Here’s my review from the Vancouver Sun, with a really nice picture:
By Peter Birnie
JESUS IN MONTANA
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.”
And from THE PROVINCE:
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.