A Jesuit Off-Broadway: Center Stage with Jesus, Judas, and Life’s Big Questions

James Martin, Author . Loyola $22.95 (252p) ISBN 978-0-8294-2582-6

Martin, an author and Jesuit priest, lifts the curtain on theater life in this account of his experiences as theological adviser to an off-Broadway play, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot . It was the role of a lifetime for Martin, who had access to all the players involved in the production from the first readings to the play’s five-week run in 2005. Although the play, which deals with the fate of the disciple who betrayed Christ, is compelling in and of itself, the way Martin combines the story line with historical detail and conversations with the actors, playwright and director is utterly captivating. Martin takes readers inside the play and into the minds of the key players, showing everything from glimpses into their spiritual lives to their reactions to the mixed reviews the play received. As a writer, editor and parish priest, Martin was obviously stage-struck by his encounter with the theater. But his transparency is sweet and refreshing, particularly when he talks about the ways in which the play affected him spiritually. His ability to translate and dissect the gospel story of Judas for a troupe of thespians echoes through his writing, making this a book that is bound to draw applause from a diverse audience. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/09/2007
Release date: 09/01/2007
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