The Flea Theatre. Dir: Ed Sylvanus Iskandar; Choreo: Chase Brock; Lights: Seth Reiser; Costumes: Loren Shaw; Sound: Jeremy Bloom.
*New York Times Critics' Pick
"On Jason Sherwood’s plastic and metal set, which resembles a minimalist meat locker, 53 actors, drawn from the Flea’s resident acting company, play God, Jesus, Mary, Joseph and many more. ...The evening’s most ecstatic moment comes between the scenes when all of the actors join in a gorgeous, floor-shaking rendition of the Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done.” It is a very joyful noise."
-The New York Times
"All the action takes place on the Flea's main stage. The performing space is long and narrow in design, with audience members sitting alongside it in two banks of seats facing one another. Jason Sherwood's Spartan set is unfussy. In fact, the only stage architecture is in the flies: a large circular-shaped structure that, in its simplicity, hints of the cyclical nature of life or perhaps serves as a metaphysical nod to eternity.
"Sherwood also has designed two red-flecked scrims that are draped behind each audience section, where the Angel Chorus stand in mirror-image tableaus, alternately veiling — or revealing— themselves to viewers, depending on the scene's dramatic purpose."
"The show takes place on a traverse stage, with the audience facing one another. A divide in the center of the seating forms a Gnostic cross that serves as the playing space, with a decaying halo of tinfoil suspended high over the center of the stage. Scenic designer Jason Sherwood has constructed two runways behind the audience seating, used primarily by angels who sing and occasionally interact with the audience from beyond the transparent plastic curtain that divides us from their heavenly plane."
"The Flea space is now blood-red and boasts traverse seating.... The two halves of the audience face each other, sitting against walls made of crimson-spattered plastic strips, which conceal platforms farther back. Designer Jason Sherwood has made a room that can thus be completely ringed by barely visible performers who can peep over our shoulders, caress us or offer us apples."
"The torture and crucifixion of Jesus are staged with hair-raising intensity. (In one especially blood-curdling sequence, a Roman soldier practices hideous humiliations on Mary.) Iskandar makes good use of Jason Sherwood's orange-tinged scenic design, which consists of a traverse stage backed on both sides by transparent strips of plastic, behind which members of the company appear to raise their voices in song, to offer apples in temptation, or to impersonate a score of dead bodies in the tomb with Lazarus."
-Lighting and Sound America
"[The production] manages to find both deep sentiment and epic stage images of sublime beauty: the Transfiguration in particular is completely orgasmic, the Crucifixion wonderfully staged."