Patrick McManus stories to take Darrington stage

DARRINGTON — It’s a show worth driving up the valley for, especially when one considers the cause.

Darrington’s community center and prized old gym needs a new roof and other improvements.

To help raise money for the reroofing project, local businessman Kevin Ashe invited comedian Tim Behrens to town. Behrens plans to perform scenes from the funny stories of Patrick F. McManus, well known for his humorous columns in “Field and Stream” and “Outdoor Life” magazines as well as his books about life in rural Idaho.

“Kevin told me that these are not the easiest of times in Darrington and that everybody there needs a laugh,” Behrens said. “That the show also is a fundraiser, that’s great.”

“A Fine and Pleasant Misery,” a one-man, two-act play written by McManus and starring Behrens, is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the auditorium at Darrington High School, 1085 Fir St.

Tickets, $25 each, are available at the Darrington IGA grocery store or by calling 360-436-0141.

Ashe, who has seen Behrens perform before, urges people to attend the show.

“You will laugh till you cry or pee your pants,” Ashe said.

Behrens has performed in Snohomish County several times before and is eager to return, he said.

“We aim to make people laugh and have some fun,” Behrens said. “But our show also keeps our culture going, offers solace and joy and a chance to share our emotions. Pat writes about universal types of people who everybody knows.”

On stage, Behrens uses few props in telling the McManus stories.

“Comedy like this stimulates the imagination. People have to fill in with pieces of their own lives,” he said. “And it was so evident at a show we did in Twin Falls, Idaho.”

There, Behrens told the story of a boy who wanted to go hunting.

“Nobody wants to take him out to get his first deer. Nobody even wants to be near this young boy when he is armed.”

So the boy rides his bike out to the woods, shoots a deer, straps it to the back of his bicycle and rides back to town. (The deer comes back to life, but you have see a performance to know the rest of the story, Behrens said.)

“Now, remember, I had no bicycle on stage,” he recalled. “After the show, a boy of about 11 runs up in front of the stage, a little bit agitated, and he pulls at my pant leg. I bend down and ask him what’s up.”

“I have bike just like that,” the boy said with excitement.

“From that point on, I always keep that boy in mind,” Behrens said. “It’s all about the imagination and how we borrow that from the audience.”

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427;

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