NoHoArtsDistrict.Com Review "The Reverend JEAU’s Revival"
The Hollywood Fringe is the perfect place for shows that push the boundaries of what we might usually consider to be “theatre.” In fact, the festival actively encourages the oddities, revels in the bizarre and celebrates those that create the unique and flout the conventional.
“Rev Jeau’s Revival” is one such bravely unconventional piece of theatre. It’s basically a revivalist style one man hip hop musical. The music is all rap and high level, ultra high energy, rapid fire rap at that. The Rev is a fascinating character who connects to us, through his sermons and his music, the turmoil of his life, including drug use, heart break, marketing mayhem and beaver trapping.
As we are asked to participate, as if we are his spellbound congregation (which isn’t that far from the truth), he regals us with his mantra of hard-fought and easily lost self love. He extols the virtues of worship, not just of him but of ourselves. He tells tales of an erratic and confusing life full of regret and self destruction but recently and victoriously turned around, channeled and opportunistically developed into this self help, uber religion. As an audience encouraged to find ourselves during the show, it is obvious that a grift is being played, and yet the Rev is so hilariously and profoundly obvious that he becomes charming somehow…and we happily eat it all up.
So if you have a yearning for some ‘church,’ if you feel the need for something akin to Eminem fused with James Brown, with a little manic touch of Blues Brothers, then head on down to the very aptly named Hobgoblin Playhouse and get you some hallelujahs, some hilarity and some serious rapture rap …can I get an Amen?
I highly recommend “Rev Jeau’s Revival - A Night of Hip Hop Comedy.” It’s serious comedy in the very best sense. When a comic inhabits a character so completely that you are not entirely sure if they actually believe it’s real themselves…then you have something brilliant. Josh Raff puts me in mind a little of Jim Carey. He is certainly as committed to the pieces and you really have no choice but to believe it all as much as he does. Bravo!