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The Christians

September 1, 2015
At The Playwrights-Horizons’ Mainstage-Theatre:

Lucas Hnath’s THE CHRISTIANS [*****]

Charismatic-Evangelical-Minister Dismays Mega-Church-Members: New-Readings of Old-Texts!

If you miss those Great-Days of Billy Graham’s Crusades-for-Christ, you can salvage some Troubling-Leftovers in The Christians.

If, however, you—like so many Evangelicals—believe that Every Word in the Holy-Bible Is the Revealed-Word-of-God, then you, Pastor-Paul, his Sunday-School-Supervisor-Wife, & his Entire-Congregation are in Serious-Trouble.

This Wonderful-Sunday-Morning—after the Mega-Church’s Mini-Choir has sung some Rousing-Anthems, including Amazing-Grace—the Strangely-Troubled Pastor-Paul drops a Metaphoric-Bombshell: He No Longer Believes in Hell!

Well, you can Just-Imagine!

All Hell Breaks Loose, metaphorically-speaking…

What is the Point of getting-up-early & going to a Christian-Mega-Church, if all those really Wicked-Sinners who do not go to hear Paul’s Rousing-Sermons are Not-Going-to-Hell, after all?

In Evangelical-Protestant-Christianity, there has to be some Pay-Off for spending all those Sundays in the Pews when you could have been Outside, Having-Fun!

Playwright Hnath—how does he pronounce or articulate that HN-Sound?—has Struck-a-Raw-Nerve, at least for True-Believers who Do-Not-Believe that the Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Episcopalians, Unitarians, & Christian-Scientists have Got-It-Right.

What many Ultra-Rightist-Conservative-Christians do not understand is that Bible-Books Lose-a-Lot in Translation…

Although we did not have an Electronic-Yamaha-Organ, Hnath’s The Christians took me back some Seventy-Years, to Grass Valley, California, where Our-Congregation dismissed the New-Minister because he was preaching Love-&-Forgiveness, instead of Hellfire-&-Damnation.

When Times are Bad—when Nothing seems to be Going-Right—it’s always Cheering to realize that You are Going-To-Heaven, whereas those People you do not like are Going-To-The-Other-Place, to Burn-Forever-&-Ever, Amen!

Of course, Catholics don’t get-off so Easy, as they have first to Pass-Through-Purgatory.

But that’s something that Real-Christians do not Believe, so they do not have to endure the Purgatorial-Flames.

Andrew Garman was excellent as the Baffled-Pastor, with Emily Donahoe as his Blind-Sided-Wife: How could he have Not-Told-Her that there was No-Hell?

Les Waters staged ingeniously, having the Principles filter all their Comments-&-Conversations through Hand-Held-Microphones.

This was essentially—though on Smaller-Scale—the same production of The Christians that I’d seen down at Actors-Theatre-of-Louisville, at the Humana-Festival.

Good Thing that Manhattan has been spared Mega-Churches.

We have Mega-Condominiums instead!

We believe in Shareholder-Value, not Salvation…

Copyright 2015 Glenn M. Loney


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