Lawrence Frascella
December 15, 2000 AT 05:00 AM EST

Jesus Hopped the ''A'' Train

type
Stage
Current Status
In Season
performer
John Ortiz
director
Philip Seymour Hoffman
author
Stephen Adly Guirgis

We gave it a B+

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman (Magnolia) turns to directing with this brutal, funny production of Stephen Adly Guirgis’ prison play Jesus Hopped the ”A” Train. Given the way Hoffman inhabits his movie roles, it’s no surprise the night is performance driven. In Hoffman’s hands, the five actors (playing two inmates, two guards, and a lawyer) become supple, powerful instruments. There’s the electric sense you’re watching careers on the cusp, especially that of John Ortiz, whose prayer-and-epithet-spewing defendant leaps out from the ensemble. B+

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