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10/09/2006

NY theatre has really gone to 'Hell!'

by Jeremy Hooper

Start spreading the news, New Yorkers; it seems Gotham is getting its first ever "Hell House!"

So what's a "Hell House," you ask? Well, per Newsday:

"Hell House," rooted in an idea pioneered by the Rev. Jerry Falwell in the 1970s, is not a parody - though liberal-minded East Coast urbanites may first take it to be one.

"Hell Houses communicate the biblical truth that sin always has consequences," says Pastor Keenan Roberts, a Colorado minister who has staged more than 3,000 such productions around the country since 1993
.
"We believe that abortion, adultery and homosexuality among other things are sinful behaviors and that if a person does not repent of their sin and come to Jesus Christ, then hell will be their destiny rather than heaven."

And among the imagery to be featured in this version, again via Newsday:

Picture 3-26

But unlike the ones popular in Evangelical churches across the country, this NYC version is being presented by Les Freres Corbusier, an experimental theater troupe whose previous outings include A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant. And while they are working off the same script, instead of the post-performance decision in which participants are usually asked to choose Satan or Jesus and are subsequently brought to prayer, this incarnation culminates with "an evangelical rock hoedown, featuring powdered doughnuts, a performance by the fake band What About Sunday ("Check us out on MySpace - even Christians use the Internet!") and Kool-Aid ladled from a punchbowl."

Hmm...drink the Kool-Aid? A subversive jab, perhaps?

No matter how you'll take it, Gothamites, if you'd like to see what, exactly, countless American children are exposed to around this time every year, then you can find out more info and get your tickets here. But parents, please warn children beforehand to not be scared of any of the blood, guns, or gore they may see on the stage, as they are merely prop...aganda.

This show gives 'em 'Hell' [Newsday]
**Also: Gothamist has an in-depth interview with Aaron Lemon-Strauss, the Executive Director of Les Freres Corbusier.

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