Young John Bradley (writer-performer Hunter Lee Hughes) steps into the pulpit of his Texas church to conduct damage control after his preacher father is implicated in a spectacular sex scandal. When he's outed as a gay man, he defends gay marriage — assisted by his handsome lover-friend, Trevor (Gavyn Michaels). Bradley founds his own Transformation Ministry, but his mission as a truth-teller is undermined by his own self-delusions — and his sermon implodes when his stash of crystal meth tumbles into view. (Trevor's massive, flagrant infidelities have apparently provoked Bradley's disillusionment and addiction.) In a curious performance piece, Bradley and Trevor, clad in 2(X)ist briefs and lots of glitter, play out their tempestuous erotic relationship in a dance choreographed by Ashley Osler. In the final scene, a secular communion, we're invited to partake of bread, apples and water. Hughes' play is fragmented and oddly constructed, with each scene introduced by a New Agey shaman (Mary T. Sala), who invokes animal spirits, pounds a drum and makes dire predictions. Hughes is an able actor, but his play founders on the attempt to embrace too many themes, underpinned by an unresolved conflict between spirituality and carnality. The result, though often interesting, is both precious and murky. The Lex Theatre, 6760 Lexington Ave., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m.; thru Feb. 1. (323) 957-4611. Produced by Fatelink Productions.

Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Jan. 9. Continues through Feb. 1, 2009

LA Weekly