Hola a todos/Hello All/اهلا جميعا,
…and welcome to another installment of The Curtain Call. This week we are bringing a review of the Lehman College production of Jesus Hopped the A Train. This production is one of redemption and true reflection. We are first introduced to Angel Cruz, played by Giovanni Ortiz, as he is attempting to recite the Our Father. He stumbles in decided if it is said are or art. As he is contemplating this, he is reminded to Shut the F*#k up. This sentiment is echoed by two other inmates. Angel’s reflection is broken as he repeats the statement back to the inmates.
The set for this production offers a very less is more vibe. There are two large cells parallel from one another. The majority of the plays action takes place within this two cells revolving around Angel and Lucius. In an age were instant gratification and more is more, it’s refreshing to see a minimalist attitude to truly force the action to captivate the audience. We are then introduced to the protagonist of the story, Lucius Jenkins. A convict that admits to murdering multiple innocent people. The character offers an upbeat attitude that is at times alarming and disarming at the same time.
How can a person that is responsible for the death of so many be so positive and cheerful. The audience is drawn into characters charm which is strongly because of the amazing job done by Jonathan Carter. His command of his mannerisms offers the audience the luxury being guided into the story by a masterful pilot. We are given a glimpse Lucius and his relationships with the guards and the other inmates.
Jenkin’s relationship with Cruz offer the true heart of author, we are offered glimpses of the inner struggle of two men who have committed the crime of murder. One whom has accepted the immensity of his actions and has accepted God and his mission, the other who is struggling to decide his role and actions in this new environment.
Veteran actor and Assistant Professor Jennifer McCabe is the director for this production and has offered a genuine look into two characters that have true reflection and eventually accept the ramifications of their actions. McCabe has taken people and made them true players on a stage that can often be misinterpreted as an amateur forum for student actors. The entire ensemble offer very genuine portrayals of their characters. The audience was on their seats and truly enjoyed the journey that Ortiz, Carter and the entire cast took them on. Lehman Theatre alum Cynthia LaCruz said, “It was truly amazing.” LaCruz exclaimed, “Lucius was amazing…I was so…he is so good!” Her sentiment was universal as the majority of the audience gave the cast a standing ovation during their curtain call.
This production harkens the beginning of the MMTM department. If this is a preview of what they have in store, this looks to be a year of truly amazing, theatre, dance and the arts.
As I leave you, I bid you…The ideas in your mind are not yours, as soon as you have an idea or notion it no longer belongs to you, it is your duty to share it with the world.
Next week, we will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Halloween in theaters by reviewing the latest installment.
Your Humble servant,