Jesus Christ, King of Comedy Review by Robert Trussell
Fringe Festival's 'Jesus Christ, King of Comedy' delivers wacky laughs
by Robert Trussell, The Kansas City Star
It just wouldn’t be a fringe festival without at least one show thumbing its nose at religion.
“Jesus Christ, King of Comedy” is every bit as irreverent as the title would have you believe and the production’s calculated lack of polish only enhances the humor. Seeing a blatantly artificial beard on a woman playing a man is always good for a laugh.
Director Tara Varney wrote this romp with Bryan Colley, Michelle Cotton and Young Han C. Lester, and the first half of the show is hilarious. It tends to run out of steam as it draws near the end of its 60-minute running time, but it still deserves attention for its wacky audacity.
The KC Fringe Festival show basically re-imagines the life of Jesus as it might have been had he embarked on the career of a comedian. Things get off to a very funny start as Mary (Susan Glennemeier) explains to Joseph (Nick Uthoff) that even though she’s a virgin she’s already pregnant.
George Forbes plays Jesus with a light touch and excellent timing. In this version of the tale Judas (Charlotte Kyle) is Jesus’ agent and the arc of the story follows the classic rise and fall of a star.
Making fun of religion is, of course, a popular sport and easy to do. This show has occasional explosions of inspired writing but too often fails to sustain the level of wit that makes the early going so engaging.
One of Varney’s inspired choices was her use of projected images taken from “The Brick Testament,” a Web site where you can find Bible stories illustrated with Legos, for transitions between scenes. You won’t believe it unless you see it, which you can by going to www.thebricktestament.com. You can also visit the show’s Web site at www.jupiterkansas.com.