The new play "An Act of God," starring Jim Parsons, opened Thursday evening on Broadway. NY1's Roma Torre filed the following review.
God, if you're a believer, is many things to many people - mysterious, vengeful, merciful. But funny? Well, leave it to Jim Parsons and a couple of angels to show us that side of the Almighty One.
Written by David Javerbaum, the former producer and head writer of The Daily Show, "An Act Of God" is essentially a stand-up comedy routine featuring God appearing in the body of Jim Parsons. He's joined by a pair of archangels - Michael and Gabriel - and as you would expect, the material is edgy. And if you regard religion as no laughing matter, be warned.
First of all, he's tired of the Ten Commandments and announces he's changing them up: So, we get "Thou Shalt Not Tell Others Whom To Fornicate." This God does have an attitude. He's not anti-gay and he doesn't appreciate the way people invoke him to justify their personal causes. Thus, we hear "Thou shalt Not Kill In My Name" and Thou Shalt Separate Me and State" He says leave him out of sports and the debate over abortion and gun rights. In fact he'd prefer that people not rely on him at all, saying "Thou Shalt Not Believe In Me".
Of course, this is all meant to be a joke. Some folks will be offended, but for the liberal-minded, it is hysterically funny; and for those troubled by the notion of blind faith, Javerbaum's ideas are strikingly clear-eyed.
At the very least, under Joe Mantello's spot-on direction, Parsons delivers to near perfection with, dare I say it, his extraordinary God-given talents.
I would suggest an 11th Commandment to heighten one's appreciation of "An Act Of God": Thou Shalt Be Able To Laugh at Sacred Cows. You'll need it to enjoy this audaciously divine comedy.