Critics Give Rave Reviews to Off-Broadway Play The Gospel of John

  • Amanda Casanova Contributor
  • Published Dec 16, 2019
Critics Give Rave Reviews to Off-Broadway Play <em>The Gospel of John</em>

The off-Broadway play “The Gospel of John” is being called one of the “best Christmas shows” in New York City this Christmas season.

According to the Christian Post, the play was created by award-winning Broadway actor Ken Jennings. Jennings, who starred in “Sweeney Todd,” “Grand Hotel” and “Side Show,” also stars in “The Gospel of John.”

The show is a 90-minute solo performance of the book of John.

“I memorized this first as a prayer, not as a play,” Jennings said in a statement shared with The Christian Post. "I started memorizing 'The Gospel of John' as a spiritual practice during a difficult time in my life. I've always had an affinity for John, which has always seemed to truly be a firsthand narrative by a man who was actually there."

Since its opening night at the end of the November, the play has drawn praises.

“Plays can bring spiritual solace,” the New York Times said in its review. “On the unadorned stage, two flights below Bleecker Street, the actor Ken Jennings had only a single prop: a compact Bible. When theater is a religious experience, faith has a powerful role.”

Time Out New York said it was “one of the best Christmas shows in NYC this holiday season.”

“‘The Gospel of John,’ directed by John Pietrowski, tells the eyewitness account of the Apostle John and his life with Jesus,” the review said. “Jennings performs John’s 2000-year-old testimony in a dynamic way that has reviewers feeling like the events took place today."

Talkin Broadway said in its review that the play has “masterful storytelling.”

“Make no mistake about it, Jennings gives a thrilling performance,” the review said. “The phrase ‘tour de force’ is often bandied about to distinguish a one-person show. What makes Jennings’ execution all the more remarkable, and especially deserving of the tour-de-force appellation, is his ability to make the discursive, nearly two-millennia-old, literary work pulse with urgency and wonderment. With direction by John Pietrowski, Jennings animates the biblical figures with distinctive characteristics. …Masterful storytelling.”

The play runs through Dec. 29 at The Sheen Center New York City.

Photo courtesy: Peter Lewicki/Unsplash

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.