Anytime Pearce Bunting returns home, it's an occasion. The Barrymore Award-winning Philadelphian has been away, Broadway-bound with his lead part in Mamma Mia! as well as running around for his recurring role in Boardwalk Empire — his "Bill McCoy" was the first character seen in the Scorsese-directed pilot episode of the HBO series. Within the last 12 months though, Bunting (now a Minnesotan, with his wife and kids) has made two stops in Philly, both for Theatre Exile and both for playwright Martin McDonagh, 2011's Lieutenant of Inishmore and this week's Exile season-closing A Behanding in Spokane. "It was about time somebody cast me to play someone from England/Scotland/Ireland/Wales as it's my heritage and I do have a nice and nasty glint in my eye, yet am terrified of people like Fergie and Austin McGrath shaking their heads in disgust at me," laughs Bunting from an undisclosed location in Philly. ("Exile sequesters me, blindfolds me every night after rehearsal, where I live a cold, solitary existence, terrorized by rats.") Bunting can say nothing about Empire's currently filming season ("I keep hoping I'll have a high-speed boat chase with the Coast Guard"), but will talk plenty about how Behanding has much in common with Inishmore — save for the blood. "There's terror, the same inane bickering over semantics, desperate characters. The most confounding thing, sometimes, is that his plays are so simple and oddly delicate. You can't complicate things with too much psychology. You just have to go for it completely, heart and soul, and let the play do its thing." Bunting's Behanding character, Carmichael, has no problem torturing people's minds. "In Inishmore, I was a victim just trying to save my ass when the bullets started flying. In Behanding, I'm the nasty man, the one with the gun." Pow.
Could it be true that the lease to Fourth Street's ground-level dining spot Latest Dish and its house-n-dub second-floor Fluid is on the market? We hear indeed, but does that mean that baby-faced Tony Schiro is out of the DJs-n-nosh biz?
With everyone's attentions turned to Bart Blatstein's worst-kept-ever secret of a casino at the Inquirer building, look for another vacant property to make waves when-and-if 12,350 square feet of property on the north side of 16th and Sansom gets approved for a nine-story building of retail, restaurants and condos. Listed under the corporate name of G2S2, the property was once owned by the legendary Sam Rappaport, whose estate sold it to realtor/developer Wayne Spilove, who razed the existing building and made it into a parking lot. One big question remains — is G2S2 a Spilove-owned private corp? Stay tuned.
More heart and soul at Critical Mass.