Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train, by Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, is at the Signature Theatre October 3 – November 12, 2017.
A Pulitzer-Prize Winning Playwright
American playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis gets New York City. He won a 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Between Riverside and Crazy. Of course, that is Riverside Drive on Manhattan’s Upper West Side which happens to be served by the A train.
This is a new production directed by Obie Award-winner Mark Brokaw.
A Timely Story
Theater productions take a long time to put together, but great art often hits at the most timely moment.
Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train is the story of Angel Cruz, a young Puerto Rican bike messenger who lands himself in the notorious Rikers Island jail for shooting a minister in the butt. Too bad for Angel that the minister died during surgery so now Angel is up for murder.
In Rikers, Angel meets Lucius, a hard core serial killer who is born again. Their talks in the exercise yard lead Angel thinking into another direction.
The bad guys aren’t always the ones you expect. Angel has to figure out how to deal with the mean guard Valdez and his public defender Mary Jane.
The play premiered Off-Broadway to critical acclaim in 2000. For its 2002 London run, it was nominated for an Olivier Award for “Best New Play.”
The play is being staged at an interesting moment while America tries to make up its mind whether putting entire communities in jail is a good idea or just bad.
A Great Latin Cast
The cast is made up of some strong acting talent.
Edi Gathegi is known for X-Men: First Class (2011), Gone Baby Gone (2007), and Criminal Activities (2015). Cathegi is Kenyan.
Ricardo Chavira is known for his work in Desperate Housewives, Piranha 3D, and Scandal. Chavira is Mexican-American.
Erick Betancourt is known for 11:55, Missing William, and Excuse Me Lisbon. Betancourt is Puerto Rican.
Stephanie DiMaggio is known for Generation Um, Person of Interest, and The Good Wife. DiMaggio is Italian-American.
Victor Rasuk is known for Fifty Shades of Grey, Godzilla, and Raising Victor Vargas. Rasuk is a Dominican-American New Yorker.
There is some Latin talent behind the scenes too. Scenic designer Ricardo Hernandez was born in Cuba and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The show generally runs Tuesday – Sunday with Saturday and Sunday matinees. It is dark, Tuesday, October 24.
The cast will do audience talkbacks after the show on October 12 & 17, and November 7 & 9.