Monday, November 27, 2017

An Act of God—Triangle Productions!—SE Portland

The God Factor

This irreverent comedy is written by David Javerbaum and directed and designed by Donald Horn (Triangle’s Artistic Director).  It is playing at their space in The Sanctuary at Sandy Plaza, 1785 NE Sandy Blvd. (free parking lot to the west of the bldg.), through December 16th.  For more information, go to their site at www.trianglepro.org or call 503-239-5919.

For many years, scientists have been looking for that Missing Link in our evolution.  No, not just the one between Ape and Man (depending on whether you believe in Evolution, or Creation, as the Bible states it), but between the Big Bang theory and the moment just before that or, as it is sometimes called, The God Particle.  There is a place called CERN, deep underground, in which they are attempting to recreate this Bang.  (So, if you wake up someday and see just rubble all around you, you know they have succeeded.)  But, I digress….

In this incarnation, God has taken on the guise of a well-known local actor named, Norman Wilson, and has arrived in Portland to set the record straight on some things.  According to Him, His named has been invoked millions of times in order to justify mass murder and He, quite frankly, wants it stopped.  He is also very upset that people are damning things and people in His name, which should only be His prerogative.  And He wants to give us the real story on his purpose of creating Humans—you may not believe this, but there was also another character molded at the same time, called Steve.  According to Him, His secret weapon to get things accomplished are Panic and Awe.

He also wants us to know that the Ten Commandments needed revising so, although He has kept some of them, such as adoring only Him and not taking His name in vain He, in general, is tired of people mis-quoting from the Bible and using Him as an excuse to further their own, selfish agendas (He explains it much better but I didn’t want to ruin his unique delivery of these gems).  He also expounds on Abraham (his favorite); the Job story (a comedy); Noah & the pairing in the Ark (a zookeeper’s nightmare); Jesus (His middle child); and the beginnings of America (Puritans, misguided religious fanatics vs. Tobacco Farmers, expanded slavery & smoking), et. al.

But He is not without His detractors (both here and above).  Although Gabriel (James Sharinghousen), the arch-angel, who follows him around like a little puppy, His other side-kick, Michael (Leah Yorkston), is not quite so accepting of His missives and raises, at her own peril, questions and concerns that Humans might have.  But all is not predetermined, as He has a recent arrival (Universe 2.0 is the program, to give you a hint as to his identity) from Earth that may have a plan to make things better/fairer for us mortals.  Another revelation He make concerns why we, as Humans, have so many flaws and failings.  And His newest, Tenth Commandment, might just give us a new path to forge (you’ll have to hear it for yourself, though, as I won’t be a spoiler).

As always, Horn has given us something provocative, entertaining and insightful to dwell on.  And he has chosen his cast well, as Sharinghousen, a veteran of Triangle and OCT productions and Yorkston (an amazing Dusty Springfield from a previous show) are perfect as the opposing forces in God’s story.  And Wilson is also the perfect vessel for God to possess (a cross between Paul Lynde and Mel Brooks).  His comic delivery is spot on, a terrific choice for the role!  Be advised, though, this is definitely adult material and, for those sensitive to religious issues, this may not be for you.  But for all others, go see it, as I recommend it and thoroughly enjoyed it.  And, if you do choose to see it, please tell them Dennis sent you.