‘God’ has some explaining to do in satirical WCLOC production
Kevin T. Baldwin
WORCESTER — The Worcester County Light Opera Company puts on a simple but heavenly spectacle in the funny and irreverent comedy ‘An Act of God’.
As the title suggests, this is a one-act spectacle consisting of 80 minutes spent with the whimsical but sometimes surly Lord Almighty God (“appearing in the form” of actress Caitlin Lubelczyk), who is ably assisted by his angels, Michael (Eric Butler) and Gabriel (Erik Gladwin).
Their purpose is to try to explain to the public the backstory of the existing Ten Commandments and announce God’s intention to replace/update them (at least for the next 2000 years or so).
Michael “answers questions” from the audience and then asks those “questions” to God. The questions, as the show unfolds, continually draw attention to God’s historical inconsistency, especially when considering God’s proclaimed (though conjectured) celestial omniscience, particularly in the areas of empathy and fairness.
Directed by Chuck Grigaitis, the self-described “one God show,” written by David Javerbaum, has no big reveals (pun intended) and feels more like an elongated comedy sketch than a documentary. from HBO. It’s simple comic fare and thank goodness for that (now it was intended).
However, Javerbaum’s script also serves to shine a light on God to better “address” the concerns raised, at least in the guise of Lubelczyk (who is exemplary in the role).
We learn about God’s “first try” in the Garden of Eden, learning that the FIRST humans were actually gay couple Adam and Steve.
When that attempt failed spectacularly, God decided to do a rewrite of Steve to Eve, which thus begat Cain and Abel…and that also didn’t go quite according to God’s plan.
By the time we get to the story of Noah and the biblical flood, we kind of get the impression from Javerbaum’s witty text that God somehow steered him for a while.
When Michael tries to confront God’s actions, inactions, moral ambiguity, and/or overt indifference (more than occasionally), that’s when God tries to force the conversation back to the Ten Commandments or at least towards a direction that best suits. God.
Butler and Gladwin are excellent at establishing themselves as God’s sidekicks, with one maintaining the agenda (Gabriel) while the other (Michael) confronts, making sure the things that need to be discussed are brought to God’s attention, whatever the ramifications thereof. of these clashes.
Whatever your religious inclination, be it devout, agnostic, or totally atheist, this is an entertaining show that’s unlikely to change anyone’s perspective on any of the above.
However, it might actually inspire further discussion on these topics and more after leaving the theater. Any work that inspires such additional conversations is always worth spending time on.
The approximate duration of the show is approximately 80 minutes without intermission.
Kevin T. Baldwin is a member of the American Theater Critics Association.
“An act of God”