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Coming home to hell

April 28, 2017

churchdiscipline_zju_postcardWalking in five minutes late I thought I’d messed up and stumbled into a revival meeting; five minutes later I was wondering when the snakes were going to come out, I couldn’t wait! That’s Pastor Luke (Brandon Slexak) for you, someone in his congregation might say about how he gets the parishioners going, up on their toes, tithing their spit… They didn’t teach you that at Sunday school? Shame.

Once again Zombie Joe’s Underground pushes an experiment off in interesting immersive directions. You feel like you’re in a church; at least I did, it’s why I acted out, and was chided a few times, Abigail (Zenobia Tucker) giving me the stink eye, for my sinful ways. I’m smiling as I write this because it really did feel like ticking off that busy body who’d shush you when you just wanted the extra credit for showing up in church presentably. That’s how immersive Church Discipline is, I felt like I was back at church. I’m still not sure if I should lodge a complaint or compliment with the ZJU management over such an experience… In all seriousness Brandon did a great job surrounding and pulling the audience into his odd congregation.

I’m not one for church going, but I’d attend services at ZJU if only to see the other non members squirm a bit. Church Discipline isn’t just in your face, at times it’s in your pew with you, unsettlingly close at times. Pushing past that ick barrier I took up the collection goblet, as did many of the other guests at ZJU that eve. That’s a powerful spell convincing nearly an entire audience to at least hold a goblet of spit, if not donate themselves. ZJU is like that though; even folks attending a show for the first time are swept up into the atmosphere. It’s alwayse an experience when you attend a performance at ZJU, there is a vitality in the energy coming off the performers gracing the stage at ZJU; sit those performers next to the audience & bring the stage up into the personal zones of the attendees. Perfect for keeping an audience on edge, for good & ill.

For the first time I can say I was sad to miss the start of church and pre sermon socializing, apparently all the good boys and girls who showed up on time were able to confess a recent sin upon small pieces of paper. A few of sins were read aloud by Pastor Luke (Brandon); looking round wondering what would happen next, I noticed several heads on swivel. Again, Brandon recreates that slightly oppressive in everyone’s business atmosphere, among an audience of strangers no less. Asking for someone to come forward, assuring none would judge, the sinner stepped forward. ZJU weaves it’s magic here, and Lola (Emily Charouhas) spins an audience members sin into her own. A dalliance with two men in a week becomes something far darker, and fully excusable it seems. In a head tilting way the odd congregation takes a weirder turn; which of course leads to the Devil, a Prophetess, a cross dresser and perhaps angels. Like I said, it’s an odd congregation, and one I’d visit again.

I will of course, another guise, story line, universe Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre might not be an actual congregation, but it’s good theatre, and that’s good for the soul.

 

Church Dicipline ran from Feb 12 – April 9th at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre in North Hollywood.

Visit www.zombiejoes.com for more information of future shows.

From → Reviews

One Comment
  1. The review lives on in the history pages of ZJU History… http://www.zombiejoes.com/ChurchDiscipline.html The Kernel ZJU Historian

    From: The _ Detective To: zombiejoes@yahoo.com Sent: Friday, April 28, 2017 9:04 PM Subject: [New post] Coming home to hell #yiv0516334301 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv0516334301 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv0516334301 a.yiv0516334301primaryactionlink:link, #yiv0516334301 a.yiv0516334301primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv0516334301 a.yiv0516334301primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv0516334301 a.yiv0516334301primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv0516334301 WordPress.com | guedenimbo posted: “Walking in five minutes late I thought I’d messed up and stumbled into a revival meeting; five minutes later I was wondering when the snakes were going to come out, I couldn’t wait! That’s Pastor Luke (Brandon Slexak) for you, someone in his congregation ” | |

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