It’s not often that a rock musical asks it audience to ponder the end of days. Yet Coming: A Rock Musical of Biblical Proportions not only challenges assumptions of good and evil, but offers original music and choreography to gets its point across.
The play, brilliantly orchestrated by Erik Ransom, follows Josh Crenshaw, a doe-eyed boy from Bethlehem, PA with a taste for pop music. After winning the lottery and enough money for a one-way ticket to New York, Crenshaw soon wins over a couple of tough New Yorkers with his charm and talent. Next to impress are the judges of American Icon.
Crenshaw wows the judges and the audience, all the meanwhile staying close to the first people he met off the bus. What sounds like a typical star is born story has a twist. Josh Crenshaw is the second coming of Jesus Christ. He portrays hope and good will as a virtue and has a consistently lovable personality.
This messianic pop star does not have a clear path to fame. He meets along the way Damien Salt. Salt, the devil’s child, offers a message of lust and danger. This good vs. evil tale gets a tad preachy at times. Ransom’s point on religious hypocrisy is well taken. But the play nonetheless scores with innovation and memorable characters. The acting and music in particular dazzle the crowd. The comedic timing of the supporting actresses Colleen Corcoran, Maya Tepler and Cindy Spitko is dead on and the voice of Adam Hostler, who plays Crenshaw, carries throughout the theater.
What is truly remarkable though is the innovation and vision of the play’s auteur, Erik Ransom. Like John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch or Charles Busch’s Lesbian Vampires of Sodom, Erik Ransom’s Coming has a serious future. For tickets, visit www.traversetheater.org.