Comedy Play Switches Genders Of Biblical Characters (JO)

By Bob Evans
Original Review on KC Applauds

Count on comedic giant Pete Bakely to create something out of the ordinary for each Fringe Festival because he never fails to deliver an off-the-wall entry that draws sold out performances based on his name alone.

So, “Jo” at The Unicorn Theatre benefits from full houses and audience anticipation. For this piece, Bakely did some gender swapping and changed predominantly male Biblical characters to females (presuming God is a male in most people’s minds). But, in this case, God comes in the form of a woman and not just any woman. This woman is Gloria (what else could you name a female God?) comes to life on stage, portrayed by Briana Marxen-McCollom (a. k. a. Briana M-M).

As talented as God is, she can’t do it all alone, so her right hand girl, in this case, is Lucifer, or Lu, portrayed by Rebecca Ralston. The lead character, played by Nicole Hall, finds herself as a puppet being manipulated by Gloria and Lu as she faces insurmountable problems akin to those faced by Jonah in The Bible. However, with updating and gender switching, Jonah morphs into Jo, and her mission changes to focus on women victims of rape and blame them for the crime committed against them.

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