THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT

After walking past a gaggle of low-life street denizens to reach the entrance, you enter the theater through the lobby of the Alexandria, a once-glamorous transient hotel. A creaky elevator takes you (slowly) to the third floor, where you walk across a balcony overlooking what was once the hotel ballroom, but which now looks like a ghostly volleyball court surrounded by tarnished mirrors and faded reliefs. Could there be a better lead-up to a play set in Purgatory? And here’s the punch line: the production is BRILLIANT! In this small but creatively explosive space, 22 actors (all of them good, many of them quite wonderful) serve up a courtroom drama in which Judas is put on trial for the crimes of betrayal and despair. Part Perry Mason, part Sunday school lesson, part intellectual debate, part laugh-out-loud comedy, this is a show that lasts almost three hours — and only lags toward the end, when the author appends a defining parable that may be one scene too many. The troupe is called Company of Angels, and truly, they are heaven-sent. — Jeff Schultz

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