"You are surrounded by absurdity and the yawning abyss of Mickey Mouse's face. Reach up into his fascist eyes, and steal from that black smile, your Godsighting."
Mickey Mouse, Consumer Narcosis and the internet are not the usual fare for preachers, but "The Church of Billy" is no ordinary house of worship. Bill Talen returns to his pulpit once again in the latest incarnation of h is Reverend Billy character in I Was a Tourist in the New Times Square , playing at HERE (145 Spring St.), Oct. 23 -Nov. 8.
The Reverend Billy continues to preach his motto: "We believe in a God that people who don't believe in God believe in," as well as the credo that "Mickey Mouse is the Anti-Christ" in his latest, which was developed while preaching the summer away in Times Square -- across from the Disney Store.
The play's title refers to the day the Reverend "experienced defilement" after boldly making his way through the hellmouth of Disney in order to purchase a turquoise plastic Minnie Mouse dressed as the Statue of Liberty. The Reverend urges us to fight the "mousy hello that sweeps down Broadway".
Talen's preacher gained a cult following through a public access television show, eventually leading to a Web radio show ( The Church of Billy's Website) and live performances, in New York's Times Square. Web surfers are urged to email their own private "Godsightings" and personal theologies to the Reverend at Revbilly.com. The Church of Billy runs Oct. 23 - Nov. 8 at HERE (145 Spring Street), for more information or reservations call (212) 647-0202.
-- By Sean McGrath