By Nora Dominick ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor
“I’ve taken the form of a burning bush in the desert but this time I’ve decided to take the form of The Big Bang Theory star, Jim Parsons.” Cue thunderous laughter that echoes throughout Studio 54 as God begins to lay down a new set of The Ten Commandments for the people of Broadway. An Act of God is turning heads and causing some serious laughs on Broadway this summer.
Written by David Javerbaum and directed by the legendary Joe Mantello, An Act of God reveals the mysteries of the Bible to a whole new audience. God has descended from heaven and has taken the form of Jim Parsons in order to reach out to a Broadway audiences and set the record straight on some of the biggest questions of the universe. He is also taking the time to re-write the Ten Commandments. This hilarious, 90-minute comedy is taking Broadway by storm and gives a whole new side to God and heaven itself.
An Act of God relies heavily on its main star Jim Parsons. Parsons is known for his work as Sheldon Cooper on the CBS hit comedy The Big Bang Theory and in the HBO film, The Normal Heart. His amazing comedic timing flourishes in this new comedy as God hands out his new list of Ten Commandments. Parsons’ jeans, sneakers and plaid shirts poke out from underneath God’s robe as he sits on a white couch as he appears to resemble a talk show host. He discusses some hard hitting subjects like being gay, abortion, Adam & Eve and of course, celebrities.
One of the funniest moments of the evening comes when he discusses how he didn’t intend to make Adam & Eve, he originally created Adam & Steve. He says originally he made Adam & Steve and they were not ashamed of their lifestyle, God doesn’t care if a man lies with a man. Parsons tells the audience, “And so Steve ate of the tree; and he bid Adam eat of it; and the knowledge that their lifestyle was sinful shamed them; whereupon they grew embarrassed, and cloaked themselves in fig leaves, the first clothing, which represented the entirety of the fall collection.” His comedic timing is spot on and it’s hard to imagine any other comedian performing this role with such humor and heart. He ends this discussion by saying, “Gay, straight, bisexual, transgender; thou art all equally smitable in my eyes.”
Another amazing moment in An Act of God comes when God discusses some moments that have happened throughout history that he didn’t mean to happen. Parsons discusses Noah and the Flood and how the business with all the animals was a mistake and he just wanted Noah to take some adorable puppies. The moment that gets fans rolling in their seats with laughter is when God discusses taking the Lord’s name in vain. In one of the funniest moments, Parsons uses celebrities to discuss why they always thank him when they win awards. He says, “Kanye, next time you win a Grammy Award and you thank me for your ‘God-given talents,’ they’re going to get God-taken, understand?” Parsons shows that he is one of the greatest comedic actors and further proves his range of comedy extends far beyond Sheldon Cooper.
Parsons may dominate the stage as God however he is joined on stage by God’s right hand men, Gabriel and Michael. Gabriel is played by Tim Kazurinsky, who helps with quotations from the Gutenberg Bible. His deadpan humor perfectly plays off of Parsons comedy and he adds another layer to An Act of God. Michael is played by Christopher Fitzgerald, who works his way through the audience, gathering questions. He is the character that tests God’s patience and creates some tension between the two characters. Both Kazurinsky and Fitzgerald add a layer to An Act of God and help propel the comedic moments from Parsons.
Of course, An Act of God can’t end with Parsons discussing how he took Steve Jobs off of this earth so he could help him bring heaven into the 21st century in terms of electronics. And then Parsons exits in one of the most talked about ways when he sings a soft-rock song where God tells the audience that they stop asking him for advice and act on their own.
Overall, Jim Parsons creates one of the funniest new plays on Broadway as he ushers in a brand new season on Broadway. An Act of God will be playing at Studio 54 until August 2, 2015.