THEATER REVIEW | "AN ACT OF GOD"
By Lauren Beale, guest blogger
Being a longtime follower of the totally irreverent @TheTweetofGod, I was intrigued enough to trek downtown to the Ahmanson Theatre recently to see the Broadway play “An Act of God.”
In a welcome departure from the language used on Twitter by playwright David Javerbaum, who writes @TheTweetofGod, nary an F-bomb was dropped. The clever play generally delivered well-researched and nuanced humor. Lead actor Sean Hayes brought considerable comedic timing and physical humor to the script.
In the show the Emmy-winning actor is inhabited by God and chosen to deliver an updated version of the Ten Commandments.
The image of the white-robbed, tennis-shoe wearing Hayes gleefully hopping onto a white couch with his knees tucked under his legs sticks in my head.
Some of the old rules still apply, such as “thou shalt not take my name in vain.” Hayes as God advised football players against dropping to one knee after a touchdown and pointing an index finger toward the sky. “It cheapens the brand.”
The Florida is shaped like a penis joke seemed out of place. There were no tweens in the house, and the adolescent humor did not fit with the more sophisticated level of the comedy. Such misfires, however, were few and far between. And if Hayes ever flubbed his pages and pages of memorized dialogue it was not discernable.
The play, tailored for the actor and the L.A. audience, tried too hard in spots. The shtick about Adam and Steve being the first couple and other LGBT material seemed to occupy a disproportionate amount of the 90-minute, three-man show. In liberal-leaning California this subject matter feels dated.
Yet to be really topical the play is not PC enough.
How uninventive to have heaven, with its gleaming white stairs and dazzling white backdrop, populated by white males. Yes, there, I said it. Strike me down now Lord!
Not to say anything against the fine performance by Hayes, but I would be interested to see the show with a black lead. Say, Jamie Foxx.
A show that goes to lengths to appeal to one segment of the population neglected others. In this day and age of #OscarsSoWhite the play was, perhaps unwittingly, right in step.
Some reviewers have said that Evangelical Christians would not like the production; however it actually takes a fairly reverent tone toward Jesus Christ. A fairly long segment in the second half is devoted to “my superstar.” Funny stuff.
“An Act of God” continues at the Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, through March 13.
Lauren Beale is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times.