BWW Reviews: Parsons Preaches It in AN ACT OF GOD
Call it a stairway to paradise if you like, but the flashy white incline designer Scott Pask provides for the title character's entrance in David Javerbaum's cute and charming comedy, An Act of God, is a Broadway fixture worthy of Carol Channing, Glenn Close or the Divine Creator of the Earth and of the Heavens.
But in this case it appears more like the entrance to an underground cocktail lounge where the King of the Universe can unwind after a busy day working in mysterious ways and working on his "wrath-management issues."
The first Broadway play based on a Twitter account (@TheTweetOfGod, which has over 1.86 million followers), you'd be hard-pressed to find anything blasphemous or edgy in this breezy ninety minute riff that depicts its central character as a left-leaning social commentator.
Our hero explains at the outset that he has chosen to appear tonight in the form of, "beloved television star Jim Parsons."
"For lo, I have endowed him with a winning, likeable personality; and know of a certainty that your apprehension of My depthless profundities will be aided by his offbeat charm."
Indeed, under Joe Mantello's direction this is an adorably smarmy God. ("The reason masturbation is a sin is not that it's intrinsically evil. It's that every time you do it, I have to watch.")
Tired of being a one-list wonder ("Yea: I have grown weary of the Ten Commandments, in exactly the same way that Don McLean has grown weary of "American Pie."), the main purpose of the evening is to introduce and expound upon his new set of laws, commanding such instructions as "Thou shalt separate Me and state" and "Thou shalt not seek a personal relationship with Me."
Helping out are his two angelic assistants. ("My Genesistants, if thou shalt.") Tim Kazurinsky's Gabriel is a loyal and studious fact-checker, reading from an original Gutenberg Bible, but the impishly funny Christopher Fitzgerald's Michael, has a rebellious streak as the "advocate for humanity," asking the tough questions about unanswered prayers and why God allows atrocities to happen.
There isn't a lot to chew on, but nevertheless An Act Of God is a tasty and sweet stick of bubble gum, full of good laughs and silly summer fun.