QCTW’s Telling of the Good Book Brings Great Laughs
“The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged),” is far from any telling of the Bible you’ve ever heard, unless, of course, you’ve actually seen the show. Anyone who considers themselves a “theatre person” has seen, or at least knows of, the classic stage adaptations of the Bible in shows like “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Godspell,” “Children of Eden,” etc. This telling, written by Adam Long, Reed Martin, and Austin Tichenor, of the Reduced Shakespeare Company, throws caution to the wind and introduces comedy to an otherwise serious and wisdom-filled book. It also brings forth relatively controversial topics such as the gender of God and the legitimacy of the
Immaculate Conception without a hint of subtlety. There are, though, moments in the show that drop the comedy in a split second as the actors tell certain parts of the Bible in complete seriousness.
This is merely a heads up about content for those, like me, that attend the show with absolutely no clue what to expect. As in any theatrical production, there is a chance a patron or two could leave after the show feeling uncomfortable or upset with what they just watched. It happens. As for me, I left the QC Theatre Workshop’s production of this show wondering how long it has been since I laughed that hard.
This semi-improvised production is a seemingly perfect fit for QC standouts James Fairchild, Jeremy Mahr, and Brent Tubbs, who is also the director of the production. The energy on stage was nearly overwhelming as it felt like watching three kids on the playground during recess. That energy, along with their well-executed swift pacing, left little to no time to catch a breath between laughs. Perhaps the most entertaining aspect of the show, though, was watching these performers slip from one character, and costume, to another in second long crosses behind a curtain. Especially when those costume changes didn’t go as well as they’d hoped.
The improvisation involved with the production sits comfortably in hands of this cast as they use audience participation for much of the show. It also came in handy Friday night as a few line stumbles occurred and were covered hilariously, displaying an impeccable chemistry between the actors as well. Though there were times that the production crossed into being a bit over the top, the overall sense of self-awareness involved seemed to steer the actors back on track.
The lighting design, done by Tyson Danner, was a crucial part in the production as it aided the audience in shifting from comedic to serious parts of the show. Unfortunately, a couple of the light changes left the stage a little too dark to really capture the expressions of the actors during those more serious moments; a bit of depth that would have given the show just that little added dynamic. As the show is very prop heavy, with a plethora of quick transitions between props to boot, the props team of Danner and Stage Manager Lis Athas had their work cut out for them; and executed brilliantly. The use of props flowed with such fluidity like a finely-tuned circus act.
The Workshop’s “The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)” brings a hilarious perspective to the timeless book with a delightful group of veteran performers. Overall a well recommended production for those open to an edgy and modern telling of the story. Only two weekends remain to join in on the laughs!
The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)
7:30 p.m. April 22-23, 29-30 and 3 p.m. April 24 and May 1
QC Theatre Workshop, 1730 Wilkes Avenue, Davenport, IA
For reservations and more information, visit www.QCTheatreWorkshop.org and www.Facebook.com/QCTheatreWorkshop