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Photo Courtesy of Joan Marcus
Photo Courtesy of Joan Marcus

Margery  (Geneva Carr) is on the brink of a breakdown. A recent divorcee, she’s feeling trapped by her responsibilities at her small town Texas  fundamental Christian church. The yearly pageant is nearing and she must produce a sock puppet skit with her trio of uninspired children, one of whom is her son, Jason (Steven Boyer). Jason is a model  mama’s boy, at least until Tyrone materializes.  Tyrone is his hand puppet, who just happens to be the devil. Soon, Tyrone is hell bent on demonizing his fellow puppeteers by leading them all down the primrose path of dalliance. Yes. This is a comedy-and a  wild, outrageously funny one at that.

MCC Theater’s Hand to God expounds upon the old adage “The devil made me do it”. From Tyrone’s opening monologue on the differences between good and evil , it is clear that mischief and mayhem will ensue.  Yet as funny  as it is, it gives us pause to think of our own human behavior and reflect upon the forces which guide us in our day to day living.

Director Moritz Von Stuelpnagel has assembled a magnificent cast here. Carr is wonderful as the volatile , desperate mother whose succumbs to carnal passion.  Michael Oberholtzer is hilarious (and sexy) as Timothy,  the dim bad boy who fulfills Margery’s needs. Sarah Stiles is terrifically on point as Jessica, the nerdy brainiac fed up with the nonsense around her. Marc Kudisch completes the cast as Pastor Greg, whose sympathetic ear for Margery is guided by alterior motives.  While Robert Askin’s play boasts an accomplished cast, it is Steven Boyer’s immaculate performance that audiences will remember. The way he is able to switch between Jason and Tyrone is unbelievable, and his riff on Abbott and Costello’s classic “Who’s on first” sketch is priceless.

Hand to God is far from a trip to your local Sunday school class and is certainly not appropriate for children, but it is a fun, hilarious, and thought-provoking look at what makes us tick.

Hand to God is now playing through March 30th at the Lucille Lortel Theater, 121 Christopher Street. For tickets, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/32215.