Reviewed: October 24, 2017
Jesus Hopped The A Train is playing at the Signature Theatre located at 480 West 42nd Street. The play runs two hours and ten minutes with one intermission. It closes on November 12, 2017.
The play premiered in 2000 at the East 13th St. Theatre. It ran from November 29, 2000 thru December 31, 2000. It was directed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman. It then premiered in London’s Donmar Warehouse in 2002. It was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best New Play 2003.
Stephen Adly Guirgis is the playwright. He won a Pulitzer for Drama in 2015 for Between Riverside and Crazy.
Ricardo Chavira is known for his role as Carlos Solis, husband of Gabrielle (Eva Longoria) in Desperate Housewives from 2004-2012. Recently he was in Scandal.
The setting takes place on Riker’s Island in New York City in a prison. There a two cells on stage. It takes place mostly in a yard of a special 23 hour lockdown protection unit.
Angel Cruz (Sean Carrajai) is praying out loud, other inmates are screaming at each other to shut up.
Lucius Jenkin (Edi Gathegi) is in the right cell. He is doing different exercising praising God as he is working out. The guard Charles D’Amico (Erick Betancourt) seems to be friendly with him. He has left cookies for him in his cell.
The scenes go back and forth between Angel and his public defender Mary Jane Hanrahan (Stephanie DiMaggio) and Lucius and Angel. Angel is in the left cell. While in jail bad things happen to Angel.
Angel curses at Mary Jane when he meets her. He wants a male lawyer. When she asks him if he shot the leader of a religious cult, he says he shot him in the ass. He tells her his friend was a member of the cult and was brain washed. Mary Jane said she could not defend him knowing he tried to kill the reverend. She decides to take on the case despite what he has told her. When the case is to come to trail she instructs him on what to say when ask certain questions.
There is a new guard watching Angel and Lucius. Valdez (Ricardo Chavira) is one mean S O B!
Lucius is constantly saying how god saved him. Yet he shows no remorse for killing eight people. He tries to convince Angel to take God in to save him.
As the play goes on we learn more about characters and what happens to them.
This is a touching, heart breaking story of what happen to people who break the law.
It may not be for everyone but it is worth seeing.
The cast does an outstanding job.
Before the show read the articles they have on the door by the theatre. It will give you a better insight on Riker’s Island, Reverend Moon and the Public Defender’s Office.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
To read a candid interview with the cast hit photos. Click on photos for this and other shows.