Producer Dee Smith's vision for doing THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT came to her during a trip to Rome, Italy long before Pope Benedict decided to call it quits. She had been cast in another LA production several years ago, but she, along with several other cast members left the production early in the process. "This is what I had envisioned," she said, "The director's concept, the top notch talent, the passion and commitment of everyone involved...this is art at its best and I can't wait for LA to come out and see it!
That all begins this Friday, March 1st as the controversial and much talked about Stephen Adly Guirgis play opens at The Victory Theatre Center (Big Victory) and will play for 6 weekends until April 6th. Included in the run is a performance Easter Sunday. Ironically (or maybe not so) the timing of the play coincides with Lent, Passover and as mentioned, Easter. The original production also opened and played during this time at The Public Theater in New York City, directed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
Director, Patrick Riviere, grew up Catholic and was a heartbeat away from joining the Franciscan order in Washington, DC when he decided to follow his other passion...theater. He always had a soft spot for Judas. "I just felt he got a bum deal...he 'did what he had to do' and it all went south after that. I love how Guirgis grapples with so many issues that each of us face in our day-to-day lives but also uses the play as a vehicle to explore the specific despair and dilemma of Judas. For me the play is ultimately about perception: how we perceive ourselves, how others perceive us and maybe most interesting, how we think others perceive us. It's also about hope. And I hope people will come out to see this production because in my over 35 years in the professional theater, this one is at the top," Riviere said.
The cast features RoBert Walters in the title character fresh off his critically acclaimed hit show TWO COSMIC BROTHERS UNSHACKLE MOTHER EARTH. He has also starred in a host of other shows at Zombie Joe's Underground. The rest of the cast: Cooper Daniels (Jesus), Marc Erickson (Satan), *Sharon Freedman (Fabiana Aziza Cunningham), Robert Paterno (Yusef El-Fayoumy), *Jon Gentry (Pilot/Saint Matthew/Honeywell), *Patrick Riviere (Judge/Caiaphas The Elder), Faith Imafidon (Saint Monica), Dee Smith (Henrietta Iscariot/Mary Magdalene), Paul Nieman (Sigmund Freud/Saint Thomas), *Robin McClamb (Gloria/Mother Teresa), Kevin Lino (Bailiff/Simon the Zealot), John Dana Kenning (Matthias of Galilee/Saint Peter), Melissa May (Loretta/Sister Glenna). *Members of AEA (Actors' Equity Association) the union of professional stage actors.
THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT opens March 1, 2013 at The Victory Theatre (Big Theatre) in Burbank and plays Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00PM and Sundays at 4PM through April 6th! The creative team: Producer, Dee Smith, Associate Producer, Melissa May; Director, Patrick Riviere, Scenic Designer, Caley Bisson; Lighting Designer Robert Corn; Costume Designer, Jannique Mosely-Niambele; Wardrobe Mistress, Jenise Smith; Assistant to the Scenic Designer, Shane Adams; and Stage Manager, Sean Sekino.
For tickets, visit: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/314649 or call 800.838.3006. More information can be found at www.facebook.com/TheLastDaysOfJudasIscariotAtTheVictory.
Pictured: RoBert Walters