Wednesday, March 11, 2015

review - GOD'S FAVORITE- Don Bluth Front Row Theatre

Tom Endicott and Gary Caswell
(Photo: Mike Rolfe)
For more information on this production, that runs through April 3rd, click here.

"Neil Simon has had a very prolific career. While God's Favorite may not be as good of a comedy as some of Simon's more well-known plays, it does have some fun moments, and the cast and direction for the Don Bluth production are quite good. Set in a large house on Long Island, the play tells the story of wealthy businessman Joe Benjamin and his family. Benjamin is visited late one night by a messenger of God named Sidney who claims that Joe is God's "favorite." Due to a bet that God made with the Devil, Joe will now be forced to face many obstacles as a way to get him to renounce God. God has faith in Joe that he won't give in, but the many afflictions that are thrown his way make it seem like he just might start to question his faith. While the comedy has plenty of Simon's typical wit and a nice mix of well-written characters, the premise and plot are fairly monotonous and not really much actually happens during the play. Fortunately, this production has a fun cast that dives right in, and director Gary Caswell, who also portrays Sidney, keeps the action moving along briskly and derives fine performances from his cast. As Joe, Tom Endicott has the right level of determination to get through whatever is thrown his way, even while he has to deal with his crazy family in doing so. He shows great strength and courage with what he is tested with. Caswell brings an appropriate sense of charm to the role of God's messenger, though when charm doesn't work he is more than happy to resort to other means. Caswell balances the many nuances of the role well. Cheryl Schaar is a joy as Joe's suffering wife. While God's Favorite may not be one of Simon's best works, there is a nice morality tale at the center of the story, and this production has good acting and direction and some impressive creative aspects. Also, the small theatre space provides a nice amount of intimacy and immediacy, and the overall technical aspects of the venue are quite impressive." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

1 comment:

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this show! I agree--cast was wonderful! Great director!