In the current movie Religulous, Bill Maher gets a laugh from a crowd during one of his standup routines when he merely mentions Scientology. He responds by taking a poke at the crowd, “Oh, sure! The religion with the talking snake and drinking Christ’s blood is OK, but Scientology? That’s too weird!” We at Night & Day do find Scientology a bit weird, but the same goes for the other major religions. Atheism, too. That’s why we tend to think making fun of Scientology’s tenets is a bit uncool. (Making fun of Tom Cruise’s antics or L. Ron Hubbard’s incredibly bad science fiction writing? There you’re on more solid ground.)
That aside, theatergoers who’ve had their fill of fuzzy holiday shows will find relief in Circle Theatre’s production of A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant, Kyle Jarrow’s Obie Award-winning 2003 musical that uses a cast of child actors to tell the life story of the founder of Scientology and lampoon its celebrity followers. The inspiration for the bright, synth-heavy score reportedly came from 1980s children’s TV shows like Kids Incorporated, and the lyrics contain deadpan paeans to L. Ron Hubbard. (“The L stands for Love! The L stands for Life! / The L stands for Lead Us Out of Strife!”) This one-hour, one-act dose of Thetan theatricals should raise enough laughs to be detectable on anyone’s E-meter.
A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant runs Nov 20-Dec 20 at Circle Theatre, 230 W 4th St, FW. Tickets are $10-30. Call 817-877-3040.