So Help You God: LAByrinth Swears in Off-Broadway with The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

News   So Help You God: LAByrinth Swears in Off-Broadway with The Last Days of Judas Iscariot The Last Days of Judas Iscariot are played out in court when the world premiere Stephen Adly Guirgis play directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman opens Off-Broadway, March 2.

Previews began at The Public Theater’s Martinson Hall Feb. 8 for the new LAByrinth Theatre Company staging presented in collaboration with The Public Theater. Sam Rockwell and Eric Bogosian star in the debut which has already extended through April 3.

The Last Days follows a story—set mainly in a near-Purgatory courtroom—in which a lawyer appeals the case of God and the Kingdom of Heaven vs. Judas Iscariot. Saint Monica, Mother Teresa, Mary Magdalene, Caiaphas the Elder, Simon the Zealot and even Sigmund Freud offer their testimony in the seriocomic work which "re-examines the plight and fate" of the infamous Biblical betrayer.

Rockwell ("Confessions of a Dangerous Mind") portrays the titular apostle opposite Bogosian (Talk Radio) who plays the Devil. Dracula's Stephen McKinley Henderson is also featured as Pontious Pilate with Living Out actress Liza Colón-Zayas and LAB co-artistic director Anna in the Tropics star John Ortiz — who portrays Jesus.

The ensemble cast also includes Jeffrey DeMunn (K2, "The Green Mile"), Yetta Gottesman (Where's My Money?), Craig "muMs" Grant ("Oz," "Everyday People"), Sal Inzerillo (Dutch Heart of Man), Adrian Martinez ("In America"), Deborah Rush (The Sisters Rosensweig, Noises Off), Elizabeth Rodriguez (Robbers), Kohl Sudduth (Take Me Out), Callie Thorne ("Sidewalks of New York") and Yul Vazquez (The Stendhal Syndrome, "Seinfeld").

The design team for The Last Days of Judas Iscariot features Andromache Chalfant (scenic), Mimi O'Donnell (costumes), Japhy Weideman (lighting) and Darron West (sound). Longtime LAByrinth patriot Guirgis also penned Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train; In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings and Our Lady of 121st Street, all directed by Hoffman for the Off-Broadway troupe.

Hoffman is best known as a stage and film actor ("Boogie Nights" and True West among his popular portrayals). He was nominated for his turn on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning revival of Long Day's Journey Into Night. Hoffman serves as co-artistic director of LAByrinth Theater Company with actor Ortiz.

Tickets for The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at The Public, 425 Lafayette Street, are available by calling (212) 239-6200. For more information on LAByrinth Theater Company, visit www.labtheater.org.

Sam Rockwell (left) as Judas Iscariot and John Ortiz as Jesus of Nazareth in <i>The Last Days of Judas Iscariot</i>
Sam Rockwell (left) as Judas Iscariot and John Ortiz as Jesus of Nazareth in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot Photo by Carol Rosegg