Friday, April 13, 2012

THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT | Audience response 2009

In fall 2009, Pound of Flesh and Pacific co-produced a staged reading of Stephen Adly Guirgis' extraordinary play. Here is a taste of the audience response. Now director Stephen Drover has done the near-impossible - staged a fully-nounted production of this large-cast show, retaining nearly all of the cast of the 2009 production - Michael Kopsa as Satan, Bob Frazer as Judas, Katharine Venour and Marcus Youssef and Andrew McNulty as the lawyers and judge, plus Dawn Petten, Anthony F. Ingram, and Ron Reed - and adding Todd Thomson, Carl Kennedy, Adrienne Wong, Kyle Jespersen, Marci T. House and Beatrice Zeilinger. Until April 21. Performances and tickets at The Cultch.

Bob Frazer (Judas), Michael Kopsa (Satan)

Sean Allen | You take a brilliantly written script that turns the Judas Iscariot story inside out, set it in a court room, lace it with profanity, people it with some of the best actors in town, and you have a riveting evening of theatre. ... All in all, as an evening in theatre, this is an embarrassment of riches. If you enjoy theatre that makes you think and laugh and feel....and think some more, don't miss The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. | review.

Archie Robertson | Friends, I saw this staged reading Friday, and "astoundingly powerful" is an understatement! It opened up my heart, give it a good stiff massage, and reinstalled it at a subtly different angle - and feeling a bit softer. Stellar performances, wonderful script & truly amazing cast! If you are able to go, do! | facebook

Diane Tucker | is telling you to go to "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" at Pacific Theatre. Telling, mind you, not asking! Go! / . . . . It was generous and raw and beautiful. And relentless in the best way. Some of the images will stay with me for a long time. And as a writer I always and again love to see how much respect and love PT always gives the TEXT! | facebook

Kyla Ferrier | Thought I better thank you again for the show before my response to it loses passion over time. LAST NIGHT WAS WONDERFUL. And by wonderful, I really mean wonder full. It hit a nerve, x30. My soul was pushed and prodded. This is the kind of theatre I ache for - stuff where we see believers as real humans, and non believers as real humans, and everyone out there being real humans. And last night Jesus was a real human too, and I don't think I've ever seen him like that. . . . This play is holy. Thank you for doing a holy thing. I'm so thankful for you, and everyone reading. I'm urging people make it out to PT this week. | email

PT Subscriber | Thank you for staging THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT. This was the play I have been waiting my entire life to experience. This brilliantly acted script met me where I was and moved me further from Atheism toward Agnosticism. It is extremely reassuring to see my questions legitimized and left largely unanswered. . . . My gratitude is beyond expression. Again - Pacific Theatre is a vital voice of conscience, a seeker of truth and a school for the heart."

Paul Kirby | I am only sorry for the 6 billion people (or so) who didn't get to see it. One of the most remarkable evenings I have ever spent in a theatre. | facebook

Angelika Dawson | saw the play last night, it was absolutely amazing (or f**king awesome, to use the play's vernacular :-) i was just stunned by how i didn't even notice the scripts after about 2 minutes in... Judas and Jesus were incredible.  Great job, again. always impressed with the things you can make an audience believe in that little space. LOVE it. | facebook

Robyn Roscoe | Saw this on Wednesday - was moved to tears, of both laughter and sorrow. Perhaps if we rally enough support Pacific can bring it back again... I notice the theatre is dark during the Olympics, and I'd much rather see this play... | facebook

Josh Campbell I I SO wish more people (everybody) could see this. It is a remarkable piece of theatre. What a roller-coaster! | facebook

Leah Rae | While going to Pacific Theatre on Wednesday, to attend Stephen Adly Guirgis’s play The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, I passed by a car dealer­ship on Drake, filled with shiny new autom biles. At the back of the lot was a giant billboard featuring the faces of two men – smiling although they had both been beaten. The ad was for a reality TV show on HGTV called Realtor vs Realtor. I felt a twinge – more than a twinge really – is all this selling, this scrambling for cash, the best we can do as human beings? Perhaps it’s this twinge, how ever strong or mild, that makes a play like The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, so powerful, even for atheists like myself. ... Even though it’s a comedy, the play has considerable weight. People were weep­ing into their hands like little children when, in the final scene, actor Ron Reed – who looks like an oversized Ron Howard (another great performance) — quotes Auden “God may reduce you on Judgement Day to tears of shame, reciting by heart the poems you may have written had your life been good”. This show is good – go see it. | Geist blog review

Tim Anderson | The weight of judgment, the burden of expectations, the freedom that only comes by grace. A weird and compelling theology that people decide the fate of other souls, set within in the Catholic notion of purgatory, and we come to recognize that this terrible mode of prosecution is writ small in the embittered relationships where we all struggle. Micro budget, gigantically talented cast. No small play, this. | facebook

Erin Germaine | i met with Christ tonight. At a play called "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" at Pacific Theatre. Please go see this show and see a side of our King that has been forgotten. He is beautiful and He is our example to live by. i wrote a blog post about the show. wanted you to read it if you have a chance. be encouraged, because this work... this is what THEATRE IS! i am so blessed to have been a part of it. | facebook

Joel Stephanson | I was really amazed by The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. Moving, heartbreaking, beautiful, extremely profane, possibly blasphemous, and like no other play you've seen. | facebook

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is an agile, fluid, sarcastic, funny and delightful show that probes our beliefs on whether Judas Iscariot indeed betrayed Jesus, on whether forgiveness can exist at the highest levels. The last scene (you HAVE to be attentive up until the end of the play) is incredibly powerful (I am not giving away anything, you have to see it for yourself) . . . I definitely loved every single actor’s performance...with the excellent direction of Simon Drover. . . With a multicultural, outstandingly talented, versatile and adaptive cast, the production of The Last Judas Iscariot put together a show that, despite being a stage reading, really made me feel as though it had been a full-on show. | hummingbird604 review

Wednesday, I was looking forward to experiencing my first Stage Reading performance, and I was totally blown away. What an amazing evening, with stunning performers. | Comment on Hummingbird post

(anon) | oh my. That was one incredible evening of theatre, incredible. I am not sure if I had ever experienced a more fully human treatment of the Gospel story. Maybe for the first time, I saw myself reflected in the characters - Satan is not some 'other' - I am him, I am Judas, I am the lawyer, I am the Judge. This is a realm of believers or inquirers where I want to dwell. . . . . Such powerful performances - you must be just loving hanging out in such a crowd who are giving themselves fully to this piece. Denis Simpson communicated so much with just a swoosh of his robe - tilt of his glasses. wow. / Fuckin' A. that was one great night of theatre. I am different today because of it. | email

Lois Dawson | AlI can say is wow. This morning I am still putting the pieces of my theology & of my soul back together. And that’s the way theatre should be. | blog

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