Barry’s Smith’s one-man show about joining a Doomsday cult really has two performers: the articulate and animated narrator himself, and his PowerPoint projections. Smith, born in Mississippi, is an energetic and versatile raconteur, whipsawing between calm explication and the fiery cadences of a Delta preacher as the situation demands. But he can’t do fifteen different accents like other would-be Sarah Joneses, and so PowerPoint is his great gimmick. Everything from the religious tenets of the Bahai to Paul-is-dead conspiracy theories is spun out in rapid-fire slides, with many a neurotic digression illustrated via old photos and clip art. Answering the question “Did I really spend the last year of my life hitchhiking up to Montana to accept an 80-year-old pedophile as my personal savior?” is a tall order for a hour-long show, and occasionally Smith’s passionate delivery can flag, leaving the audience to wonder, good theater or great bar story? But then the pace picks up, the free associations fly, and you start to understand how a reasonable lost soul can turn into a self-confessed guru-aholic and make it back in one piece, just a little bit worse for the wear.
Jesus in Montana
By Barry Smith
The Village Theatre
Sat, Aug 13 at 5:45 p.m.; Fri, Aug 19 at 7 p.m.; Sun, Aug 21 at 8:15 p.m.; Thu, Aug 25 at 3 p.m.; Sun, Aug 28 at 2:45 p.m.