|Sean Hayes as God|
Declaring, “Tonight I have chosen to appear in the form of hallowed star of film and stage Sean Hayes (a description neither smiling Sean nor the cheering audience seemed at all interested in disputing), God has decided to plop himself “right here in the Tenderloin’s glamor of San Francisco” for the next couple of weeks. Noting that this is his first time back in Northern California “since that business trip in 1906,” God has come to give us an update to the Ten Commandments. (“I’ve grown weary of them in the same way Don McLean grew weary of “American Pie.”) In the next ninety minutes, God — aka Sean Hayes — is going to bring a packed SHN Golden Gate Theatre audience precariously close to collective rapture as they laugh and marvel at David Javerbaum’s joke-and-wisdom-filled An Act of God.
The genius of David Javerbaum’s script plays out in a number of dimensions. He gives hilarious new twists to old stories (“I called him Adam to give him a leg-up alphabetically”). We learn some of the inner nuances of his holiness (“Awe and panic are two of my all time emotions”). He gives us new ways of looking at God’s well-known traits of all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present (with God/Sean letting us know with raised eyebrows and pointing finger that he sees much more than we might imagine behind our closed bedroom doors or when we sit alone in front of computer screens locked in on a porn site). Local color of the venue and current events of the week are comically woven just enough into the set script to make the audience feel like this show is just for us.
|James Gleason, Sean Hayes & David Josefsberg|
An Act of God is basically a one-person show (and why shouldn’t it be, given he is the one and only, as his retained first commandment so clearly states). Two archangels act as his sidekicks with not a lot to do, especially Gabriel (the mostly serious and subdued James Gleason), who spends the show behind a side podium once in a while reading a scripture verse or a new commandment. David Josefsberg’s Michael is a bit more active, roaming the audience for pre-determined questions to be asked from unsuspecting members and increasingly pushing God with his own always-wanted-to-know questions. The two do join God as chorus boys in a finale song that is frankly a letdown in its humor and quality of delivery quotients when compared to the rest of the evening.