Virtual Theater Review: JUDGMENT DAY (Barrington Stage)

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by Tony Frankel on July 18, 2021

in Theater-Regional,Virtual

JUDGE FOR YOURSELF

Go figure. Just as I declared, “No More ZOOM plays,” along comes the wittiest — no — most hilarious play I’ve seen since COVID shut down live performances. No, before that. I tuned in because of the amazing cast members, each of whom turned in an amazing performance, but found the play as whip-smart and relevant as they come. Jason Alexander, Patti LuPone, Santino Fontana and Michael McKean all give highly theatrical and, when necessary, highly understated performances, but the entire ensemble thrives under Matthew Penn‘s wry direction. The cast also features Loretta Devine, Josh Johnston, Bianca LaVerne Jones, Julian Emile Lerner, Justina Machado, Carol Mansell, Michael Mastro and Elizabeth Stanley.

The release says it best: In Rob Ulin‘s Judgment Day, Sammy Campo, a deeply corrupt, morally bankrupt lawyer (Alexander), has a near-death experience in which he encounters a terrifying angel (LuPone) who threatens him with eternal damnation. In a desperate attempt to redeem himself, Sammy teams with a Catholic priest (Fontana), who is having his own crisis of faith as he struggles against Church authority (a monsignor played by McKean). Together Sammy and the priest debate the timeless questions of Western philosophy – “morality,” “faith,” and “Are people any damn good?” – as they form an unlikely bond in this irreverent comedy.

This is a special encore presentation from the great Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA, which presented this 83-minute virtual reading last August. Judgment Day will only stream from July 26 thru August 1, 2021, and tix are only $11.99 — an absolute steal (not to mention the sales benefit an amazing company). Tickets are available at stellartickets. And if you purchase before July 26 with the code “EARLY” you’ll get a $4 discount. Tell your friends.

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