Review by Liz Eichler of “An Act of God”: Human Race Theatre
“An Act of God,” produced by Human Race Theatre and playing through November 18, will provide smiles, chuckles, and laughs as God delivers a more modern version of the Ten Commandments. It is a stand-up routine, except SHE is delivering it from a lovely cloud-like couch.
The show was on Broadway in 2015, starring Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory), and later Sean Hayes (Will and Grace). So when director Kevin Moore cast Sara Macke in the same role, he clearly moved the show in a different direction. Sara is well known in Cincinnati theatre circles and has performed for Human Race, recently in “Family Ties.” She is a strong, funny, and powerful redhead who can both command the stage and be an Everywoman. Here, she cajoles the audience to smile, laugh, and ultimately think—as these new commandments are addressed one by one. Some of them are incredibly witty, and even the ones that may be new ideas to the audience, are delivered with charm and certainty that they may cause you to ruminate on them, and even have a drive-home discussion about the original Ten (which is always good!) Despite the clever premise, the script by Daily Show writer David Javerbaum is uneven, and many of the conceits and gags are not new. But Macke is winning, due to both her charm and over-the-top delivery.
Macke is supported by HRT regular Scott Stoney and Joshua Levine as angels Gabriel and Michael, who interact with the audience, but otherwise have little to do in this script. The lighting (John Rensel) is colorful, the set (Eric Moore) with clean and simple lines, and lovely, fluffy clouds. Special kudos to some heavenly props by Heather Powell, and effective angel wings from costumer Ayn Kaethchen.
Human Race is one of my favorite theatres, with lots of audience engagement opportunities, and this one caught my eye: the “While We’re on the Subject” discussion with the cast and Marianist Brother Alex Tuss of Mount St. John. That is after the November 11 matinee—but check out the humanracetheatre.org website for tickets and all the special added extras they have for their shows.