The Tale of Christ Through The Eyes of the Apostle John

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“The Gospel According to John” is far different from the versions of Matthew, Mark and Luke who seem to play off one another in their telling of the story of Jesus Christ. The Sheen Center, located at 18 Bleecker St, NYC, is providing a presentation of John's gospel through the interpretation of actor Ken Jennings. A feat in itself since Jennings has memorialized the complete gospel of the apostle John.

My research has led to many differences of opinion. Some experts claiming only two disciples who wrote the gospels actually knew Christ in person. One was John. Other historians claim there is no evidence that any of them actually knew Christ. However, those historians believe Christ was a myth as the son of God and was as the Jews claim, a prophet. But whatever Jesus was or wasn't, the stories left behind about him talk of a man who preached love, forgiveness and peace. A man who wanted to move away from the strict confines of the religions of the era and merely tell folks love each other and show appreciation for the world around them. His, was a movement of love. I think Ken Jennings throughout the play tries to bring John's depiction of Christ to life as such a man and crusader.

Better known for his role of “Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” Jennings is the recipient of a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical. He also played Finian in the show “Finian's Rainbow.” He has appeared in TV and in film. He has worked in regional theater, done voice-overs and commercials.

Mr Jennings attended St Peter's Preparatory School and College and was taught by Jesuits who encouraged him always to pray. Perhaps some of his background is reflected in his performance of the Gospel of John. His telling of the tale demonstrates a real spark has been ignited within the actor who seems to come from a deeper spiritual place in his enactment.

Jennings remarked: “I memorialized the gospel of John first as a prayer, not a play.” He said it started as a spiritual practice during a difficult time in his life. Ken developed an affinity for John and came to see John's version of Christ as a firsthand narrative of a man who actually knew Christ. Therefore, he wanted to share John, known as the 'Beloved Disciple,' with the audience and help them see Christ as John had seen him.

Ken will be telling John's story of his relationship with Christ until December 29th (via a limited holiday engagement).  So let us remember Christmas is not just about Santa.  The true meaning of Christmas is about "The Christ."  Share this play with your family and go see "The Gospel According to John."  Tickets are available at the Sheen Center Black Box Theater.  Interested parties can call 212-925-2812 or go on line at www.SheenCenter.org.

 

 

 

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