NEW YORK (Reuters) - With two winged angels at his side, actor Jim Parsons assumes a divine role as he reveals another story of the six days of creation and issues a revised version of the Ten Commandments in the new Broadway comedy “An Act of God.”
Parsons, a multiple Emmy winner for his role as the nerdy scientist Sheldon Cooper in the hit TV comedy “The Big Bang Theory,” is God in the play that opened on Thursday night for a limited run at Studio 54.
God inhabits Parsons’ body for the 90-minute minute, one-act comedy based on the book, “The Last Testament: A Memoir by God” by David Javerbaum, the 13-time Emmy-winner and former executive producer and head writer of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” and his Twitter account.
Dressed in a white robe, jeans and sneakers, Parsons sips from a chalice while seated on a white sofa on the celestial set as he explains the mysteries of faith and answers questions about evolution, homosexuality and the Bible.
“Where were you during the Holocaust? Or when they green-lit the last five Adam Sandler movies?” asks Archangel Michael (Christopher Fitzgerald).
A sneering Parsons replies, “I made mankind in my image, and I am an asshole.”
The trade journal Variety said the play was tailor-made for Parsons with his “deadpan stare and droll comic delivery,” while The New York Times credits the 42-year-old actor for carrying the comedy.
“With his sly smile and sparkly eyes, he delivers the zingers with an easy grace, giving a nice silky consistency to shtick that, in more aggressive hands, might grow oppressive,” it added.
The New York Post said Parsons, who is making his third appearance on Broadway, is the reason the play made it onto the Great White Way.
“Parsons is charming as a supreme being who’s relaxed, cocky and at times a little testy,” it said.
Archangel Michael roams the audience taking staged questions from the audience. His co-wingman, Archangel Gabriel (Tim Kazurinsky), reads from the Bible as Parsons reminisces about creating the universe; takes digs at singers Kanye West, Justin Bieber and the Kardashians; and reveals how he first made Adam and Steve, not Eve, who came later.
“Being a comedy sketch stretched out to feature length, “An Act of God” inevitably has its longueurs,” said the Hollywood Reporter. “But there’s no denying that this wickedly clever evening is both thought-provoking and anarchic fun.”
Editing by Lisa Von Ahn