An evening between two Judases

Thoughts on a production pic from Theatrical Tendencies’ CORPUS CHRISTI

Mar. 10, 2011
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I kind of knew going into this week that it was going to be kind of weird for me. I’d scheduled myself to see two different modern mutations of the basic story arc of the New Testament. Last night’s opening of UWM’s The Last Days of Judas Iscariot was kind of overwhelming. If you go see the show (and you probably shouldsoon, it only runs this weekend) the best possible experience has got to be in the front row. You’re absolutely immersed in the atmosphere. The set really locks-in a feeling of mist, dust and stagnation in a courtroom in Limbo as Prosecution and Defense argue over whether Judas should have actually been sentenced to hell. It’s kind of overwhelming. The set features all kinds of little details that seem vaguely incongruous. Mother Theresa wears a huge headset. Sigmund Freud seems vaguely human and carries around a magazine with his face on the cover. I could’ve sworn I saw a pink “My Little Pony,” on the desk on the side of the prosecution. (What was that about?) It’s inspired weirdness that actually has a great deal of depth to it.

Today I got an email that featured the above press pic for the contemporary New Testament show Corpus Christi—a drama that retells the story of Jesus and his apostles—recasting Jesus as a gay man who, among other things, performs a gay wedding in contemporary Texas. The show, which is being produced by Theatrical Tendencies,has an impressive-looking set. T.T. Producing Director David Carter tells me that the show is unlike anything else that has ever been staged at the intimate gallery space of the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center. Judging from the photograph, I don’t doubt it. The photo, which was from a dress rehearsal on Wednesday night, doesn’t give a feeling for the relatively small size of the venue . . . there’s no reference to the seats in the venue, but the way I’m looking at the photo, it’s difficult not to imagine there only being room for 4 or 5 audience members. . . which I know isn’t the case, but . . . it looks like they’ve found a way to fill the space without making it feel crowded. . . looks promising.

Theatrical Tendencies’ production of Corpus Christi runs March 11th – 26th at the MGAC on 703 South 2nd Street. Tickets can be reserved in advance online.

UWM's The Last Days of Judas Iscariot runs though March 13th. A review of that show runs in the next Shepherd-Express.


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