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Friday, March 18, 2011

Corpus Christi

Tonight @ Milwaukee Gay Arts Center, 8 p.m.

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Terrence McNally's controversial 1998 play Corpus Christi updates the story of Jesus, depicting the Christian savior as a beleaguered gay man in modern Texas. James A. Skiba holds a peaceful kind of charisma about him in the role of Jesus—referred to in the script as Joshua—which he plays with a simple charisma that has the distinct feel of Jimmy Stewart in an old Frank Capra film. Skiba has an idealized nice-guy charm that it would be very difficult not to empathize with. The rest of the cast has a similarly easy chemistry, with Michael Endter, Mark Neufang and Jeffrey Berens providing some of the more outstanding moments in the periphery of the plot, but it's the dynamic between Jesus and Judas, of course, that carries the bulk of the play.