Review: ‘God: The One-Man Show’ at Greenbelt Arts Center

God: The One-Man Show is a comedic hurricane that leaves audiences pondering the mysteries of the universe between laughs. Written and performed by Rich Potter, the show takes the audience from the beginning of Creation to “everlasting” entertainment in the space of a humor-filled hour.

Rich Potter, as the Creator of the Universe. Photo by Karl Gary.
Rich Potter, as the Creator of the Universe. Photo by Karl Gary.

Potter, who was once a clown for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, uses all of his skills and talent in this irreverent satirical journey of a show

Potter has all the comedic energy of a Jonah Hill, Richard Pryor, or Russell Brand. His use of street-corner magic and physical comedy elevates what could have been a cerebral, talking-head hour of satire into a kinetic feast for the senses, complete with juggled “lightening bolts,” and audience participation.

If you are looking for irreverence, you will find it. Potter’s God complains about English history’s King James (of the King James Bible), “What a blowhard!” And he boasts that he is, “not some two-bit deity from Greek Mythology!” So amazing is this God, that he would make notable scientist Stephen Hawking “soil himself.” What other play could you watch that offers a box of “Salvation…as Seen on TV”?

The show made good use of lighting and sound, which featured everything from Pachelbel’s Canon, lightening sounds, flashing lights, and the theme from TV’s Magnum, P.I. All the aforementioned was wondrously crafted by Sean Eustis.

Rich Potter. Photo by Karl Gary.
Rich Potter. Photo by Karl Gary.

The show made great use of audience participation, which included a long but hysterical skit involving two audience members and Potter as the “Director”. The skit revolved around declarations of love and much pantomiming. Another use of audience participation was Potter’s magical “planetary” shell game, involving three “mini-earths” and three “mini-universes” (the shells)

Potter made an effective use of his costumes, including the traditional white-robe-white-beard look, to a streetwise derby-wearing-Charlie Chaplin look, to an Austin Powers-meets-Robin Williams look, when he played the “Director” role.

You’d hardly think a one-man show would need a director, but Elena Day helped create an unforgettable theater experience, which produced three gut-level laughs from me and a standing ovation from the audience. Potter’s Godly message? Share with your fellow man and don’t be a [dirt] bag. Whether you’re a non-believer, a Catholic, a Muslim, a Protestant, or a Buddhist, you’ll love every heavenly minute of this show.

Running Time: 60 minutes, with no intermission.

God: The One Man Show plays through February 28, 2016 at Greenbelt Arts Center – 123 Centerway, in Greenbelt, MD. For tickets, purchase them online.

LINKS:
2015 Capital Fringe Preview #19: ‘God: The One Man Show’ by Rich Potter on DCMetroTheaterArts by Rich Potter.

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