And so it was. The show is hilarious and even thoughtful, and Hayes is a gem. I'd have loved seeing Jim Parsons in the role, but there are a lot of people I'd love to see in the role, because it's that kind of part than an actor can put their imprint on.
The premise is that God has taken over the body of Sean Hayes, who doesn't know his body has been inhabited. That way, God can directly address the audience in corporal form. There are two other actors, playing the Archangel Michael (who roams the audience with a microphone sensing their thoughts and asking questions he can tell they want asked -- but also periodically asking God questions that he wants ask, often pissing off God in the process) and the Archangel Gabriel, who largely deals with passages from the Bible and helping present the new Ten Commandments that God wants to address throughout the show. But this is mainly a star turn, and that means it's Sean Hayes's show. He has 98% of the script, so it's close to a one-man, one act (no intermission) performance.
A running theme throughout the show is that God wants you do know that he doesn't really care all that much about you. He doesn't want to hear your problems. ("I know what your problems are. I'm God.") He doesn't want to answer your prayers. He doesn't want you telling Him what to do. ("When someone sneezes and emits mucus into the air, don't tell me to bless them. The word is 'gezundheit.'") He doesn't want you calling out His name every time you have sex. He doesn't care in the slightest about any sporting event and will never impose himself to affect who wins or loses, He just couldn't care less -- though He does admit He cares about the betting spread, and sometimes will get involved there. He certainly doesn't need you killing people in his name -- He can kill all on his own just fine, thank you. ("I wiped out everybody with the flood. If I want to kill someone, I can do it. I'm God.")
God also chides the audience for believing everything in the Bible, and singles out how hilarious it is that people actually believe He supposedly put two of every animal onto Noah’s Ark. That’s ridiculous, He notes. Even a small-sized zoo is larger than the ark, and those only have a tiny portion of the animals in the world. Instead, He notes that the ark only had two puppies. ("When you're stuck down below deck on a long trip, you want something cuddly to snuggle with.")
There's a great passage when Archangel Michael begins asking God a series of pressing, harsh questions about things like why let anyone die, why let children die, why do bad things happen to good people, and he keeps adding to the list, getting angrier and angrier, ignoring God telling him to move on, and then more questions and more -- until finally God explodes at him and in great fury says, "Okay, you want an answer??! It's because I created Man in my image, and I'm an asshole. Look at the Bible, look at all the things I do in there that are awful." And he runs off a litany of floods, diseases, deaths and disasters. He quickly turns back to being charming, explaining that He has a "wrath management" issue.
So, it's not all comedy. But most of it is. For 80 minutes, An Act of God is simply a very funny, sacrilegious, religious, insightful, charming, rambunctious play. And indeed, after railing at the Archangel Michael, God softens enough to explain that He has good news. A few years ago, He called Steve Jobs up ("He did a better job with his Apple, than I did with mine"), and got him to work on Universe 2.0. And goes into great detail about it. And later, in the end, He closes with a whimsical, very funny song.
Here's an extended clip from the Broadway production with Jim Parsons --
One last thing. In the play's program, there are of course capsule biographies for the actors, for playwright Javerbaum, for the director and production crew. And there is also a capsule biography for God. Rather than type the whole long thing out, I took a photo, so here it is --