Broadway veteran Bruce Kuhn performed an exciting one-man show, “Luke,” last Tuesday night. Sponsored by the Williams Christian Fellowship, Kuhn acted out the entire gospel of Luke through a fast-paced, energetic dialogue.
Kuhn, who appeared on Broadway in Les Miserables, memorized the entire King James Bible version of the book of Luke for his show. His voice had a beautiful command of the difficult, non-colloquial speech, making the story he acted out even more powerful. The energy he exuded was made apparent due to the lack of props and the bare stage.
Beginning with the birth of Christ, Kuhn told the entire story of Christ’s life, from his childhood to his ministry and crucifixion. For the audience, even those who were unfamiliar with the Bible, Kuhn made the narrative both understandable and accessible. With his quick, lithe movements which saw him weaving into the audience at certain points, he truly made the story of Christ into a unique viewing experience.
His mastery of language and his experience with theater was especially noted through the different characters he was able to invoke with his voice alone. Christ’s many parables, stories told to illustrate morals and teachings, were made individual and exciting. There was never a dull moment in the show.
Most importantly, Kuhn’s performance helped to bring Christ to life, in the flesh. Often, people forget that Christ was a living, talking, breathing human being; however, “Luke” helped to emphasize the vulnerability of Christ.
At times, Kuhn did seem a little overly melodramatic, but never annoyingly so. Instead, the high drama of his performance served to increase the tension in the audience, especially as he recounted the last days of Christ’s life, and his subsequent crucifiction.
After the show, Kuhn hosted a question-answer session, where he explained how he had gotten his idea for “Luke.” Kuhn had been acting in Les Miserables before memorizing the gospel of Luke. While in Les Miserables, Kuhn watched people shell out large amounts of money to watch him perform. He found himself disgusted with the irony that the show itself was about poverty and destitution.
He then decided that, instead of remaining in the more mainstream show business, it was more important for him to share the story of Christ. His one-man show method not only displays his sincerity in his goal, but his excitement for the Bible. Outside of the auditorium, there were free copies of his “script,” the Bible.
From the discussion at the reception after the show, it was clear that many people were both touched and charged with the message “Luke” inspired. In this sense, Kuhn more than exceeded his goals to spread the word and entertain.