The members of Matt Kramer’s comedy troupe, Defiance Comedy, tend not to take things too seriously. They do not produce plays, or even sketches; they put on entire seasons of situation comedies live at the White Rabbit.
Interestingly, the “pilot” episode of Jesus Is My Roomie, presented Feb. 11, was a rerun; the show was first, um, performed before a live studio audience in 2012. Being live theatre, there were some changes, both in terms of script and casting. And the good people at Defiance Comedy don’t give a hoot if they go off book occasionally. At one point, the plot took a brief vacation while the two leads spent a minute coping with Justin Timberlake’s resuscitation of sexy. It was hilarious. I honestly think I angered a fellow patron by laughing too much.
Yes, the premise is exactly as it would seem: Zack Joyce plays a hapless everyman who discovers he is sharing rooms with none other than Christ, Himself. Before heading up to Fountain Square for the evening, I enjoyed a lovely dinner with my mom; she asked what I was reviewing. “Jesus Is My Roomie,” replied I. “Is it sacrilegious?” asked Mom. “I don’t know,” was my answer. Now here’s the fun part — it wasn’t.
The contemporary comedic atmosphere would allow for cheap jokes skewering Christianity; it was quite pleasant to see the humor delivered in such a fresh, even positive perspective. I know of a local friar I think would truly enjoy this show — one would have to be a total nut not to love the way in which Jesus was portrayed.
And guess who played Jesus? That’s right, Corey Jefferson (whose day job, appropriately, is advocating for the downtrodden). Imagine Chris Pratt in a bathrobe having a pizza. That’s the cozy, amicable image presented of our Savior. His avenging angel, played by the notable Rob Johansen, was equally lovable in his complete misunderstanding of contemporary life (and of pizza). And just as charming was Luke McConnell as pizzaman Milosch, a Russian émigré with dreams of action hero stardom.