. Doing credit to the script, the cast exhibited some of the best acting Ive seen on a Seattle stage in a good long time. Standout performances include Virginia Gabbys 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