It's often said that God has a sense of humor, and if our unpredictable, never-boring mortal paths are any evidence, this chestnut holds a lot of water. (Or, er, chestnut meat, as the case might be.)
The Almighty's funny bone has been explored numerous times in contemporary popular culture, with everyone from Alanis Morissette to Morgan Freeman to George Burns taking turns at filling some major shoes.
"An Act of God," the latest in this long and lively look at the lighter side of the Absolute Being, debuted on Broadway to glowing reviews a couple of years back. (One might view the glow off the production's numerous good notices to be much like a sunbeam pouring out of a cloud or light reflecting off a still pool.)
Jim Parsons of "The Big Bang Theory" donned the famous robe for the show, and fans of both his sitcom and David Javerbaum's cheeky modern spin on social media and reverence showed up in droves. Prayerful droves? Perhaps, in a way, though laughter is ever-present when the omnipresent figure speaks upon his viewpoints from centerstage.
Taking the role for the Southern California run, which officially enjoys its opening night on Wednesday, Feb. 10 at the Ahmanson, is Sean Hayes. He sits before a grand staircase, the kind you would find adjacent to a certain set of gates made of pearl, and addresses the questions many of us have longed to put to a higher power.
But this isn't the sort of quippy Q&A enjoyed by John Denver and George Burns in the '70s classic "Oh God!"; rather Mr. Hayes enjoys a rollicking monologue about matters both angelic and not so.
Speaking of which, there is a cameo, by a famous angel, during the course of the evening, who arrives to bring more mirth as well as earthly queries. Some gravitas, too, to the goodly spirit of the event.
And is that a straw in the goblet from which God sips? It is, indeed, a small but delightful detail on a heavenly set nearly devoid of props. Full attention is given to Mr. Hayes, and his celestial companions, during the course of the buoyant night, a night that spurs deep thinking from matters both droll and divine.
"An Act of God" is at the Ahmanson Theatre through March 13, 2016.