By Sara Dudley Brown, Theatre Editor
Move over, “Book of Mormon”, “An Act of God” is coming for you! To say “An Act of God” is irreverent is a gross understatement; and please know if you go, your sensibilities will be put on notice. Check them at the door.
Let’s do a comparison.
”Book of Mormon”, funny and totally irreverent. “An Act of God”, brilliantly biting wit, 75 minutes of side-splitting hilarity, also totally irreverent AND it has Tom Story, actor extraordinaire and seven-time Helen Hayes Award nominee. Sorry, any other show of this ilk, this tops you all. But wait, how about God? Is he good? Oh, yes! He’s a wonderful actor. But is He kind and nice and loving? Lord, no!
God has taken corporeal form — a holy being doing so for only the second time in Christian history (it appears to be working out better this time) — in order to correct mankind’s dire misconceptions about His thinking and His works and to update the ten commandments, which He found as concrete tablets on a courthouse lawn in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I think. He has His two favorite archangels with Him, Gabriel (played winningly by Jamie Smithson), who seems a little more interested in humanity than the deity Himself, and Michael (played grumpily by Evan Casey of “The Flick”), who persists in asking difficult questions, bringing about the extreme wrath of God, who acknowledges He has anger issues.
Perhaps at this point I should say that in the program handed out to the audience members, God is listed as being on the Creative Team as the Playwright. We learn that “God is the original multi-hyphenate and triple threat, an auteur and visionary whose bold creations and intelligent designs have earned Him international recognition since Day One.” See?
The three actors are all on top of their games and let’s just say, don’t deign to be a late-comer. You will be called out and you’ll be glad that God is not Patti Lupone! One of God’s stories is his creation of Adam and Eve. Well, not exactly Adam and Eve—Adam and Steve, as He tells it. Paraphrasing His story, Steve ate the fruit of the tree, and he bid Adam to eat it; and the knowledge that their lifestyle was sinful shamed them, whereupon they cloaked themselves in fig leaves, the first clothing, representing the entirety of the fall collection. I think you can envision how this is going to go.
Signature Theatre has done it yet again. It’s a must-see production, but, remember, God has a lot to say and not everyone will appreciate His candor and wit. Those who do, though, are in for a treat.
“An Act of God” with book by David Javerbaum and direction by Eleanor Holdridge. CreativeTeam: scenic design by Daniel Conway; costume design by Robert Croghan, lighting design by Alberto Segarra, sound design by Ryan Hickey; production stage manager Julie Meyer; and production assistant Sophia Lewin Adams.
Performance and Ticket Information: Eight weeks only, now through November 6, 2017. Tickets are available in person at the Signature box Office, 4200 Campbell Avenue in Shirlington, Va., by calling 703-820-9771 and online at www.sigtheatre.org.