Maybe I wouldn’t have been so bored in Sunday school if they had taught me the story of Adam and Eve like Company XIV does in “Le Serpent Rouge.”
I certainly got a big rise from this stripped-down, satirical depiction of the Fall of Man, which featured a first couple writhing nearly naked.
The best thing is that the play, running through June 6 on Bond Street in Carroll Gardens, is not faithful to the Biblical version of how the so-called “greatest story ever told” began.
Instead of just dealing with Adam, Eve, a snake and the forbidden fruit, “Le Serpent Rouge” adds Lilith into the mix. According to some legends, Lilith was Adam’s original bride, but refused to submit to him, making her an early feminist heroine (or villain, perhaps).
If the play loses momentum at all, it’s because almost all of the dialogue is delivered by a narrator. That’s not to say there isn’t action; a gyrating drag queen invades the audience, the sets are ethereal, and the soundtrack is filled with fantastic oldies like James Brown and Peggy Lee.
The time-honored man-woman dynamic and divisions endure in this bawdy Creation myth. But in this version, Adam, growing bored of Lilith, ditches her for Eve. Lilith then becomes the snake and tempts her ex and his new gal pal with the apple, thus driving them from Eden and ruining their lives.
From there, Adam, Eve and Lilith, back in human form, slink through parables of the seven deadly sins. The message counters the old saw that the wages of sin are death.
But this isn’t some pure hedonistic romp in which reckless self-indulgence has no consequences.
The characters in Austin McCormick’s play experience pain and agony after breaking the allegedly divine rules.
But there’s joy in expulsion, too — especially for Adam, who gets to experience Earth’s first menage a trois.
“To fall is to know the intricacies of life’s deepest joys and sorrows,” the play’s narrator said. Indeed.
“Le Serpent Rouge” runs through June 6 at Company XIV [303 Bond St., between Union and Sackett streets, (212) 868-4444]. Tickets, $20.