Arts & Entertainment

Newest McManus show looks for laughs in depressing times

There was a time during the Great Depression when hungry timber wolves roamed the streets of Sandpoint, Idaho, looking for small children to dine upon.

Well, that might be a bit of an exaggeration.

But when Patrick McManus tells the story about his childhood growing up in that small Idaho town it's just plain funny.

McManus' latest tale, through his alter ego actor Tim Behrens, is Poor Again, Dagnabbit! The show comes to the Tri-Cities on May 7-8.

The Herald caught up with Behrens by phone this week while he was shopping for groceries near his Spokane home.

"Pat grew up during the Great Depression and he says there was nothing great about it," Behrens said. "But he always found some kind of humor to get through tough times.

This is a brand-new play that we've only had on the road 10 times. And it's the first new one we've done in quite a few years. There's a timeliness to it also because so many people are scared and upset about what's happening in the world."

And what better way to take a break from all that depressing economic unrest than with a good belly laugh, he added.

"Laughter really is good for the soul and helps us get through tough times," said Behrens, who'll be sharing some of McManus' stories about growing up poor when dirt was your favorite toy.

"We'll be exploring ways that will make you think about how to do stuff that doesn't involve money," Behrens said. "I'll even be building a car during the first act with found objects. This is going to be a fun show, really."

The show is in the auditorium at Chief Joseph Middle School in Richland. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $21 for adults and $17 for students through high school.

Tickets for the show, sponsored by Boy Scout Troop 237, are available at the door.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;