It’s been 2,000 years since apostle Judas Iscariot kissed Jesus Christ goodbye and turned him over to the Jews. Since then, he’s been in the purgatory, writing half-sentences on walls with small pieces of white chalk, all according to Stephen Adly Guirgis’ comical play, “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.”
Directed by Cal State Long Beach alum Jeremy Aluma and presented by the Urban Theatre Movement, their rendition successfully captures the essence of the play with several exceptional performances.
Aluma’s direction of Guirgis’ witty dialogue kicks off when Judge Littlefield (Tony Gatto) starts to unmercifully turn down the requests of lost souls who want a second shot at heaven, until a pregnant and spunky attorney named Fabiana Aziza Cunningham (Jessica Culaciati, CSULB alum) keenly brings up the case of Judas Iscariot (Vincent Mentry).
Guirgis brings together several iconic characters from past eras, as well as biblical figures from the time of Judas.
Saint Monica (Lowam Eyasu, CSULB student) makes an appearance as a vulgar yet charming eyewitness. Her performance is strong enough to move an audience to tears.
Satan (Levi Sochet) makes several appearances in the courtroom, and all the while he is charming and witty.
A wry Sigmund Freud (Amir Levi) takes the stand to Judas’ defense and clashes with prosecutor Yusef El-Fayoumy (Nick Mills) as he delivers continuous laughs.
With the exception of a few desks and writing on the walls, there aren’t very many props crowding the stage. The lights and sound effects are just right, never distracting from the story and the actors.
Aluma’s rendition of Guirgis’ “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” is a highly impressive performance. – Laura Aguirre, Daily 49er