Colin Fleming-Stumpf Reviews

Theatre Review: ‘An Act Of God’ by O’Connell & Company at Shea’s Smith Theatre

For one weekend only, Buffalonians can bask in the almighty presence and supreme glory of God himself. Well, in a manner of speaking. He doesn’t look like God, act like God, and he certainly knows a lot more dirty jokes than God. He is in fact Joey Bucheker, the well-known Buffalo stage presence of “Betsy Carmichael” fame, and while he may not be able to absolve you of all your sins, he can certainly give you 90 minutes of sinful belly laughs.

. . .hilarious. . .

“An Act of God,” written by David Javerbaum and directed by Victoria Perez, is a mildly sacrilegious retelling of the book of Genesis, the Ten Commandments, and the creation of the universe, as told by God himself (Joey Bucheker) with the assistance of his two archangels Gabriel (Dan Morris) and Michael (Daniel Lendzian). Acting as his own autobiographer, God takes us through his greatest hits, his biggest pet peeves, and his pivotal role in the major events of mankind, as well as putting his own comedic twists on well known Biblical hits like Adam & Even, the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark, and Sodom and Gomorrah. Most importantly, God rewrites the Ten Commandments for a modern day audience, with spin like “Thous shalt not tell me what to do.”

The weight of “Act of God” rests almost entirely on the shoulders of Joey Bucheker, whose mile-a-minute witticisms are coupled with the pizzazz and showmanship of a game show or Broadway kickline. With the pace of a one-man show and almost nonstop zingers, “An Act of God” is a real comedic workout for Bucheker who—with only a few tongue-tied moments—proves up to the task, bringing the Betsy Carmichael energy that he’s known for to this new almighty calling.

Lendzian and Morris also act as fun additions to this God-dominated performance, popping in-and-out to take questions from the audience and assist God in his storytelling. A particularly funny moment comes when Gabriel gets a little too mouthy and God strikes one of his wings off, only to have Gabriel return to the stage moments later looking ashamed and hawking “An Act of God” merch.

Despite a couple flubbed lines, easily chalked up to opening-night jitters, “An Act of God” is a hilarious night at the theatre, perfect for date night or a night out with friends. It’s playing tonight and tomorrow at the Shea’s Smith Theatre. For tickets and more information, click here.