Tonight at 7:30 the curtains will part at the Old Town Temecula Theater on the Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece, The Last Supper. It won’t be the actual painting, mind you, but a life size portrayal of the momentous event in the life of Christ and the 12 Apostles. Not only is the portrayal life size, it is actually alive in that this is a presentation known as ‘The Living Last Supper’, a recreation of the original artwork that includes vignettes by each Apostle during the course of the evening about his travels with Jesus.
Frozen in the moment, each speaker disengages from the picture to provide his dialogue, then melds back into the fabric. Audience members can sometimes forget to listen to the stories as they concentrate instead on trying to ‘catch’ somebody moving. Believe me, holding one pose for an hour is not as easy as it sounds.
This is my second year as Peter, The Rock. This year my son, Dane, has also joined the cast as John, The Beloved. About 2/3 of the cast are returning members having performed the play for the past 3 or 4 years, while a few are new comers to the stage. In the one non-speaking role, Jesus has rejoined the cast flying in from his current home in Indiana (who knew?) to reprise a role that he closely resembles in the original artwork. We’ve got 3 Realtors (Dane, Mike O’Donnell and myself), 2 teachers, a cop, a couple students and a couple retired fellows in the cast and all deliver moving dialogue as their character is called upon to question which of their brethren will betray Christ this night.
The performance runs March 29, 30 & 31 at 7:30. Tickets are a paltry $17 for adults, $15 for Seniors and children and if you’ve got 10 friends you can enjoy the evening for just $12. It’s like no play you’ve ever seen before and I think you will find it very entertaining. You might even pick up a few things you didn’t know about the portrayal of this momentous event. Hope to see you there.
At one time or another I think everybody has seen Leonardo da Vinci‘s famous painting of ‘The Last Supper’. But have you ever seen it live? I don’t mean the painting itself – but the actual Last Supper portrayed live?
Well now’s your chance. Now thru Saturday, you can catch this brilliant depiction of Jesus and the Apostles at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater at 7:30 each evening.
The show presents a full scale reproduction of da Vinci’s masterpiece featuring life-size actors portraying everyone at the table that fateful evening. What you don’t see is a lot of action or dialogue between the characters. The set-piece is introduced by Leonardo himself and the actors are frozen ‘en tableau’.
The scene begins right after Jesus has disclosed that one of his Disciples will betray him before the rooster crows. One by one we disengage from the painting and make our way stage front to share our personal experiences with Jesus during our travels with him. Each soliloquy concludes with the common question “Is it I”.
The Living Last Supper was dramatically adapted from a 1950’s West Point graduate thesis with backdrop and lighting effects to dramatize the event. Our cast consists of ‘actors’ ranging from high school students to long retired folks so there is a great diversity of experience and stagecraft. This not only makes for a lot of fun but provides a realistic cross-section of Jesus’ merry band of travelers. Our Jesus, whom you might actually confuse with the real deal if you ran into him on the street, moved to Indiana this year but flew back just for this series.
But when the curtain comes up, the fun is over. Being frozen in place for up to an hour is no easy task. Phantom itches, muscle cramps from maintaining strained positions and numb-butt from sitting in one spot on wooden stools are just a few of our challenges. Gotta cough? Fugedaboudit. Fly on your nose? Enjoy. Leg go to sleep before your speech? Incorporate the limp into your character.
Support your local community theater. If you haven’t been before, our 3 year old theater is a state-of-the-art facility that is acoustically superb and built so there isn’t bad seat in the house. Bring the family – stop by one of our many fine dining establishments in Old Town, then come on over to the theater for a great evening of live entertainment.
Tell ’em, St. Peter sent you. That’s me – 5th from the left.