I disagree with most of this review of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. Set in a little known nook of Purgatory called Hope, the serio-comedy pits “God and the Kingdom of Heaven vs. Judas Iscariot” in a heavyweight courtroom bout for the ages. It explores the relative guilt of Judas against others with more or less holy blood on their hands, including Caiaphas the Elder and Pontius Pilot.
The prosecution is headed by dumb like a fox Yusef El-Fayoumy, played with a wink by Mason Sand. When he wasn’t ass-kissing the Judge or hitting on the defense attorney, he was dropping some of the nights best lines. When he playfully calls witness and alleged cocaine user Sigmund Freud “Sigmund Fried,” he says, “Forgive me, I made a you-slip.”
Without getting into an all-out review, let me just say I recommend the play as a paradoxically (is that a word?) fun night of deep religious and moral inquiry. My favorite character was Satan, but he’s not what you might think. He’s thoughtful and very matter of fact. “I don’t believe in good and bad,” he states plainly to a Defense inquiry. “What I believe in is truth.”
At one point, the character Butch Honeywell arrives in purgatory and laments his marital betrayals. He seemed to me a man who had not yet forgiven himself and had self-imposed a sentence of personal purgatory. Now the time had come for him to meet his maker and his fate. Was he doomed to the same end as Judas for his sins? Should he be?
I don’t recall exactly when, but at one point during the play Saturday night I felt myself well up. Maybe it was the unconditional love thing. Like much of we witnessed, that was pretty powerful.
Company One’s performance of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot runs through August 5th at the BCA Plaza Theatre in Boston’s very cool South End.
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