Shawn Stalter, Chief Dallas/Ft. Worth Critic
Praise be to Theatre Three for serving up a divinely-entertaining comedic feast for the soul in “Raptured.” Not only is this show chock full of deliciously dark humor and non-stop hilarity, it is dripping with double entendre and crowd-pleasing innuendo.
“Raptured” is a brilliantly-written farce from the duo of Matt Lyle and Matt Coleman which focuses on the good people of the Third Baptist Church of Uncertain, Texas. Here we find them anxiously awaiting the arrival of the glorious rapture foretold by local con artist/preacher, “Brother Sam.” Through his “divine” interpretation of hidden numerical codes in the Bible, he concludes that the rapture will occur sometime in the next couple of hours. As the clock ticks down toward the “Rapture,” the larger-than-life characters in the congregation, including a youth pastor, a busybody church lady, a part-time accountant and many others fall into a hilarious frenzy of lust, deceit and mistaken identity.
Theatre Three’s “Raptured” is expertly delivered by a top-tier ensemble cast with adept physical acting and well-honed comedic timing. Leading his flock into the glory of the upcoming rapture, “Brother Sam,” played by the talented Jakie Cabe, gave a high energy and genuine performance. Each character in his congregation rounded out the production with non-stop, masterful and riotously-funny physical comedy. Standout performances from “Raptured” include the seductive “Martha,” played by Shannon J. McGrann and Jeremy Whiteker’s performance in the role of the repressed youth pastor, “Robin.”
Although the spotlight is this production focuses firmly on delivering copious amounts of laughter, it also crafts an underlying indictment of the hypocrisy and absurdity which pervades the modern church. Through clever, well-executed dialogue, “Raptured” punches several large holes in the fictitious Third Baptist Church’s paper thin, holier-than-thou facade and confronts it indirectly through tongue-in-cheek quips.
Overall, this is a wildly-energetic, engaging and hilarious production which DFW theatergoers cannot afford to miss without potentially endangering their immortal souls.
Theatre Three’s production of “Raptured,” written by the team of Matt Lyle and Matt Coleman and directed by Jeffrey Schmidt, runs through May 19, 2019. The show’s talented ensemble cast includes Jakie Cabe as “Brother Sam,”Stephanie Cleghorn Jasso as “Ruth,” Chad Cline as “Dick,” Christopher Lew as “Troy,” Shannon J. McGrann as “Martha,” Alle Mims as “Tonya,” Sally Soldo as “Gracie,” Jeff Swearingen as “Al,” and Jeremy Whiteker as “Robin.”
Leave the kiddos at home and snag your tickets for an upcoming showing of this hilarious production by visiting www.theatre3dallas.com or calling the Theatre Three Box Office at (214) 871-3300.
Photo credit: Jeffrey Schmidt