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According to director Gene Elliott, the offbeat and extravagantly named comedy Some Things You Need To Know Before the World Ends (A Final Evening With the Illuminati) was perfect for the New Moon Theatre Company. "As many people know, we do weird shit!" Elliott remarks. And Some Things You Need To Know Before the World Ends is most definitely some weird shit. It's a parody of contemporary values set in an alternative universe where Pat Robertson is president, Richard Nixon is vice president, and humans are dying in great numbers from a nerve gas left over from the most recent war to end all wars.

Reverend Eddie, a pill-head as interested in bigger donations and a nicer pulpit as he is Christian arcana, is holed up in a bombed-out, post-apocalyptic sanctuary of a church where he prepares his final sermon: "Life Is Like a Basketball Game."

"There are so many ways to see life through the prism of a basketball game. ... But the only true way to find the correct answer to this most puzzling of life's riddles is to hear Reverend Eddie explain it at TheatreWorks," Elliott says. "In all seriousness, it does seem like a good time to do a play that deals, to some degree, with what happens when someone twists a spiritual belief to match their growing madness."

The heavier themes in Some Things You Need To Know Before the World Ends are offset by good, old-fashioned slapstick. New Moon has had a special "flagecycle" constructed, a bike that's outfitted with pedal-operated leather whips to assist riders with their penance. "It's great, actually," Elliott says.

"Some Things You Need To Know Before The World Ends (A Final Evening With The Illuminati)," June 18th-27th, at TheatreWorks. Tickets: $15, $12 seniors, students, and military. newmoontheatre.org

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