Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: San Francisco/North Bay

An Act of God
Golden Gate Theatre
Review by Richard Connema | Season Schedule

Also see Patrick's recent reviews of Time Stands Still and Boeing Boeing and Richard's recent reviews of On Clover Road and The Boys from Syracuse

James Gleason, Sean Hayes,
and David Josefsberg

Photo by Jim Cox
Sean Hayes is at the Golden Gate Theatre with his portrayal of the Supreme Being in An Act of God. I suppose it was time for someone to play God again—George Burns, Morgan Freeman and even Whoopi Goldberg played God on the screen, and Jim Parson recently appeared at on Broadway in the role Sean Hayes takes on now. I found pleasure and a little food for thought in his reprimands, perceptions, and gags. I'm not sure how it would play in the Bible Belt.

Sean Hayes portrays God as a campy character; in fact, Hayes out-camps the character. He is aided by two archangels played by David Josefsberg and James Gleason. Josefsberg roams the audience for a Q&A with the God.

An Act of God was written by David Javerbaum, the Emmy-winning head writer for "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and the jesting mind behind the popular Twitter handle @TheTweetOfGod. The script is up to date for current news and God gets a few jabs in at Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. At the beginning, Hayes descends many steps from a miniature Hollywood Bowl shell with projections of lightning and thunder in the background. He wears the customary white robe and and sits and lays on a couch stage forward. He says "It's great to be back in San Francisco. The last time I was here was on business trip in 1906" (the year of the big earthquake).

Hayes as God tells the audience, "Tonight I shall give thee a new Ten Commandments, one that will forever end that uncertainty regarding what it is I desire from humanity that has caused so much bitterness and hatred among you over the millennia, all of which I find very flattering." He starts with "Thou shalt not take My name in vain." He says to not tell him what to do, such as when sneezing ("don't say God bless") or at sporting events when he is asked for help.

He talks about the plagues he's inflicted on mankind, especially Noah and the ark. He also talks about the Garden of Eden but states that he created Adam and Steve, who battled a closeted snake with a lisp. He talks about the Holocaust happening so Kander and Ebb could write a musical called Cabaret. (I was a bit uncomfortable about that remark.) He makes remarks about Adam Sandler movies and sex between men and women, when at the climax the woman says, "Oh God"—he says he is really not interested in their sex. God concludes by proclaiming "Gay, straight, bisexual, transgender. Thou art all equally 'smitable' in my eyes."

Sean Hayes will appear in this show at the Booth Theatre on Broadway starting May 28.

An Act of God continues at the Golden Gate Theatre, 1 Taylor Street, San Francisco through April 17, 2016. Tickets are available online at, by phone at 888-746-1799, or in person at the box office Tuesday-Saturday, noon - 8:30 or Sunday 11 am - 7 pm.