Losing My Religion- a review of “When Jesus Divorced Me”

By Michael Buzzelli

Laura Irene Young (Bubble Boy) recounts an unsuccessful marriage to her ex, who played Jesus in a Christian theme park, in her one-woman show, “When Jesus Divorced Me.”

Young’s show is part standup, and part folk concert.  She describes her unfortunate encounter with a handsome actor she met in Summer Stock in the middle of some nowhere place in Ohio.

Young literally lays out the plot of the show when she divulges a story about her mother, an amateur occultist, reads her future hubby’s palm.  The whole story is, literally and figuratively, drawn out in lines across his hand.

Young isn’t completely blind to the red flags. Much to her chagrin, Stage Manager Erika Cuenca keeps flashing the red flags on the screen behind her, but the performer, however, proceeds without caution into a relationship destined to be doomed.

The husband, like Lord Voldemort, is He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and his name is bleeped out several times with wet fart sounds (thanks to sound designer Shannon Knapp).

To further protect the ex-hubby’s anonymity, several photographs have a goofy, yellow Smiley over his face to protect, in this case, the not-so-innocent.

Laura Irene Young reclaims her power.

Scenes from a Marriage with Laura Irene Young and her former husband.

Young has created and performed a show in a way no one else could. “When Jesus Divorced Me” is a very personal story and Young manages to tell it in the most, engaging and imaginative way.  She is brimming with personality.  Young is a powerful presence on the stage.

She shares goofy songs with extremely clever rhymes mostly with a ukulele and, sometimes, a keyboard to drive home her points.

There is an excellent use of projection by Natalie Rose Mabry.  The projections actually provide important context.

Lonnie the Theatre Lady, this reviewer’s opening night companion, said, “There are so many magical moments in this show!”

The show is delightfully directed by Allison M. Weakland.
“When Jesus Divorced Me” is a surprise. It’s a wonderfully uplifting tale about Young at her lowest moments, but from the depths of despair she reaches the heights of joy and the audience goes right along with her.

“When Jesus Divorced Me” runs from October 6th-21st at the Carnegie Stage, 25 W. Main Street, Carnegie, PA 15106. For more information, click here. 

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