Death by Joinery
The Club
June 2 - 11, 2006
Friday - Saturday 10:00pm
Sunday - 5:30pm
Tickets $18
Written by Mike Gorman
The Forty Hour Club
“From the land of crustacean splendor and dweeby plaid-clad Caucasians … obsessed with applying hard science to the mundane … come “The Fabulous Giggin’ Bros.” So wrote Village Voice theatre critic James Hannaham following the Giggin’ Bros. La MaMa debut in 1994. Now, twelve years later, playwright Mike Gorman returns to The Club with his current troupe “The Forty Hour Club”.

This time, Gorman, and his dedicated band of freaks, apply their absurd “scientific” method to the timber-framing industry on the coast of Maine. What they discover through their keen observations of several “How-To” books, from Bob Villa’s “This Old House” to “Ty’s Tricks (Home Repair Secrets)” by Ty Pennington, is a frightening cult that threatens the sanity and common sense of the modern building world.

Two carpenters—T and G, of “T & G All-Star Construction”—stumble upon the occult publishing world of “How-To” books as they read a book called “Stonework (Reflections on Serious Play and Other Aspects of Country Life) to pass the time on a ferry boat ride from a remote island to the mainland. Their brutally satirical examination of the book leads to an exposure of the ridiculous “pseudo-existential” premise of several other books—“Building on the Past (How to Build a Timber-Framed House)” and “The Nun’s Penis (How to Draw the Male Figure and Remain Chaste)”

As the ferry boat churns closer to the mainland a strange and disturbing alliance of “How-To” Guru’s, including Bob Villa and Ty Pennington, manifests itself to perform a series of rituals to prevent T and G from reaching the mainland and spreading their discovery of the cult to the greater world.

Things come to a desperate climax as the cult leaders resort to Down-East voodoo to turn T and G’s car into a coffin, trapping the now “possessed” carpenters inside. As T and gasp for air and claw at the windows, the timber-framing author achieves a magnificent 16’ timber-framed erection and the figure-drawing nun achieves a shuddering orgasm after engaging in sex with a cardboard cut-out of Bob Villa.

It may not be the first time a nun has climaxed on stage, but it is, as far as the playwright knows, the first time two people have been killed in a car by a book. This tour-de-force performance of the absurd also promises one other theatrical first: Manhattan’s first timber-framed erection.

2006 page