Friday, January 18, 2008

New Convert to the CHURCH of Young Jean Lee

Saw and loved Young Jean Lee's Church last night at the Public Theater's Under the Radar series.

This interesting play starts with a long sermon, delivered in the darkness, that brilliantly dissects modern unhappiness. It is social commentary with almost mathematical purity and insightfulness. From there we enter into a bizarre church service that is at times heartfelt and full of genuine joy and spiritual connection, and also occasionally a snarky, aggressive indictment of pretentious righteousness.

The genius of the piece is that you never quite know how you are supposed to react. There are a few clear moments where you are obviously expected to laugh at the church pastors, but then there are also moments they make you desperately want to believe, join in, and evangelize. So you end up with a multi-layered experience. You feel partly superior and partly astonished.

The writing throughout is lovely, with an emphasis on self-editor free story monologues that were very evokative of the church experience. Hope some of you can catch it if you haven't seen it already.

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