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Irreverent B Street Comedy Offers God's Take On The Bible

Rudy Meyers Photography / Courtesy

Rudy Meyers Photography / Courtesy

Sacramento’s B Street Theatre is staging a satire called “An Act of God,” in which the Almighty takes the form of a sardonic gay comedian, telling joke after joke in a nighclub routine. While much of the humor is clever, the concept isn’t particularly original.

Back in 1977, the ageless George Burns appeared in a family film portraying God, telling jokes in the unlikely form of an 80-year-old veteran of vaudeville comedy.

Well, 40 years have passed, and now the B Street Theatre is staging a somewhat less family-oriented show in which God again takes the form of a jokester. But this time, God is played by actor Nick Cearley, who spins an engaging mix of Biblical revisionism and gay humor from a Jewish point of view. The play begins like a glossy TV show, with jazzy theme music and God as the master of ceremonies.

God is anxious to set the record straight -- forgive my choice of words there -- regarding some Old Testament passages that didn’t quite get the details right. Let’s start in the Garden of Eden. Cearley, as God, explains, “So, the Snake was the most closeted animal in the garden. He lisped, and fretted over skin care, and couldn’t have looked more phallic…”

I faded out the rest because it might not fly with FCC policy.

Cearley also tells us God is fond of the rich and famous, saying “Celebrities are my chosen people. I know, the Jews are also my chosen people. But, there’s a lot of overlap!”

He ventures into politics as well. “And they started dragging me into this gun debate thing. Apparently there is this God-given right to guns? What part of the Bible did you find that in? The part with all the guns in it? No, what chapter is that? Is that Colt 45 or AK-47 or what?”

Cearley also takes on the Ten Commandments, circumcision, mortality, and other topics. It’s an engaging, high energy performance, and his timing with punchlines is precise. But the naughty humor – not as family-friendly as that old George Burns movie – is actually not especially innovative. This show offers a strong stand-up routine, but if you are looking for a story that develops depth and momentum over 90 minutes.. you’ve come to the wrong place. “An Act of God” is a show that will delight some people… but it will gradually wear out its welcome with others, because so much of the humor is cut from the same cloth. 
“An Act of God” continues at Sacramento’s B Street Theatre through July 29. 

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