Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Monday, 19 November 2012 16:27

Imaginary Jesus at Mustardseed Theatre

Written by Robert Mitchell
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Details

Imaginary Jesus at Mustardseed Theatre
mustardseedtheatre.com

A hilarious look at a young writer's spiritual quest for the perfect personification of his personal Jesus.

I love Mustardseed Theatre (and not just because I had the fortune of playing Loner in their inaugural production of Remnant 6 years ago). Every time I go there to see a play there, I know I am going to be delighted as a theatre-goer – whether I’m going to walk out challenged by their extremely subtle faith-based aesthetic, or whether I leave chuckling at some slightly goofy, but unerringly truthful look at what it means to be a human being on this earth. I was happily able to enjoy both in their current production, Imaginary Jesus, directed by the inimitable Deanna Jent.

Adapted by Ms. Jent from the novel by Matt Mikalatos (which has been described as a cross between Monty Python, C. S. Lewis and It’s a Wonderful Life, with a little Star Wars thrown in to satisfy the geeks), Imaginary Jesus takes us on an Easy Rider-style adventure about one man’s search for his spirituality. In the opening of the play, two identical-looking men arrive at a Portland coffee house (of course). After a brief tussle over who’s to play the lead in this story, it is finally decided that one of them will play the thinly-disguised comic book-nerd-turned-Christian-author Matt (Robert Thibaut), and the other “Matt” will be the Narrator of the show (Chad Morris). Then, the fireworks begin. Matt is soon assaulted by the coffee shop’s homeless nutjob, Pete (J. Samuel Davis), who just happens to be able to see Matt’s ever-present, comforting version of Jesus, complete with white gown and flowing brown hair and beard. After scarcely a few words, Pete suddenly punches Jesus in the face, which sends Jesus hitching up his gown and running off like a little girl. It turns out that Pete is the apostle Peter, who has seen through the ruse, and informs Matt, that his version of Jesus is not the real Jesus – and that if he wants to be at real peace, then he needs to make a pilgrimage to find Him. Pete introduces Matt to two beings that are able to help with this quest – Daisy, a wise-cracking donkey (Michelle Hand), and ex-call girl Sandy (Nicole Angeli), who explains that there are thousands of “Imaginary Jesuses” – Jesi?- Jesuses – that are dreamed up by whatever people need at the moment, and then, discarded as soon as their needs have or haven’t been met. On the journey we meet dozens of Jesi – among them, the pompous King James Jesus, Children’s Jesus, Hippie Jesus and Cirque du Soleil Jesus – none of them offering satisfaction. When we meet Matt’s sweet, caring wife, Krista (Julie Venegoni), we learn why the quest for good and God is so important to Matt. After a showdown, in a Prayer Labyrinth with the remaining members of The Secret Society of Imaginary Jesi, Matt finally finds the peace, and the Jesus that he needs.

Direction by Jent is fast, furious and funny (dropping in his trademark bit of poignancy when needed), while Dunsi Dai, Michael Sullivan, JC Kracijek and Michael Perkins bolster the production with their usual stellar work in set, light, costume and sound design.

The star-studded cast is filled with some of the best, and the funniest that STL has to offer. Thibault and Morris are quick and absurdly funny as the Matts, Davis is wise and cocky as Peter, Brown is quite smarmy as the primary imaginary Jesus, Hand is a hoot as Daisy, Angeli is an assured and comic Sandy, and Venegoni is sweet as long-suffering Krista. But this septet is bolstered by 10 equally funny folks playing multiple Imaginary Jesi – Kyle Powell, Zoe Sullivan, Vanessa Waggoner, Leslie Wobbe, Jaime Zayas, and notably Roger Erb as Political Power Jesus, Daniel Lanier as 8-Ball Jesus and Harley, Aaron Orion Baker as Televangelist Jesus, Ben Ritchie – who is THE go-to-guy when you need someone to be Jesus-like, and Amy Loui in a superbly poignant take on Jesus’ mother, Mary.

All of this hilarity leads to a satisfying, and thought-provoking evening of theater, leaving you to question what YOU might want from your Jesus - real or imaginary, and where you might find Him.

Additional Info

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr
KDHX Blog

Local Artist Spotlight


Tok Releases Gold Dollar Hen House Volume 3

Tue April 8
Tok is a Festus based rock band who has been rocking St. Louis for 20 years. They are due to release their third installment of their Gold Dollar Hen House collection on February 28, 2014 at Schlafly's…

KDHX Recommends

April
Tuesday
22

Tuesdays at KDHX Sessions: Worm-A-Rama

Tuesdays at KDHX Sessions presents Earth Day Worm-A-Rama with Jean Ponzi on Tuesday, April 22 at 7:30pm at The Stage. This visual-musical celebration of living on earth will feature musical guest, Augusta Bottoms Consort, tuneful...


April
Wednesday
23

Jimbo Mathus

KDHX welcomes Jimbo Mathus to Off Broadway on April 23th.   For more info, offbroadwaystl.com.


April
Friday
25

KDHX Presents Shakespeare Festival St. Louis' Metro Youth Program

KDHX presents Shakespeare Festival St. Louis' Metro Youth Program April 25 and 26 at The Stage at KDHX. Information and reservations available at Shakespeare Festival St. Louis online.   Modeled after a similar...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Upcoming Events HAPPENING

Online Users

1 user and 6246 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook