Our first few moments in the presence of Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) capture the extraordinary power and the isolation of the character. What Paul Thomas Anderson, the director of The Master, and the mercurial Phoenix have created here is a portrait of an old god, maybe the last of his kind to walk the Earth.
It's the time of year when theater companies present shows that veer from their routine fare in hopes of selling lots of tickets to fund subsequent productions more aligned with their mission. Know Theatre presents a tongue-in-cheek, 50-minute musical telling the story of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and the fundamental precepts of his church as interpreted by kids doing a reverent holiday skit. It's deadpan and satirical ... and also a tad mystifying.