The Voodoo Rooms (Venue 68) 21:10
Aug 14th, 16th – 21st, 23rd – 28th
Oh My Dad: Christ on a Bike comes from the mind of Chris JS Wilson and sees the performer transformed into Jesus Christ, upset at the lack of followers these days and driven back down to earth to set the record straight – well, clearly not that straight – on a number of errors found in the New Testament Gospels. Wilson, with his gorgeous locks, handsome visage, and wearing a long white robe definitely captures the look of our Saviour completely.
From the first moment Wilson opens his mouth, it’s clear that this is a very different Jesus from the one we already know and love. Via the International School in Nazareth, Jesus has developed an affected Valley Girl accent and attitude, complete with the occasional hair-flick that throws the sexuality of JC into question, and animated campiness that builds throughout the show.
The show debunks the myths through a mixture of song, dance and comedy. Wilson’s background in dance certainly shows and it’s the strength of the dance routines that slightly highlights the weaker spoken elements of the show. The song choices for medleys are perfect, the choreography tight and fun with performances that wouldn’t look out of place in one of Sydney’s drag bars. I never thought I’d see Jesus waving ribbons and being part of a Chinese fan dance, but I’m now glad to say I have. Throughout the show I kept thinking it was exactly what a Summer Heights High performance of “Jesus: The Musical” with Ja’mie in the main role might look like.
Wilson has two actors playing Peter and Mary Magdalene (both male) who add a further bit of eye candy to the show. As Mary Magdalene stretched his calves and glutes after a particularly strenuous workout with the Pro-Fit lifestyle guru Jesus, I’m pretty sure everybody was wondering if what was on display in the cut-off denim shorts was real or not. I was also pleased to see, when the robes came off, that being a workout guru certainly gave Christ a body that’s quite the temptation.
There is a brilliantly inventive musical retelling of what really happened during the Immaculate Conception (Oh What a Night!), a rock medley to take us through the troubled teenage years, a sexy workout performance (Jump), a slightly racist singalong (Agadoo), a Sermon of Love set to power ballads, and a Madonna cover to finish it all off. Wilson crams so many songs into these performances, cleverly twisting the lyrics for wicked laughs. I’d happily watch another show with more content like this.
The show is not without weaknesses – the concept of having contemporary cultural objects in biblical times seems a bit messy and confused at some points, and some of the more stand-up style jokes fall a bit flat – but they don’t really spoil what is one of the most exuberant, fun and heavenly cabaret performances of the fringe.