You’d Think God Would Have Figured Out How to be More Entertaining
By Lauren Yarger
By Lauren Yarger
God has spoken and he wants you to laugh. At least God, as portrayed by Jim Parsons, that is.
Parsons of “Big Bang Theory” fame – how ironic – portrays the Creator in An Act of God, what has been called in promotional materials, a “one-god show based on the memoir of God” (really written by David Javerbaum, a 13-time Emmy Award winner for his work as a head writer and executive producer for “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” and curator of the Twitter account @TheTweetOfGod, which has over 1.94 million followers.) OK, I’ll bite.
God, it seems has grown weary of the original 10 Commandments. Dressed in a white robe (Costume Design by David Zinn) and strolling in his celestial digs designed by Scott Pask, he reveals a revised set of the rules etched in stone with the help of chief angels, Michael (Christopher Fitzgerald) and Gabriel (Tim Kazurinsky) – and Projection Design by Peter Nigrini, Illusion Consulting by Paul Kieve and Special effects by Gregory Meeh.
The first one remains the same. He is, after all, God. But after that, there are a few changes, which begs the question, he allows, whether the bible is accurate.
“Yes. the bible is 100 percent accurate,” he says. “Especially when thrown at close range.”
You can see where this is headed…..
Some of the commandments getting a little more than a tweak:
· The second: “Thou shalt not tell others whom to fornicate.”
· The third: “Thou shalt not kill in My name.”
· The fourth: “Thou shalt separate Me and state.”
· The fifth: “Thou shalt not seek a personal relationship with Me.”
· The seventh: “Thou shalt not tell Me what to do.”
· The eighth: “Thou shalt honor thy children.”
· The ninth: “Thou shalt not believe in Me.”
· The tenth: “Thou shalt not believe in Me.”
There is ensuing banter as each one is revealed. There are a few laughs, but for the most part I kept waiting for the show, directed by Joe Mantello (The Normal Heart) to be funny. The first part of the 90-minute, no intermission performance seemed to have some potential, but as time dragged on – gee, God was able to create a whole world in just six days-- the joke wore thin (with many punch lines falling flat).
God appears to be desperate by the end, having called President Obama the messiah (albeit a disappointing one, he concedes), saying (with an expletive) that he hates Sarah Palin and bashing religion in general. It was kind of like sitting in a church service with a really long, boring sermon and realizing you still have six commandments to go….
Apparently the concept of eternity doesn’t apply to Parsons’ god. This Act of God’s limited engagement will see its final curtain Aug. 2. It plays at Studio 54, 254 West 54th St., NYC. Performances are Tuesday - Thursday at 7 pm; Friday and Saturday at 8 pm; Wednesday and Saturday at 2 pm; Sunday at 3 pm. NOTE: Thursday, July 28 performance at 8 pm. Tickets $55 - $149: http://anactofgod.com.
Christians might like to know:
Well, this one kind of speaks for itself.