On Stage

Mary and Joseph

Oh little town of Bellingham



WHAT: Mary and Joseph…A Bible Story
WHEN: 7:30pm Thurs.-Sun., Dec. 18-21
WHERE: iDiOM Theater, 1418 Cornwall Ave.
COST: Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door
INFO: http://www.idiom theater.com

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Immaculate conception is pretty cool—unless you don’t believe in God, have never wanted to give birth to a baby, and have a sweet-but-stoned fiance who’d rather take bong hits on the floor with you than shop for furniture for your shared apartment.

Such is the case with Tim Greger’s Mary and Joseph…A Bible Story currently playing at the iDiOM Theater.

But, despite the reticence of the titular couple to embark on their own Christmas miracle, don’t go thinking that this modern-day take on one of the oldest stories around lacks the warm-and-fuzzy elements that make for prime holiday viewing.

In fact, it’s Mary and Joe’s initial unwillingness to enter into a truly sacred act—housing a second savior in a human womb—that makes the story that much more appealing. The fact that the big “G” has picked a couple of dope-smoking atheists to bring his son into the world makes for compelling viewing, and the capable cast brings the story to hilarious, sometimes heartwarming, life.

Mary is played with wondrous capability by Jessica Young, who returned to Bellingham from Los Angeles to reprise the role she first took on after Greger created the play during iDiOM’s 2013 Serial Killers competition (which, it’s worth mentioning, he won). The chemistry she shares with Greger—who played Joseph during the first go-round, and does so again during this full-length production—is both playful and passionate.

“Jessica returning was almost never even a question,” Greger told me after Friday night’s performance. “She just sort of never stopped being Mary. When I asked her to do the show again, it was almost like she thought it was a ridiculous question. From the get-go we were all excited to do it again, and do it better.”

Having seen a few of the Mary and Joseph episodes during last year’s theatrical battle, I’d agree that viewing it as a singular, cohesive production was immensely satisfying.

And, while Young and Greger once again nail it as a couple who slowly come to realize that God isn’t exactly who they thought he was (and that a vasectomy means nothing when it comes to his supreme will), I’d be remiss if I didn’t give props to the rest of the cast, as well.

Trevor van Houten, for example, wears his wings with authority as the angel Gabriel, who says things like “No one has sex with God—not even God,” waxes poetic about how effing wonderful Heaven is and, at one point, even drives a car. He’s funny, sure, but he’s also sincere, and that counts for a lot when you’re helping facilitate a miracle.

Joan Prinz and Peter Crandell take interesting turns as psychiatrists delving into Mary’s “delusions,” and, after Mary’s committed, patients Robin Corsberg (“It’s Magi, not Maggie”) and Cecilee Beck (Anna) help Mary see that her life is on the right track, after all. Finally, as a dope-dealing son of a preacher named Reggie, Christopher Coombs gives a mesmerizing and unforgettable monologue about the seven days of creation that had me wishing I could hit the “rewind” button.

While you probably won’t want to bring the kids along to this production—F-bombs are rampant, and there’s the marijuana consumption to consider—I feel comfortable recommending Mary and Joseph…A Bible Story to atheists, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and everyone in between.

Greger agrees. “I’m very pleased with the final result,” he says. “The adaptation was a crazy, long, meticulous process, and I spent a lot of time working very hard to make it all seem effortless. I think that with a (partially) new and (totally) improved script, my cast and I have been able to create the type of show we’d love to go see.”

More On Stage...
Legally Blonde
Powerful in pink

When I was in first grade, one of my teachers placed me with a group of remedial readers despite the fact that I was already powering through Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books and could make my way through most encyclopedia entries—something my mother pointed out…

more »
Puppet Play
Some strings attached

Following a recent viewing of the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, I was reminded of how closely connected beloved PBS television host Fred Rogers was to his puppets—specifically, Daniel Striped Tiger, the soft-spoken resident of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe who came to life in…

more »
Playwright Spotlight
Two actors, one foot

By the time Lojo Simon’s One Foot opens March 14 at the Sylvia Center for the Arts, iDiOM Theater’s Dyo Festival—a five-week celebration of plays and stories for two performers—will be in full swing. We caught up with the playwright to find out what makes her tick. She’ll be in…

more »
Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest

8:00am|Whatcom County

La Conner Daffodil Festival

10:00am|La Conner and the Skagit Valley

Essence of Bellingham Photo Competition


Skagit Beer Week

11:00am|Skagit Valley

Artist Workshop

6:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Dig Into Spring

6:00pm|Mount Vernon City Library

Bellingham Reads

6:30pm|Bellingham Public Library

Avian Research

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Poetry Trio

7:00pm|Village Books

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Books and Brews

7:00pm|Village Books

Trove Web
Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest

8:00am|Whatcom County

La Conner Daffodil Festival

10:00am|La Conner and the Skagit Valley

Essence of Bellingham Photo Competition


Skagit Beer Week

11:00am|Skagit Valley

City Club Meeting

11:30am|Northwood Hall

Nonprofit Brown Bag

11:30am|St. Luke's Health Education Center

Hidden in Plain Sight

4:00pm|Mt. Baker High School

Dahlias Discussion

4:00pm|Blaine Library

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Fellowship of Fire

6:30pm|Everson Library

Art Talk with Wade Marlow

7:00pm|Dakota Gallery

Jared Hall Quartet

7:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Foghorn Stringband

7:00pm|YWCA Ballroom

Village Books Bos2
Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest

8:00am|Whatcom County

La Conner Daffodil Festival

10:00am|La Conner and the Skagit Valley

Skagit Beer Week

11:00am|Skagit Valley

Essence of Bellingham Photo Competition


Smart Business Summit

12:00pm|Pioneer Park Pavilion

English Country Dancing

1:30pm|Bellingham Senior Activity Center

Exploring Equity

2:00pm|Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center

Happy Hour Thursdays

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Walk on the Wild Side Series

5:30pm|Firehouse Arts & Events Center

Monthly Wine Tasting

5:30pm|Old World Deli

Time Capsule Reception

6:00pm|Skagit County Historical Museum

Pub Run

6:00pm|BBay Running


6:00pm|Ciao Thyme

Check out WA Discover Pass Backpack Program

6:30pm|Mount Vernon City Library

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

House Concert with Carolyn Cruso

7:30pm|Chuckanut Center

Dyo Festival Finale

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Good, Bad, Ugly

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

see our complete calendar »

The Hunts Bos2 Trove Web Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Village Books