An Act of God

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Photo: Jim Cox Review
For his many years on the TV sitcom “Will & Grace,” Sean Hayes played the semi-egotistical Jack McFarland, who put on a show called “Just Jack.” Now, for his second Broadway outing, Hayes is playing the title role in David Javerbaum’s often hilarious and somewhat irreverent comedy “An Act of God,” at the Booth Theatre. And to his fans’ many delight, this rollicking outing is primarily 80 minutes of “Just Sean.”

First seen on Broadway last summer, with fellow TV favorite Jim Parsons in the lead, this cleverly constructed piece (adapted from Javerbaum’s book, which actually began life as his Twitter account) has “God” visiting Broadway in the guise of a real-life human being (aka Hayes) who is unaware of this heavenly takeover. And the snarky yet sometimes sweet-natured actor easily commands the stage (perched on a couch on Scott Pask’s mostly white set), proving himself equally adept at lobbing adlibs at the audience (latecomers beware), dissing politicians (well, Republican politicans), and, as the script dictates, making grandiose, God-like pronouncements.

Indeed, Hayes’ primary job (as “God’) is to simultaneously deliver a new, updated version of the Ten Commandments for us to live by (though there are a couple of holdovers) and set us straight about what was actually written in The Bible. If you’re going to be offended to hear that the first couple in the Garden of Eden were actually Adam and Steve, that Noah only brought two puppies aboard the ark and not two of every species, and that “God” couldn’t care less about the sodomy going on in Sodom, I suggest you stay home.

He’s aided in his mission by his loyal angel Gabriel (James Gleason) and fellow wingman Michael (an excellent David Josefsberg), who takes “questions” from the audience, but ultimately throws some very pointed queries of his own to his boss. And like many employers, “God” does not appreciate being challenged, and Hayes shows off some real dramatic skills in his moments of anger. Hayes is also unexpectedly touching as “God” lets us in on the creator’s surprising moments of self-doubt, especially in the way he’s served his own children (yep, spoiler alert, he has three).

As much as Javerbaum intends to make us laugh, he also manages us to make us think – especially about the role of religion in not just society as a whole but in our everyday lives. His last Commandment, as it turns out, is one worthy of obeying. As for me, I just command you to revel in the remarkable talent of Sean Hayes while you have the chance.
By Brian Scott Lipton

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Sean Hayes, David Josefsberg, James Gleason

Open/Close Dates
Opening 6/6/2016
Closing 9/4/2016

Preview Open/ Preview Close Dates
Preview Opening 5/28/2016
Closing Open-ended

Box Office

Theatre Info
Booth Theatre
222 West 45th Street
New York, NY 10036