Closed 2h 45m
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
East Village
70

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot NYC Reviews and Tickets

70%
(45 Reviews)
Positive
65%
Mixed
24%
Negative
11%
Members say
Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing, Funny, Clever

About the Show

The Actors Studio and La MaMa present a revival of this provocative and irreverent comedy by Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Adly Guirgis, directed by Oscar winner Estelle Parsons.

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Member Reviews (45)

76
Courtroom drama in hell has fine moments. too long

See it if Guirgis's urban ear works well in Hell. Javier Molina's off-Bway debut as Satan is a perfect example of street language in modern drama

Don't see it if Some monologues are too long and repetitive. The foreman's speech at the end is redemptive but could be trimmed.

60
Uneven, Indulgent, Ambitious, Quirky, Slow

See it if enjoy barebones, experimental theatre—uneven, 3-hour tale mixing biting-humor monologues & trash-talking with clunky distracting transitions

Don't see it if you have short attention span, need any set design or linear plot, or dislike gimmicky premise, irreverence, ample profanity, or large cast Read more

Critic Reviews (8)

March 13th, 2017

"Ms. Parsons’s slow-paced revival never conveys the pain that’s at the center of the play...Individual performances often don’t dig far beneath the surface. It’s interesting, though, to see how the audience and the other actors snap to attention in the presence of a vividly inhabited character...Judas is not a giant role, but it is a crucial one, too blandly played here by Mr. Furman. The ache we are meant to feel for Judas in his isolation never comes."
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March 21st, 2017

“What of the play which had its world premiere at the Public Theater in 2005? Parsons' uneven production cannot keep this long play from seeming unwieldy. In fact, using so many actors is almost distracting as some of them are simply walk-ons, and disappear almost immediately. The new production seems less trenchant and more like a vaudeville with its set pieces than Philip Seymour Hoffman's original staging. Nevertheless, the play still retains a cumulative effect and is ultimately compelling.”
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March 14th, 2017

"This excellent production showcases twenty-eight outstanding performers with very little doubling...Those interested in revisiting the betrayal of Jesus with an open mind are in for a provocative evening of theatre...Parsons succeeds as an acting coach more than a director, coaxing inspiring performances from each ensemble member, with less emphasis on the overall statement of the piece...The production outstays its welcome, as actors’ showcases tend to do."
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March 13th, 2017

"Somewhere inside Stephen Adly Guirgis’ 'The Last Days of Judas Iscariot' is a compelling play about love and betrayal, guilt and redemption...'Judas Iscariot' will stick in the memory for all the wrong reasons– the uneven performances, the unsuccessful shifts in tone and the sheer endlessness...Esteemed director Estelle Parsons did not try to persuade Guirgis to revisit the script...The play is set in Purgatory but it’s the audience that feels stuck there."
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March 14th, 2017

“A metaphor through which to examine the contradictions inherent in a religion that preaches both forgiveness and damnation...The ensemble cast is onstage throughout, stepping in as various characters, ably supporting the drama. Among the cast are several standout performances…One issue I have with the play is its length…I would also wish for more creative blocking and visuals…Regardless...‘Judas Iscariot’ is an excellent, if verbose, piece of writing well worth the seeing.”
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March 15th, 2017

"Not one of Guirgis’ characters falls flat, and each cast member performs his or her part with wonderful bravado. The action is so immersive that, in the capable hands of Parsons and her cast, 'Judas' feels more like an actual court case, with the audience serving as spectators or even jury-members, than it does a piece of theater...Complete with comedy, tragedy, and a great cast, 'The Last Days of Judas Iscariot' is a wild ride, full of constant surprises that you won’t want to miss."
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March 22nd, 2017

"The acting is quite good. Parsons has directed the show well, with a clear distinction between its thoughtful passages and its humorous ones...And so 'The Last Days of Judas' Iscariot presents us with a promising concept that’s not mined for its potential. Most of its characters are no more than cartoons. Its various ideas aren’t embedded into its concept and, with its obscenity and its insult to seniors, it’s offensive."
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March 20th, 2017

“Thrilling…Suzanne DiDonna was vulnerably tough as Cunningham, the bodacious defense attorney who hammers the facts…Satan, played by Javier Molina, was seductively delicious as he smarmed his way through the courtroom with authentic street swagger…Kudos to the diverse casting and Ms. Parson’s direction—she encouraged a modern tone and freedom for her actors to fly...The three-hour running time felt more like an hour and a half."
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