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Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012

Light Fun From The Holy Bible

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The Old and New Testaments receive comic treatment from Phantom Cicada Theater and SummerStage in a production of The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged) at the space at Next Act Theatre. Bo Johnson directs Nate Press, Emmitt Morgans and Brian Faracy in this breezy, sketch-comedy treatment of the King James Bible written by Reduced Shakespeare Company (RSC).

The comedy quite nicely fills Next Act's theater space. RSC-written material works well in small studio theaters because of the amplified intensity. The script doesn't take a terribly sophisticated approach to biblical comedy, but it doesn't have to—even though the play is downright dimwitted and goofy in places, the cast assembled here keeps it fun throughout.

Faracy has a robust comic presence that is particularly effective in more authoritative roles. The soulfulness in his delivery accompanies a quick wit that fits with this type of comedy. Morgans' overdramatic earnestness serves as a counterpoint to Faracy's authoritative tone. The central preoccupation of Morgans' character is a deep desire to cover Noah's Ark, which becomes a major point of audience participation in the show. The youngest member of the cast, Press, brings extensive sketch-comedy experience through his work in Bye Bye Liver. The dynamic between these three is fun even when the show isn't actually funny.

The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged)
runs through Sept. 9 at Next Act Theatre, 255 S. Water St. For more information, call 414-278-0765.
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