Cinematically speaking, playing God seldom ends well (see: the Jurassic Park series). Perhaps things will turn out differently when The Creator of the Universe hits the stage in David Javerbaum’s An Act of God, opening at the Ahmanson January 30.
A producer on The Late Late Show and a former writer and producer on The Daily Show—where his work won him 11 Emmys—An Act of God is yet another stop on Javerbaum’s not-so-holy roll: In 2011 he “transcribed” The Last Testament: A Memoir By God, the deity’s chapter-and-verse “telleth all”; shortly thereafter he set up the Twitter account @TheTweetofGod, where he shoots off smart-alecky missives to the Almighty’s two million-plus followers on topics as varied as sports (“Prediction: Floyd Mayweather is going to hell”), politics (“Kanye vs. Trump is exactly what America deserves”), and pop culture (“Bruce Jenner is the first Kardashian woman I can tolerate”). The play is a 90-minute extension of both, the idea being that God temporarily inhabits a celebrity’s body to deliver an updated set of The Ten Commandments. For his turn in New York, God selected The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons as his earthly liaison (dramatic irony!). In L.A., Will and Grace’s Sean Hayes will don the robe and sandals. Like The Book of Mormon before it, the show skews irreverent to draw in the non-religious set, though according to Javerbaum, “God cannot be irreverent. He is that who is revered, so nothing God says is either irreverent or blasphemous.” Heaven help us.
Having received critical and commercial success on the East coast, Javerbaum is expecting to take Los Angeles audiences to church. “In most ways, this is more important for me than the Broadway run because my life is here now,” Javerbaum says. “I get the sense that theatre is almost a snobbier thing in L.A. than in New York. There’s a joke about that in the show, which will be pretty cool. I don’t want to give anything away, but there are a couple more showbiz references in there than there were.” The angels Michael (David Josefsberg) and Gabriel (James Gleason) will be on hand as well, with the former roaming the house throughout the production. “The audience is very much involved in the show,” Javerbaum says. “And God does take questions.” In that case, we have a few of our own.
So, Alpha/Omega, are you excited about your Los Angeles theatrical debut?
Yes, because it’s not just my theatrical debut. It’s my L.A. debut. I’ve never been here before. They wouldn’t let me anywhere near Hollywood.
Why are they letting you in now?
I reached out to Spielberg.
With Kobe retiring, give us a hint as to what will become of the Lakers.
I’m confident over the next few years the players will congeal into a cohesive team fully capable of rallying a teammate through, say, a painful divorce from Iggy Azalea.
Does all the plastic surgery performed here bother you?
Not really. Adam and Eve were more or less created by plastic surgery.
Anything you could do about L.A. traffic?
No. I’m just one God.