EMAV Review: "Act of God" has some New Commandments ★★★★★

★★★★★ - Irresistible

I saw God last night. And He was funny as Hell! Do you know why He created man? He was lonely. And bored. Why the name Adam? To give him a leg up alphabetically.

To close out their 40th Mainstage season, Las Vegas Little Theatre is presenting David Javerbaum’s comedy “An Act of God.” What an act! The 90-minute show zips along under the direction of Maxim Lardent with a host of what seem like one-liners. But many are actually the build-up to final punch lines which had the audience howling with laughter.

The script itself provides for a certain amount of improvisation and Lardent chose his cast well. Glenn Heath, Kade Cox, and April Sauline are certainly up to the task. The trick is to pay attention. I know that’s hard to do when you’re still laughing at the previous line. And, yes, some things got lost early on when the cast didn’t hold for laughs. But they quickly settled in.

Do you know your Ten Commandments? Then you’ll fully understand this play as God (Glenn Heath) hands down a new set for a new age. It may sound like I have some kind of man-crush here that, production and production, I heap praise on this guy. But, really, it’s only because no matter what role he takes on, Heath fully lets go. He’s never afraid to wholly embody the role. He’s clearly having fun here and that makes it easier to roll along with him.

He’s joined by two of his most trusted angels. Kade Cox as Michael and April Sauline as Gabriel are rather like Ed McMahon to Johnny Carson. Both Cox and Sauline add to the funny moments by clarifying, asking questions, or assisting God in remembering certain things. Sauline’s Gabriel kowtows to curry favor, blending her bits with perfection. At one point, Michael gets a little too insistent and, well…compliments of Ginny Adams’ lighting, you know what happens if you make God angry. Cox is a real find, matching Heath measure for measure.

The simple set designed by Lardent and Ron Lindblom placed a small couch, table, podium (for a copy of the Guttenburg Bible, of course) floating in a blue sky among wisps of clouds. Where else would you expect God to reside?

Lest you ask, in this day and age, why God couldn’t be a woman, the cast will rotate roles over the course of the run. Both Sauline and Cox will get their shot at the title role. Check the website for their specific performances. A small hint for added enjoyment: If you attend a performance with either Heath or Cox, read the actor bios before the play begins.

Who doesn’t want a God with a sense of humor? This is not a play intended to offend. On the contrary, it’s all in fun for fun. Go. Laugh. It’s not a sin. God said so.

When: 8 p.m. Thursday - Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday through May 20

2 p.m. Saturday, May 11

Where: Las Vegas Little Theatre, 3920 Schiff drive

Tickets: $21 - $24 (702-362-7996; www.lvlt.org)

Producer: Las Vegas Little Theatre; Director: Maxim Lardent; Musical Director: Karalyn Clark; Set Design: Ron Lindblom, Maxim Lardent; Lighting Design: Ginny Adams; Sound Design: Mike Olsen; Costume Design: Candace Wynants; Stage Manager: Eve Smith

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