Everyone knows the name Jesus. There are many literary pieces about him and plays/musicals have used him as a central character as well. “Kingdom Undone” takes the life of Jesus and his disciples and sheds new light on them from before the crucifixion all the way through his resurrection. Husband and wife team, Jeremiah and Vanessa Gamble have written the music and book for the show. They also play leading roles: Jeremiah as Jesus and Vanessa as Magdalena. In the cast we meet familiar figures: Judas, James, John, Zacchaeus, Pilate and others. During the show I took almost two pages of notes so I chose to break them up into categories to make it easier to read.
Venue: The show took place at the Southern Theater on the west bank of Minneapolis. It was a perfect venue due to the exposed brick, chipped paint, older feel and colored hanging lamps. The seating was new and exciting. There were traditional theater seats as well as floor space where audience members could lay on the area rugs and pillows.
Music and lighting: This show was a dramatic piece with music. The full band included an upright bass and a violin. They were off to the side and sounded wonderful. During the opening scene the room was in complete darkness. All you could hear was a solo voice in the distance accompanied by the band. One of my favorite songs was the company number “Hosannah”. It was a lovely piece. I tip my hat to the lighting designer Geoff Wold. It was superbly done.
Costumes: The men wore tunics and scarves except for the Sanhedrin who wore suits. That was a bit confusing to me but I figured it was to show that they had money. The women wore long skirts, tops and large earrings.
Favorite lines: Many Biblical principles were sprinkled throughout the show which I enjoyed. “God is just. His messiah will bring justice.”; “Being right doesn’t always make you popular.”; “Seek God’s praise, not man’s.”; “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”; “God is high above but he stoops to lift up the lowly.”; “Is it our job to save the world?”
Interesting points and ideas: Watching the disciples bicker, long to fight, be confused, quarrel and living their daily lives was so interesting. So many times we forget the disciples were like people of today. The portrayal of Judas was a new one for me. The way he gave Christ away was an interesting take. The idea of Isaac being Judas’ cousin and skeptical of him being the messiah was another new concept. Both Dustin Bronson (Judas) and Matthew Berdahl (Isaac) were great with taking full ownership of their characters. In the second act there was a scene where an angel was carrying Jesus on her back while three women sang a capella. It was very touching.
All in all the show was interesting and the acting was exceptional. I found myself taking fervent notes and questioning things throughout. There was just so much information coming at me within the few hours so I was trying to piece it all together. When I left I felt I needed to decompress before putting everything in order. “Kingdom Undone” is playing now through March 30th which is very smart to have a Biblical play leading up to Easter. For more information take a look at their website: http://www.kingdomundone.com/