So the Angel and the wacky neighbor bust into the restaurant and yank a hood over the head of the male girl scout - wait, wait, we're in the middle of things, so let's start at the beginning so it makes sense. Jesus Christ has the crossbow aimed at the pimp while his roommate cowers behind him and the Angel gets ready to enter the fight - wait, wait, maybe we still haven't gone back far enough, say to the first episode.
Confused? Not half as I was last night. But I was impressed, too, considering that the crew behind Jesus Is My Roomie can apparently crank this stuff out twice a month on the White Rabbit Cabaret stage. The live sitcom is an audacious and ambitious project that thus far seems to be firing on all cylinders, with a new episode every other week.
The setup is classic situation comedy: Jesus Christ has returned to earth to save everyone but instead spends his time on PlayStation and pizza. He turns 30 and suddenly has actual responsibility, as he and his roommate Ben and his Angel sidekick sort out how to assemble a ministry while still paying rent.
What makes this madness really great is how completely creators Matt Kramer and John Patrick Coan embrace all the tropes of 1980s sitcoms - the wacky neighbor, the comic misunderstandings, the breakout star that everyone goes "woo woo" when he shows up, the jerk landlord - and throw them into one crazy package. And there are some psychopathic girl scouts and a pimp-turned-apostle for good measure, along with Rashomon-style storytelling, about four jump-arounds in time, and some public service announcements warning us to stay away from creepy guys in vans.
It had everything except Woody Harrelson intoning, "Cheers is filmed in front of a live studio audience." Great fun, and I'm looking forward to the next one. Plus, I don't know if I will ever, ever get that catchy theme song out of my head. This was a review of episode three of Jesus Is My Roomie, performed May 2; episode four "airs" May 23 at White Rabbit Cabaret.