Is there such a thing as too much delightful, good-natured blasphemy? Staging a play inspired by God’s Twitter feed in the location of a notoriously drug-fueled and gay-friendly nightclub from New York City’s seedier times might just fit the bill.
Running until early August, a new play, An Act of God, stars TV’s Jim Parsons as a vessel for the divine’s voice on Earth, according to a New York Times preview of the new play. Prolific comedy writer David Javerbaum, who has won 11 of his 13 Emmys for work on The Daily Show, started the Twitter account five years ago and has nearly two million followers (but only follows one account, that of Justin Bieber, proving once and for all that the deity has a sense of humor and the absurd) and has turned that work into a stage production.
Saying he’s proud to be the author of the first play derived from Twitter, Javerbaum was excited for the play to debut and to have the immediacy of sitting with a live audience interacting with his writing.
“I’ve had my jokes seen by millions of people, like all TV writers do,” he told New York Times reporter Michael Paulson. “But it’s just not the same thing. Even though a given theater crowd is much smaller…that visceral feeling of being in the audience and feeling the laughter, not as a series of electrons abstractly being transmitted to a horde of unseen people, but as actual sounds being take in and responded to by real live human beings you’re looking at, is amazing.”
The play’s star is equally smitten with the work and its author – at least, the earthly author.
“I was so tickled by his putting an average human voice and sentence structure together to try to explain some of the most profound, hard-to-imagine concepts in the world, like creating a universe,” Parsons told the Times. Javerbaum “explores it with a somewhat serious hand – he doesn’t treat the subject lightly and he doesn’t treat it recklessly.”
The play, in the site of the iconic and notorious Studio 54, is in a limited engagement through August 2. No word yet on a traveling production, but maybe if we all pray for it…