This is the part where I am telling you what to do. If you are in or near Vancouver, go see Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train at Pacific Theatre. It runs from tonight until April 2nd. You can book your tickets online here. I can wait.
Now, maybe you are asking yourself why you should see this show. Well I will tell you. I will, in fact, give you TEN REASONS. But first, I must confess two things to you: first of all, it is produced by Glass City Theatre, the company that I co-founded (but am no longer with) and secondly, I’ve spent the last week in the theatre with them assisting with sound.
Here are the reasons you should see the show:
#1 – Stephen Adly Guirgis, playwright. This man is brilliant. I loved The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, and I love the script of ‘A’ Train as well.
#2 – Angela Konrad, director. If you saw Grace at Pacific Theatre a couple of seasons back, she won the Jessie for directing that, and this is of that same calibre.
#3 – Itai Erdal, Set & Lighting designer. There’s a reason Itai has a reputation as one of the best designers in town, and this show is no exception. It is stunning to look at.
#4 – Sabrina Evertt, Costume designer. More likely you know Sabrina as the artistic director of 20 Something Theatre, but she is also an incredibly talented costume designer. This show just proves it.
Rob Olguin as Angel Cruz. Photo by Itai Erdal.
#5 – #9 – Rob Olguin, Andrew McNee, Carl Kennedy, Kerri Norris, & Evan Frayne: The Cast. I have watched this show approximately 10 times in the past week. And last night at the preview I was floored once again by this cast. They are talented, they are smart, and they give such life to their characters.
#10 – I’m not the only one who thinks it’s fantastic. Check out what people are saying about the show:
“Jesus Hopped the A Train” and so should you. An amazing show from @PacificTheatre featuring a sublimely talented cast. Go see it. – @tarakjpratt on twitter
GREAT SHOW!!! – Stefano Giulianetti on Facebook
“Ok – honestly – I’ve been waiting all season for the opening of Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train and after just sitting on the dress rehearsal I’m just that much more excited for Friday. I don’t know if I’ve ever been this proud to work for Pacific Theatre!” – Alison Chisholm on Facebook
“I saw the production ‘Jesus Hopped the A Train’ last night at Pacific Theatre. It was one of the most powerful pieces of theatre I have seen in this city in quite some time. Thought provoking and packed full of talent. Sound, Lights, everything came together to make this a fantastic production. Thank you!!” – Susan Currie on www.glasscitytheatre.com
“This is a great show. Script. Acting. Directing. Thought provoking. Gut wrenching. Vancouver is on a good run of theatre lately.” – Mike Wasko on Facebook
“Just saw Jesus Hopped The A Train …… Fuckin’ A! Go see it. Crime, crack, redemption(?), and multiple murder…. What’s not to love.” – Maria Denholm on Facebook
“amazing show. one of the best I’ve seen.” – Glynis Thorp on Facebook
“Hop on. Right now because you only have until April 2. And yes, they swear. Get over it; if it was a movie you would. What do I need to understand about a convicted murderer, prison and despair? That is not remotely relevant to my life. But then again, we’re all made of the same human stuff, aren’t we?” – Kimberly Dawn on facebook
“This production of Jesus Hopped the “A” Train contains some of the most exquisite acting you’re ever going to see….Robert Olguin plays Angel with the subtlety and authenticity of a gifted screen performer; not to get hyperbolic or anything, but watching him is a bit like watching Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon. Olguin’s performance never shows off or explains; his character simply reacts in the ways he does because of who he is and what’s happening to him. And Carl Kennedy’s Lucius is a mind-blower: witty, savvy, terrified, charming…As written, Valdez is a bit of a cartoon, but actor Andrew McNee shades it in with gleeful menace. Kerri Norris’s Mary Jane is a persuasive combination of competence and disintegration. And Evan Frayne nails the smallest role in the play, a guard named D’Amico, providing some of the most moving moments of the evening. Itai Erdal provides subtle lighting as well as a stunner of a minimalist set. The excellent, grinding sound design is by Joel Stephanson. Director Angela Konrad is the woman who pulled it all together. And this production marks the mainstage debut of Glass City Theatre. Now there’s an entrance.” – Colin Thomas, Georgia Straight
“For a thought provoking, gut wrenching, tear inducing drama that has plenty of laughs check out this new company and revel in the talent and be carried away by the story of Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train.” – David C. Jones, OutTV
“Both Kennedy and Olguin are spectacular here although I was simply mesmerized by Olguin’s portrayal of the street-wise Latino. From the opening scene where Angel struggles to remember the Lord’s Prayer, to his attempt at the end with Hail Mary, Olguin hits each note of his character with such precision, that by the end of the show I too was in tears….Director Angela Konrad has orchestrated a cast and technical crew for a show that is near perfect. Gritty, raw and thought-provoking, Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train is why I go to the theatre. If you see only one show this year, this should be it.” – Mark Robins, GayVancouver.net