Offbeat L.A.: Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam- A Surreal Easter Passion Play at Vasquez Rocks

Jesus converts the peasants at Vasquez Rocks (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Jesus converts the peasants at Vasquez Rocks (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Angels on the mountain, or is it a 70s Swedish pop band? (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Angelic manifestations or a 1970s Swedish pop band? (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

No matter what your spiritual leanings, you have to admit that some of the pomp and circumstance that goes into celebrating religious holidays is quite magical. Whether gussied up for the masses or stripped down to the bare essentials, belief can literally move mountains or cause the bloodiest of wars. Whether you are Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Pagan or a member of a UFO cult, there is something to be gained from appreciating and respecting it all. That is one of the reasons I thoroughly recommend that you check out the amazingly otherworldly Vasquez Rocks Easter Sunrise Celebration Passion Play.

Children play peasants in the Passion Play at Vasquez Rocks (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Children play peasants in the Passion Play at Vasquez Rocks (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

An Easter tradition here for several decades, Vasquez Rocks barren cliffs, named after the notorious bandito Tiburcio Vasquez who eluded the California law in 1873 and 1874 by hiding amongst the craggy peaks, is both a strange and quite natural amphitheater. Personally, I think there’s no better location than here to see a handsome Hollywood Jesus nailed to a cross and to watch flaxen-haired angels, who strongly resemble the pop band ABBA, raise their pale hands to the electric blue sky. These forlorn rocks have been used as a location in over 200 TV shows and movies and have convincingly played other planets in the original Star Trek series.

12-seconds of the 2014 Passion Play: (video by Nikki Kreuzer)

With almost 80 well-costumed actors recreating the Biblical crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, accompanied by music and a special effects soundtrack, this is a beautiful, although somewhat bizarre, sight to behold. There is magic in the elegance of the pageantry and majesty in the surroundings. In 2014 several hundred spectators experienced the play while sitting in prearranged folding chairs, armed with necessary sunscreen, sun hats and bottles of water. Entrance and parking is free for this event and no reservations are necessary. Guests have the choice of attending in the afternoon on Saturday at 2pm or at dawn on Easter Sunday for a 5am service. The play is approximately 40-minutes long.

“They know not what they do”… 10-seconds of the Vasquez Rocks crucifixion: (video by Nikki Kreuzer)

Vasquez 2

 

The Sunrise Passion Play Service Vasquez Rocks County Park: 10700 Agua Dulce Canyon Rd., Agua Dulce, CA 91390. FREE. Saturday April 4, 2015 at 2pm; Sunday April 5, 2015 at 5am. Easter Passion Play info

Nikki Kreuzer

About Nikki Kreuzer

Nikki Kreuzer has been a Los Angeles resident for over 30 years. When not working her day job in the film & TV industry, she spends her time over many obsessions, mainly music, art and exploring & photographing the oddities of the city she adores. So far she has written 110 Offbeat L.A. articles, published at the Los Angeles Beat. As a journalist she contributes regularly to LA Weekly, Blurred Culture and The Los Angeles Beat and has also been published by Oddee.com, Twist Magazine, Strobe and Not For Hire. Nikki is also a mosaic artist, radio DJ and published photographer. Her photography has been featured in exhibit at the Museum of Neon Art, in print at the LA Weekly and is part of an upcoming show at the Neutra Museum in Los Angeles. She has recorded with the band Nikki & Candy as bassist, vocalist and songwriter, directing and appearing in the 'Sunshine Sunshine Santa Claus' music video for the band. She co-hosts the monthly radio show Bubblegum & Other Delights on Dublab.com. Her acting credits include a recent role in the ABC-TV show 'For The People', 'Incident at Guilt Ridge', 'Two and a Half Men', the film 'Minority Report' and 'Offbeat L.A.', a web series, written and hosted by Nikki Kreuzer. Her writing, radio and video portfolio can be found at OffbeatLA.com, her photography work @Lunabeat on Instagram and her music history posts @NikkiKreuzer on Twitter. Find Nikki & Candy music on iTunes, Amazon or at NikkiandCandy.com.
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