Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Great staging & acting, Clever, Ambitious See it if You know the Judas tale well & can deal with a 3 hour meditation on the consequences of love, choice & despair. Solid Act I, unfocused Act II.
Don't see it if You neither care or know of Judas & Christ, or want clear resolutions to either the plot or arguments raised in this ingeniously framed drama.
Adly Guirgis has obviously done his biblical & historical homework, and as well knows his way around the afterlife. Set in an overworked Purgatorial courtroom, The Last Days takes up the case of Judas Iscariot: was his betrayal of Christ choice, chance, foreordained, or the inevitable result of a dehumanizing despair?
As Defense attorney & Prosecutor, DiDonna & Grimaldi are terrific, each methodically building their cases, calling witnesses across history, from Reynold's energetic & down St. Monica, Gantt's imposing Pontius Pilate & Molina's scarily charming Satan.
The writing is serious, funny, deft & moves surprisingly quickly, Estelle Parson's direction both tight & spare. With the cast very free, game & giving, Act I flies by. After its gospel/rap opening, however, Act II stalls, veers off into DiDonna's upsetting relationship with Satan and ends with an out-of-place, out-of-narrative, way-long perhaps improvised monologue that never resolves the play, its action or narrative. Lots of good here but needs work