Fans of Sean Hayes and Jon Stewart might want to catch this featherweight fluff of a show that mixes flights of feyness with faith. “An Act of God” runs roughly about 90-minutes without an intermission and gives us Sean Hayes as God who decidedly likes rainbows and wants to give us a new set of Ten Commandments.
The program tells you that Sean Hayes plays God, but also lets us know that God is the creator and “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. Though best known for his performance art, He is also a writer whose previous literary efforts, ‘The Old Testament’ and ‘The New Testament,’ have collectively sold an impressive 7,000,000,000 copies.” During the show, we learn that Hayes and God have the same agent. That explains a lot.
Playwright David Javerbaum has won 13 Emmys and is the former head writer and executive producer of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” He also wrote “The Last Testament: A Memoir by God.” It is likely if you don’t take your religion too seriously and appreciated “The Daily Show,” you’ll find this show mildly amusing. Directed by Joe Mantello, we have a very liberal God who is sometimes angry and spiteful, but not really down and dirty nasty. Hayes is seen in heavenly white robes, but God appreciates comfort and sits on a cushy white sofa while wearing sneakers.
God isn’t alone on stage. He has two angels to help him: Michael (David Josefsberg) and Gabriel (James Gleason). He’s willing to take questions from the audience, but be careful what you ask. You won’t be able to earn wings, but sometimes feathers will fly and the angels won’t be happy. As you might expect, there are plenty of topical contemporary references on politics and people.
Be warned: Do not worship false gods although if you didn’t know the names of them, there’s a puzzle that asks you to find all the listed false gods to find a message from the true God. You can do that before the show, but come early enough to take selfies in front of a life-sized image of Hayes as God.
No one will get struck by lightening, but someone will take a fall from grace and godliness. The presentation of the Ten Commandments might remind you of a certain game show program (“Family Feud”), and there’s a game in the program if you have the time to play. That might make you a little huffy since some of the “false gods” include Buddha and Loki.
Loki won’t be there to cause mischief and if you can find your inner Zen master, even the religious can enjoy this rainbow-embracing irreverent take on faith and God.
“An Act of God” continues at the Ahmanson Theatre until March 13, 2016. For more information, visit the Center Theatre Group’s website.