Bad film, great theater

“Manos: The Hands of Fate” play opens in Portland

By Jenny Wasson / The Bulletin

Published Apr 5, 2013 at 05:00AM

When a movie is as bad as “Manos: The Hands of Fate,” you can't help but laugh. Considered one of the worst films ever made, the 1966 movie has reached “cult classic” status with the help of the popular and wisecracking television series “Mystery Science Theater 3000.”

Portland director/actor/musician Brian Adrian Koch finds more comedic gold in the film's campy plot for his stage adaptation of the same name. The two-act play runs Thursday through May 5 at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center in Portland.

A modern day Renaissance man, Koch is best known as the drummer of the Portland-based band Blitzen Trapper.

“This show excites me because after years of oscillating between touring on the road with Blitzen Trapper and acting at home, I can finally combine two of my loves in one crazy show,” said Koch in a news release.

Music is at the centerpiece of Koch's adaptation. The live score will be performed by Blitzen Trapper's Eric Earley along with members of The Parson Red Heads and Viva Voce.

The stage adaptation of “Manos” originally premiered in 2006 at Portland's Theater! Theatre! to rave reviews. This second installment by Capital I Productions features Jackey Raye Neyman Jones, an Oregonian who played the young girl Debbie in the original 1966 film. In this production, Debbie will be played by a puppet that Neyman Jones voices from offstage.

Tickets for this production cost $20. To purchase tickets, visit www.brownpapertickets.com or call 800-838-3006. For more information on “Manos,” visit www.capitaliproductions.com.