Jesus Hopped the "A" Train | Athenaeum Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Jesus Hopped the "A" Train Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 15 2016

A caged-in yard on notorious Rikers Island, the jail complex/national embarrassment between Queens and the Bronx, is the setting of this unsettling 2000 agitprop drama by Stephen Adly Guirgis. Each of the two protagonists is guilty (one, in fact, has murdered eight people and faces extradition to a state with the death penalty), but as the pragmatic public defender played by Elizabeth Birnkrant observes, in neither case has justice been served. Undermined by too-neat speeches and a surfeit of metaphors, Anish Jethmalani's awkwardly blocked production for Eclipse Theatre—which is devoting its season to Guirgis—isn't the damning indictment of the U.S. prison system that it wants to be. But Johnathan Nieves's raw performance as a headstrong, ultimately empathetic youth is heartbreaking. —Dan Jakes

Price: $30, $20 students and seniors

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