Halloween night of the Here Be Monsters’ Carnival of the Arts, included several short, strange theatre performances, starting with Jesus Christ: The Lost Years. Written by Ryan Gladstone, Bruce Horak and Katherine Sanders, and performed by Ryan and Kate on the bare stage, the play presents a hilarious and not implausible “gospel” of the transformation of Jesus, the carpenter’s son, into Jesus, the Christ, exploring the idea of identity—self-discovery, split personalities, identity theft—through Jesus’ quest to identify his “real” father, and through the performance itself. The two actors shared the portrayal of Jesus as well as playing the other characters, including Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist, Elvis and the three wise men—with a versatility and energy that contributed to a unique and very funny show.
The audience had about an hour to peruse the venue before we gathered in the bar for the next performance, an interpretation of Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell by Screaming Flea. We were led outside to a gated courtyard, where we encountered the sound of furious scrubbing, a male voice growling a litany of “I hate” proclamations, and an unsteady woman in a hot pink jacket and pants at half mast, all of which turned out to be part of the show. We re-entered the venue at another entrance, with two other disguised performers joining us, and then the descent truly began—absinthe-convulsing, incense-swinging, ranting, chanting, screaming, whispering. When it was over, I felt too disoriented and disturbed to stay for the other shows, so instead I walked the cold streets at midnight, feeling more at peace.