Vancouver Reviews Are In…

Here’s my review from the Vancouver Sun, with a really nice picture:

Faith meets PowerPoint in a weird trip: A charming and clever play follows the writer’s complicated relationship with Christian fundamentalism
Tuesday, September 12, 2006

By Peter Birnie
Waterfront Theatre

Barry Smith grew up in Mississippi, bathed in the waters of Southern Baptist fervour. In a beautifully detailed dissection of his journey through Christianity, Smith presents a PowerPoint lecture like no other.

Forget the way this dubious device is misused at so many boring business meetings — Smith and his director, Lynn Aliya, create a seamless PowerPoint flow for the screen standing next to Smith, mixing bits of video with photos, subtitles and plenty of pages from The Bible.

Add the actor’s strong sense of showmanship and a gift for deadpan, and all that’s needed is a solid premise. Smith’s is brilliant — that no matter how many times he has tried to flee his fundamentalist roots, they just keep tripping him up. From the “Paul is dead” prophecy surrounding The Beatles to his own bizarre dealings with a Montana cult obsessed with what else but the Book of Revelations, Smith’s wanderings all over modern America are charmingly weird.

With hints of George Carlin and even Hunter S. Thompson (I wonder if Smith’s friend “attorney Dave” is Samoan), Jesus in Montana is a clever and endearing plea for, as Smith says, “a world that works.”


Jesus in Montana
Stage 4, Waterfront

Another very smart, funny show about our nutty world. Barry Smith explains how he grew up fundamentalist in Mississippi, lost his faith, re-embraced it in adulthood by joining a Montana cult led by a retired chiropractor claiming to be Jesus, then lost it again. The theatrical zing comes from Smith’s fabulous use of powerpoint — from home movies to Bah’ai history to a deconstruction of Beatles’ iconography. Think Bill Cosby’s “Noah” routine as performed by Michael Moore.


OK, internet access is iffy at the moment. I still have 3 more shows, one of them at 10:30 tonight. More pictures and stuff tomorrow.

3 responses to “Vancouver Reviews Are In…

  1. Hi,

    I came across some of your publicity and have written a little about you on my blog, I wonder if you could answer some questions for me and my readers. Please feel free to give an introduction to yourself, maybe some of your publicity material. My readers are mostly in Ontario and I notice that you are coming to the fringe festival in Toronto this summer.

    Are you a Baha’i?
    Where do you live, in Canada?
    How do you work such wonders with Powerpoint? I find it clumsy. Do you have the help of a visual artist?
    I am afraid that I do not even know what a fringe festival is, what is it?

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