An Act Of God
After a long winter marked by a fair amount of national strife, we could all use more laughter in our lives and in our theater experiences. An Act of God, the latest production at the JET, delivers just that. Written by Emmy- and Peabody Award-winner David Javerbaum, former executive producer and head writer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and directed by Lavinia Hart, Act of God is a hilarious depiction of what might happen if God took the form of a bawdy blonde plus-size comedienne bedecked in a sparkly sheer blue duster and hot pink Crocs (played by Jaime Moyer). Add her two sidekicks, chief angels Gabriel (Dave Davies) and Michael (Carollette Phillips) to the mix, and the result is a Divine deluge of hilarity from the first glimpse of Moyer in her god-like get-up to the last “God-bye” as she floats off the stage.
The show stars Second City Detroit alum Jaime Moyer, who has also appeared in such television shows as Modern Family, 2 Broke Girls and Parks and Recreation. The premise is that God has chosen a spokesperson in the form of Ms. Moyer, whose central mission is to impart a new set of commandments. These directives, which contain a few favored holdovers from the original version, are displayed on a screen over Moyer’s gauzy white bed.
Hart, who is also Moyer’s mother, keeps the quips and action moving as Moyer flits about the stage delivering a running diatribe about God’s own idiosyncrasies, human misconceptions, the real scoop on Adam and Eve, Noah’s ark and a variety of other topics drawn from the Bible as well as modern society.
Gabriel delivers appropriate quotes from an enormous Guttenberg Bible while the feisty Michael “works” the audience with a microphone and an array of questions for the deity to answer, ranging from the silly to the somber. The more serious-minded questions, such as “Where were you during the Holocaust?” and “Why do kids get cancer?” seem a bit out of place in this otherwise laugh-a-minute production, but the moment passes and the humor continues with barely a missed beat.
For a show about a holy deity, not much is sacred or off-limits. “God” and her angels take aim at national and local targets ranging from Donald Trump to Adam Sandler to the much-maligned Detroit Lions — even the latecomers surreptitiously attempting to take their seats are called out.
JET scenic designer and technical director Elspeth Williams has created a heavenly hangout replete with cotton-candy pink swirled walls and floor, a reflecting pool and puffy clouds. Moyer’s imaginative garb, and that of the angels, is by costume designer Mary Copenhagen, with props by Diane Ulseth. Lighting designer Neil Koivu and sound designer Matt Lira supply the appropriate heavenly sound and lighting effects.
Ronelle Grier Contributing Writer
An Act of God runs through May 21 at the Aaron DeRoy Theatre at the JCC
in West Bloomfield. $44. (248) 788-2900; jettheatre.org.