I used to think of Kathleen Turner as a force of Nature. Now I know, she’s “An Act of God!” David Javerbaum’s play, at the George Street Playhouse (GSP), in New Brunswick, New Jersey, through December 23, is a tour de thrice–you have Kathleen Turner as God, who decides to come down into her form, as she is also self-referentially legendary and possessed of an offbeat charm, He says, that is the ideal vehicle for us to comprehend His message. Joined by Archangels Gabriel (Jim Walton) and Michael (Stephen DeRosa), we have a very full “Act of God” … this is a double pun, since this is a play that is one-act length. Get it…“An Act of God”? Like “A Fifth of Beethoven”? For both the literati and the glitterati, this is an Event!
Rapid fire one-liners, including the occasional “buh-dum-CHING,” enliven this irreverent feast. This is entirely character driven, and what characters! Timothy R. Mackabee’s set with the Divine divan, a chalice that has something stronger than wine, coupled with Esther Arroyo’s costumes truly set the scene. God is attired in a floor length embellished winter white robe with white court shoes, while the archangels have matching white suits and ties, and wings, with what looks like a Colasito or Junio knot! Because, of course, the Archangels would be super Beau Brummel types, hanging with the Big G!
The devout should stay at home–this is more like a cabaret show, betraying its Broadway roots. When David Saint asked playwright Javerbaum what he thought about casting God as a woman, he was happy to tweak the show a bit and eh, VOILÀ!
It’s well suited to this intimate space where GSP will be for the next two years, and we are part of the action. While Gabriel reads from the Book, Michael is the humanist who is out among us with a wireless mic … there is a nifty way they involve the audience for local color and, when a hapless pair of theatre goers was late taking their seats, about 10 minutes in, Turner was fast on her feet in taking them to task, in a way that was so smooth, that it begs the question of whether it was planned. One look at the rosy cheeks of the two subjects of Her Wrath, however, scotched that notion. Be sure to be on time for God!
The time is now to get your tickets for a show that will transport you, sometimes with barking laughter, into a scathingly brilliant alternate reality. Turner is magnificent, as are Walton and DeRosa and you will have a marvelous time. Leave the Holiday rush behind and experience the new George Street Playhouse. Give the gift of live theatre and the experience will be Heavenly!
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