Already closed | 2h 45m | East Village

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

From 45 member  reviews
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. More…

In urban night court in "Hope-a ghetto of purgatory," Judas is on trial for his betrayal of Christ, his soul left in the balance. A trove of historic witnesses including Freud, Mother Theresa, Satan, and Pontius Pilate deliver their testimony with raw honesty and scathing humor. As the play unfolds, we are forced to examine our ideals and ideas of love, divine mercy, free will, and forgiveness. This production marks the first time the play has been performed without double or triple casting, with an ensemble of 25 performers. 

Member Reviews (45)


Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing, Funny, Clever
Avg Score

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.

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

Also Definitely requiring patience, the performance does have bursts of bra... Read more Read less

Irreverent, Great writing, Intelligent, Seriocomedic, Great acting, great characters

See it if you enjoy well-acted "Dramedy" that challenges your belief system ; enjoy a wild ride with outrageous characters from the Bible and history

Don't see it if you are religious, you are conservative. You believe that historic 'icons' are above 'human' foibles

Also I loved this play! I enjoyed the hilarity in stereotyped lawyers, Freu... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Funny, Slow

See it if I'm on the fence about this play. Had some great moments but I got bored.

Don't see it if You can't sit through 3 hours with lots of speechifying..

Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Refreshing, Quirky

See it if You'd enjoy a trial with many colorful characters: should Judas go to heaven or hell. You love the hand of Estelle Parson's directing.

Don't see it if You can't sit for 3 hours even with an intermission. You have no interest in plays involving Judas.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Edgy

See it if you enjoy great writing and especially if you are a fan of Guirgis. Some strong stand-out performances.

Don't see it if it's 3 hours long and some of the 'witnesses' are a bit boring

Ambitious, Slow

See it if you've never experience Stephen Adly Guirgis' dialogue onstage, or are interested in seeing this production with a large ensemble.

Don't see it if you desire a well polished production

Also While a small number of this very sizable cast was exceptional, the pe... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Slow

See it if You want to have a new and updated look at the biblical story of Judas' last days

Don't see it if You can't care less about Judas' possible fate ( heaven ? Hell ? ). It is a play witty at times but in the end in need of editing.

Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy

See it if Good cast, great script done with simplistic prop pieces. The show is almost 3 hours long, so it needs to be edited.

Don't see it if You don't like religious plays that take liberties with plot. Also, 3 hours is a long running time.

Disappointing, Ambitious, Funny

See it if you're interested in Guirgas's work or enjoy imaginary trials of religious figures depicted as sassy, hip, foul-mouthed contemporaries.

Don't see it if you don't mind spending 2-3/4 hours watching an overlong, overstuffed play.

Also Fitfully amusing, this play makes some serious statements about forgiv... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Thought-provoking

See it if Have interest and knowledge of biblical characters

Don't see it if If you haven't the patience for a long, play in need of editing.

Clever, Ambitious, Great acting, Funny, Relevant

See it if your interested in a very different take of Judas's story. Funny, excellent acting, lots of surprises along the way.

Don't see it if thinking is not something you care to do, or if you don't like to see "group think" shattered.

Great writing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You're a Guirgis fan and it won't bother you if his incredible script is handled...less than excellently by several cast members.

Don't see it if You feel that a few very strong performances can't save a mediocre ensemble.

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

See it if you like plays by Stephen Adly Guirgis. This deals with serious subjects but is frequently very funny. Some wonderful acting but some not.

Don't see it if Sitting on uncomfortable chairs for 3 hours is not for you.

Banal, Bad acting, Bad directing

See it if You're fine with text heavy plays being presented in very simple ways

Don't see it if You prefer plays that are a little more creative and daring in their direction

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Profound

See it if you're interested in a fascinating, entertaining overview of the human condition via a trial set in a Christian version of the afterlife.

Don't see it if you need brevity and kitchen-sink drama.

Thoughtful, provocative, well directed

See it if if you like plays that engage you to think, and are familiar/intrigued by story of Judas Iscariot, as a lay person not a devout Christian

Don't see it if You dont like long talky plays that only work if you know the Biblical allusions. Or feel disappointed by less than perfection

Disappointing, Slow

See it if You have had a lot of coffee and will be able to stay awake. Appreciation of Catholicism a plus.

Don't see it if You know nothing about Catholicism.

Funny, Great acting, Intelligent, Ambitious, Epic

See it if You like avant-garde theatre, other Gurgis plays, the urban voice and a thorough examination of the bible.

Don't see it if Don't like long plays. Avant-garde. Irreverent humor questioning religion.

Banal, Disappointing, Confusing, Excruciating, Edgy

See it if you like modern takes to traditional stories

Don't see it if you're expecting a comedy. This play is a drama with a few wise cracks thrown in, with too many characters to keep track of.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Resonant

See it if great performances, humor, a modern take on a classic story

Don't see it if you want a big Broadway show with a big Broadway budget

Overrated, Quirky, Great staging, Great acting, Clever

See it if you like Stephen Adly Guigis plays. Well conceived but too wordy.

Don't see it if you have a short attention span. or get confused my too man characters.

Ambitious, Great acting, Refreshing

See it if you like great acting and fresh, relevant writing. There are some legendary performances going on here.

Don't see it if you want a full production with sets and costumes. This is very barebones with a focus on the acting.

Absorbing, Clever, Dizzying

See it if you are...

Don't see it if you are not...

Absorbing, Great acting, Funny, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if You like great writing and solid acting

Don't see it if you like short shows. runs 3 hours with intermission

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......
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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 ...
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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 per...
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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......
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