Courtney Lomelo, Paul Menzel and Jeff Miller in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
Photo by Pin Lim
The set up:
Sometimes writing a review is an absolute joy. To be clear, and contrary to popular assumptions, this never happens when writing a less than glowing assessment. At least never for me. My ‘swinging from the rafters with glee’, comes when I get to dedicate this space to a show so superb that it’s almost impossible to decide where to begin praising it.
Gravity Player’s production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is one of those shows.
Not that we should be surprised, really. After all, the hysterically funny/wickedly smart religious courtroom thriller, that asks if iconic betrayer Judas Iscariot should be forgiven for his sins, is written by none other than Pulitzer Prize winner, Stephen Adly Guirgis. We’ve seen his brand of frenetic, hip, and guttural with gutter talk work in Houston when, last season, Gravity Players did equal justice to Guirgis’ fidelity and sobriety cage match play, Motherfucker with the Hat.
But if Gravity Players hit a homerun with MOFO, they’ve won the World Series with Iscariot, thanks to assembling what can only be called a Houston Dream Team of performers. Performers that individually would be reason enough to go see a production. Luis Galindo? Check. Patricia Duran? Check. Philip Hays? Check. Courtney Lomelo? Aha. Nick Farco? Yup. Jeff Miller too. How about Paul Menzel, Candice D’Meza, Josh Morrison and Roc Living to round the cast out? It’s almost too much talent in one space. It’s a gluttonous feast of acting riches and we’re more than ready to gorge ourselves.
So, in the parlance of Guirgis, buckle up bitches, it’s gonna be one hell of a ride.
Actually, not a hell of a ride, more like a purgatory of a ride as Guirgis sets his play in the afterlife limbo. Judge Littlefield (Paul Menzel) presides over Purgatory Court in the District of Hope, a court that gives…