Wisdom Tooth Theatre Project
's The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
has just about everything going for it. It's a brilliant play that's not often produced. The cast is made up of some of the strongest talent in town, and not a single actor disappoints.
Ryan Ruckman carries much of the dramatic weight, effortlessly morphing into his various characters, and fully devoting himself to each one. His primary role as the brutally funny Judge Littlefield is particularly telling of his abilities, requiring him to twist his young, amicable face into a John McLaughlin-esque grimace for the majority of the play.
David Fuller’s haunting performance as Saint Thomas is gentle, sweet and honest. Of course, his turn as Sigmund Freud is also fantastic, but I fear I’m also terribly biased toward German (I know, Austrian) accents.
Adam Tran as Pontius Pilate is practically a study in character movement. Affecting the characteristics one would find in a self-absorbed gang leader, he is cocky, confident and sickeningly sexual. Even his occasional sniff is conceited. As he swaggers about the stage, he affects that contemporary boorish trait of almost continuously hovering his hands over his crotch — he has quite deliberately made himself despicable.
But if I had to pick one performance that was sincerely singular, it would have to be Matt Roland’s take on Satan. Roland is an expert at plumbing the quirky depths of oddballs and misfits, and his Lord of Darkness is no exception. His performance is unexpected but absolutely correct. He is not “evil”; if anything, he is mildly bothered by the play’s proceedings, but always tactful and almost always sedate.
I'd be remiss to ignore Erin Bowser’s exquisite, ever-shifting and mood-heightening lighting; it is, indeed, as she put it, “pretty cool.” Sadly, no one else took advantage of a talkback session following last Saturday's show, so I enjoyed a little personal tête-à-tête with director Bill Wilkison
. I hope the audience won't miss the opportunity next Saturday.