When your name goes down in history for betraying someone as powerful as the Messiah himself, it’s going to take some mighty doing in order to clear your name. In “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot,” produced by Urban Theatre Movement and directed by Jeremy Aluma, writer Stephen Adly Guirgis insightfully and crudely provides the on-stage trial that Judas Iscariot never had. Many just wrote Judas off as a cold-hearted criminal and traitor; Guirgis paints another picture, a balanced one at that.  

With so many one-sided views of the Gospel today, it is rare that someone takes the time and effort to truly shine light on alternate possibilities. Religious groups, more often than not, stand on their truths to be solid fact, ignoring that there might just be another side to the story.  

The 23-person cast all performs exceptionally well. Nick Mills (Yusef) and Jessica Culaciati (Fabiana) play the opposing attorneys – pro and con Judas – flawlessly. Their polar conflicts are as amusing as they are honest and convincing. Levi Sochet’s performance as Satan is unbeatable. His strength is not as physical as it is mentally intoxicating. And Vincent Mentry plays the title character as balanced as necessary. The play calls for the audience to see both sides of Judas, which he executes effectively.

CoA at the Alexandria is located at 501 S. Spring St., Los Angeles. For more information, visit alivetheatre.org.