Friday, December 19, 2014

Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy)

He's not really the messiah. His mom is Mandy, not Mary. She's certainly not a virgin. For that matter, neither is he. Well, you know the story.

It's Monty Python's Life of Brian, only now it's an oratorio, called Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy). It's written by Eric Idle with Pythonian flair and composed by John Du Prez in a variety of styles (e.g., pop, Broadway, folk, etc.), all delightfully ear-friendly. Ted Sperling does a fabulous job conducting and directing, using the Collegiate Chorale and Orchestra of St. Luke's to their fullest, as they don hard hats, comment on the action, argue really well, and make a truly joyful noise.

Eric Idle, Victoria Clark, William Ferguson, Laura Worsham
with the Orchestra of St Luke's and the Collegiate Chorale,
conducted by Ted Sperling
Photo: Erin Baiano

If you're a Life of Brian fan, you'll probably have complaints here and there. For example, my sister assures me that "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" is much funnier when the singer is being crucified. I get that!

I've never seen Life of Brian, and I'm not a huge Monty Python fan, but I had a great time. The silliness was pretty much nonstop, and the cast was fabulous: the glorious Victoria Clark (she should have had a lot more to sing!), the lovely Lauren Worsham, the hysterical Marc Kudish, and, as Brian, the wonderful and adorable William Ferguson. And Eric Idle's version of Bob Dylan is even better than Bob Dylan's version of Bob Dylan.

Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) would seem to be a natural to come back each year at Messiah-time.

(press ticket; row T orchestra first act; second row orchestra second act)

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