Sheila Gold, 55, a successful Jewish businesswoman suffering from terminal cancer, is spending the end of her life in a comfortable hospice where her only companion is her 30 year old daughter, Rachel. The two have a tense relationship as Rachel has spent most of her adult life working at Planned Parenthood and is generally a disappointment to her entrepreneurial mother.
While in the hospice Sheila has become fascinated by a late night televangelist, Dr. Julian Strong, a black man in his 50's. She finds his message inspiring and comforting and she writes Strong, offering to make a sizable donation to his ministry. Much to her surprise, Strong flies out to visit Sheila, presumably to see her sign the check in person. His physical presence is even greater than his TV persona and the two fall head over heels in love. Sheila begins to toy with the idea of converting to Christianity and spending her final days with Strong's church in California. This revelation upsets her daughter to no end as Rachel is certain that Strong is a crook, promising hope and salvation, when all he really wants is to come between her and her inheritance.
Is Strong truly in love with Sheila or is he only out for her money? Sheila must choose between her daughter and a new love and lifestyle, in what will certainly be her final days.
"When Sheila Gold announces to her grown daughter, Rachel, that she is thinking of trading in her barely used Judaism for late-model, born-again Christianity, it looks as if we're being set up for a play about religious faith. But Gino DiIorio has something else up his sleeve in Apostasy, the absorbing new drama...Sheila's flirtation with Jesus is going to turn into a flirtation of an entirely different kind. And abortion politics will intrude messily on the play's relationships. " - The New York Times
"Mr. Dilorio's fearless play...is more than a soap opera. He weaves in compelling exchanges on issues of faith. Julius's unorthodox explanation of how he views his job is especially delicious." - The New York Times
"Race, faith, money, betrayal, abortion, nudity, terminal illness, medical marijuana, middle-age sex...a button-pusher that seeks to provoke a reaction at every turn, even as it foils most attempts to predict plotlines and pigeonhole motivations." - Asbury Park Press
"Playwright Gino DiIorio pairs a terminally ill Jewish businesswoman with a charismatic black Christian televangelist, in a star-crossed love affair that raises questions about faith, self-deception, and what happens when we die." - NJN
"Playwright Gino Dilorio has done an amazing job of presenting religion with a nice blend of faith and cynicism. This production is full of outstanding performances, surprise twists, and will keep you riveted from start to its amazing finish." - Upstage Magazine