The Yukon Arts Centre will become a church Feb. 27 to 29.
This may appear to blasphemous to some when you consider the name of the play—Bigger Than Jesus—and the “priest” will be gifted comedian and voice impersonator Rick Miller (the same guy who brought MacHomer here some years ago).
However, if you measure religious experiences by how close you are brought to God, this play—with the giant screen, singing and dancing and flying camera—has had a surprising amount of success: “Atheists, Muslims and Jews have all taken something different from this play,” says Miller over the phone. “For some people, this has been powerful.
“My mom has seen the play a couple of times and that is enough for her. She enjoyed it, but she doesn’t agree and I think that makes her a better Catholic because it has re-enforced her beliefs.”
But any similarities between Bigger Than Jesus and church is not solely the responsibility of Miller.
“There is a lot of theatre in mass,” he says, turning the tables. “The Son of God gives himself up, there’s blood … it’s very mythological.”
On stage, near the end of the play, a pile of sand is dropped. From it, Miller plucks a figure of Martin Luther King, a Star Wars character and a Jesus action figure.
“You can’t get mad at me for a Jesus action figure,” says Miller. “He is already created, he is a myth, he has just become plastic.
“Let’s clear away a lot of the myth and get to know the character.
“There is more religion to be found in the question than in the answer so, yes, I am a good Christian. I take great joy in not knowing anything so I keep seeking information.”
The play is advertised as, “2,000 Years of Selling The Big Guy” and Miller admits that sounds cheeky: “You go to Jerusalem and you see people digging a little hole for years to prove something in their faith” he says.
“I’m dancing the fine line between reverence and irreverence around the thorny crown of Christianity.”
Tickets for the shows Feb. 27 to 29 are available at the Yukon Arts Centre Box Office and Arts Underground.