Another Strong Notice

From the Washington Post Express

A Biblical Wild Ride: ‘David in Shadow and Light’

Photo by Stanba Rouh

SEX, BETRAYAL, LOVE, HATE, MURDER, GREED, HOMOEROTICISM — the makings of any good Bible story. Theater J‘s retelling of the story of King David has them all. “David in Shadow and Light,” a musical by playwright Yehuda Hyman and composer/violinist Daniel Hoffman, is a mixed-bag narrative following the life of the Old Testament‘s David from shepherd boy to epic ruler. Theater J does its best to make David’s story relevant and contemporary.

“Why do a show about King David now?” asks artistic director Ari Roth, echoing what many audience members might be wondering. “Because he was the biggest celebrity to ever walk the face of the Earth.”

The real celebrity of the play, though, is Hoffman, a world-renowned expert of the Yiddish violin style. The talented violinist gives a stunning performance with beautiful solos accompanying the ups and downs of David’s journey. From beginning to end, his unique composition — laden with distinctly Jewish and klezmer-derived sounds — successfully blends the traditional with the contemporary.

The highlight of this wild ride is a modern re-creation of the battle between David and Goliath. In Theater J’s version, Goliath looks like he stumbled out of a Marilyn Manson video — angry, yelling and covered in goth makeup — and into aWWE SmackDown ring. He screams into a microphone announcing his presence and his plans for poor little David. And the rest is biblical history.

There’s a whole lot going on in the show, so try not to blink. Bring your attention span and get ready for some crazy biblical fun.

» Theater J1529 16th St. NW; through June 22, $20-$55; 202-518-9400. (Dupont Circle)

Written by Express contributor Suemedha Sood