‘Judas Iscariot’ a hit

Arianna Smith

Excellent isn’t a strong enough adjective to describe the production of “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” put on by the Cerritos College Theater Department Friday night at the Burnight Center Theatre.

From the very beginning, the play screamed excitement and wonder. When you first walk in to the room, the intimate setting grabs you right away as the audience is wrapped around the stage and the stage resembles a mosh pit in the center of the audience.

In the middle of the stage, something like a doll lays on the ground and it stays there from about at least 30 minutes before the play starts.

After the first 10 minutes of the play and after a blackout, the doll seems to have moved to the other side of the stage.

It isn’t a doll, but lead character Judas Iscariot, played by Richard Martinez.

Martinez is a phenomenal actor who played his character very convincingly, especially during a scene between him and Jesus of Nazareth, played by Paul Martinez. Jesus is begging Judas to talk to him and Judas is cursing and at one point spits on him.

They also share a tender moment where Judas is laying on the floor after their fight and Jesus comes out carrying a bucket and washes Judas’ feet.

He also brought a sense of honesty to a very troubled guilt-ridden confused man and gave a visual to a story that people, despite their religious background, have heard.

One thing that is striking is the amazing focus that Martinez had. He seemed so into his character that it didn’t matter what went on on stage, he never broke it.

Another character that stood out was Fabiana Aziza Cunningham played by Bianca Meiloaica. If one didn’t know any better, one would think she was really a lawyer in a past life.

Meiloaica brought her character to life with passion and pure honesty.

Her zealous character engaged the audience as she found herself trapped between defending the “Bible’s most infamous sinner” and her own haunting past. After a very emotional run-in with Satan, played by Angel Costello, we see Cunningham, a strong character, reduced to tears.

One thing that was really amazing was how the students brought these characters to life and transformed the small theater into a courtroom in downtown purgatory.

Take caution in coming to see this play if you are offended by cursing or religious parodies, but if that doesn’t affect you, then come and see this production.

It definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat and never lacks in energy. There is never a point where you can become bored or fall asleep.

This play is definitely worth seeing again and again, and these actors might have a future in the world of Broadway and television if they keep it up.

“Judas Iscariot” will be performed again March 10, 11, 12 at 8 p.m. and March 13 at 2 p.m.