Lion of Judah household stirs crowd with western-communism play

Estelle Mandeville
Staff Writer

Lion of Judah household performed a comedy play about outlaws, sheriffs and Russians Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. and Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. between Christ the King Chapel and St. John Paul II Library.

Titled “Cowboys and Communists,” the play was written by students Clay Boyle and Mac Williams and starred members of LOJ household and John Walker, theater professor.

The actors before the show used loudspeakers to entice passersby to come to the play while speaking in Russian, Canadian and Texan accents.

The play started with “President John Fitzgerald Kennedy” calling in country singer Johnny Cash to write a ballad to raise American spirits. The next act starred the ballad’s hero John Johnson, who lived in Margaritaville.

John Johnson was retiring as the town’s sheriff when he heard about an outlaw tying a man to train tracks. He and a visiting French-Canadian are investigating when an actor in a cardboard box with the word “train” written on it came running through to run the people down.

Then a man in a tracksuit and Groucho glasses speaking in a vaguely Eastern-European accent introduced himself to some miners as James Dean from Cleveland. He sold the miners a cure-all tonic, which turned them into Russian Communists.

The play concluded in a battle between John Johnson, the French-Canadian and the horse fighting the poisoned miners, James Dean from Cleveland and the evil mastermind. In the end, they all died.

Since his hero died, Cash decided he could not give the ballad to the president, so he wrote “Folsom Prison Blues.”

The audience had the option to buy water balloons and onions and were encouraged to throw both at the actors. Some water balloons hit their targets, while many others did not. When one audience member threw an onion, the actor at whom it was thrown chased after it and took a bite out of the raw onion.

Alumnus Marcus Lejeune said, “Coming here to see how much work students do to raise money for not just their retreat but charity shows the culture on campus.”

Junior Katherine McCaughey said, “That was … excellent and (the most) well-crafted fever dream I have ever seen.”

Senior Patrick Frazier said, “I always think that Lions of Judah have reached their peak of being the most chaotic household, but then they surpassed it.”