SHOW TITLE: Deus Ex Machina
PRODUCER: Joey Hamburger
HAILING FROM: Minneapolis
SHOW DESCRIPTION: God stops writing. Conflict ends and people stop dying. Believing this means the end of the world, Adam and Eve convince God to start writing again. He reluctantly creates a sequel to his greatest work, Jesus.
This is a very silly show. Its premise makes that clear. A script that begins with God taking a holiday (practically a comic trope at this point) that then culminates in a surfing competition is at least going in some unexpected directions.
It uses theology as its background, but its theology is not deep (beyond a kind of loosey-goosey existentialism). Insofar as there is a deeper metaphor here, it’s a metaphor about writing, and the conflicted feelings that emerge from the impulse to entertain.
The whole thing feels, oddly, like listening to a particularly inspired barfly spitballing: “Hey, like, what if God took a holiday? And nobody died anymore? And then, like, Jesus came back? Maybe? And there was a scientist there? I dunno.” By which I mean, it doesn’t feel polished. The dialogue and performances are not crisp.
But the thing is, that barfly – and by extension this play – are both so affable that I can’t bring myself to hate either one. Sure, it’s not a masterpiece. But the whole experience is so all-over-the-map ridiculous that there were several occasions I found myself leaning back in my seat with my hand over my mouth, giggling at the kind of spontaneous, drunken logic of the whole thing.
Honestly, I can’t say it’s something I would seek out – but it’s certainly not something that I regret having sat through.
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