‘An Act of God’ Resurrected on Broadway

‘An Act of God’ Resurrected on Broadway

I saw God a couple weeks ago and I gotta tell you… He was a bit of a jerk to me. (Don’t worry, He apologized. We’re totally good now. More on that later…)

David Javerbaum’s comedy “An Act of God” is back on Broadway with Sean Hayes as God this time around. Or rather, God is Sean Hayes. You see, for the duration of the show, God takes over Sean Hayes’ body and gives the audience the rundown of His updated Ten Commandments. It’s not that the first ten were all that bad; it’s just that it’s important to keep with the times. God still wants you to not take His name in vain, but He’d also like for you to depend Him a little less and put faith in yourself a whole lot more.

Sean Hayes in "An Act of God" (©Jim Cox)


I missed “An Act of God” last season, so I was eternally grateful that I got a chance to see it this time around. A longtime fan of “Will & Grace,” it was a privilege to see the comedic genius behind Jack McFarland take on this lordly role. I just didn't expect to be included in the play.

Within the first few minutes of the show, God announced that one of his angel colleagues, Michael (David Josefsberg), would be going around to take questions from the audience. Before that had time to sink in, there was a winged man holding a microphone in my face and asking for my name.

(Before I proceed, it is necessary to know that I had not put a lot of thought into my outfit that night and I also didn't know I would be sitting in the front orchestra on the aisle until I got to the theater.)

So, anyway… bright lights shone in my face as I managed to enunciate “Katie” into the proffered mic. My moment of pride for not messing up my own name was quickly dashed when God cracked an offhand joke about how I obviously hadn’t dressed up for the show and muttered something about my “short shorts.” The entire room tittered with laughter while I almost died in my seat from utter mortification. Don’t get me wrong—the joke was solid, I’m just super awkward at being the center of attention without ample warning. Lucky for me, though, the next audience member called on was the one who was repeatedly ridiculed (thanks, Ralph!), and I was able to laugh loudly along with everyone else for the remainder of the show.

Though some of the religious references went over my head (I’m extremely lapsed), I still got so much out of this show because I appreciate well-crafted and delivered jokes. In addition to fantastic humor, “An Act of God” has a lot of heartfelt moments. God confides in the audience that He’s not as infallible as people make Him out to be.

So while God may not be perfect, Sean Hayes sure as heck is, as are Josefsberg and James Gleason (Gabriel). This trio is beyond engaging and they were a joy to watch command the stage for 90 minutes. These men were also very gracious at the stage door. Following the performance, my friend and I went to get our Playbills signed and I was determined to confront Hayes about the public shaming He gave me. Hayes worked his way quickly through the line, and when it was my turn, I thanked him and then said, “You made fun of my shorts.” Though he was on vocal rest, he took me by the hands and mouthed sincere apologies at me.

I forgive you, Sean Hayes. Plus, it wasn’t your doing—it was God’s.

“An Act of God” continues its limited engagement at the Booth Theatre on W. 45th St. through Sept. 4. 

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