|Mom and Dad, good sports throughout everything.|
I took my mom and dad to NAU Theatre's "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" on Saturday night. At dinner, I tried to prepare them at by telling them that it was a racy enactment of a court-room trial for Judas Iscariot. But as soon as the play started, I realized I hadn't done my job very well at all.
My mom and dad are kind of conservative Lutherans. So, when an actor dropped the f-bomb in the first line of the play, I could feel my mom stiffen up beside me. It went from bad to worse during the litany by Saint Monica, where she drops "mo-fo" like a conversation filler. I could see mum giving it a mental thumbs-down in her G-rated internal world. It was kind of hard to enjoy the play when Moms was so disturbed.
On the other side of me, Dad couldn't hear anything (he wears a hearing aid--I have to speak real loud.) So I had to re-speak every other line, after the actors. I think my favorite part was when I had to re-say Prosecution Attorney El-Fayoumy's line "That woman makes my organs quiver." Real loud. (Seriously, if that line doesn't make you want to see the play, I don't know what will.)
It was kind of funny, in a comedy-tragedy sort of way.
At intermission, I was ready to hear my mom say that she wanted to leave. But she didn't! She stuck it out-- she wanted to see what Jesus would do. (WWJD?)
My dad laughed a lot after I told him what everyone was saying. My mom started to relax a little, especially when Jesus started to speak. It turned out that their boundaries were pushed open in a really positive way.
NAU Theatre has really been pushing the bar, in their ever-tasteful/win-you-over kind of way. "Judas" is fresh on the heels of their summer Town and Gown production, "Psychopathia Sexualis," (all about a sock fetish) and then "Equus" (with onstage nudity) earlier this academic year. For their efforts, they were nominated for a Viola Award in Performing Arts this year. ("Equus" also received the ever-prestigious Flag Live Editor's Choice 2010 award for "Best challenging theatrical production".)
I think you should definitely go see the play before it ends, be prepared to be challenged, and come away with a new perspective.
And my parents...well, I'm glad I took the them, but hoo-boy. It might take them awhile to recover, but I think they'll be okay.