Atlanta Art Reviews by Susan K Asher
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Alliance Theatre’s ‘Hand to God’ at Dad’s Garage

2017 October 31


Prudes beware: “Hand to God” is no genteel puppet show. Think of the raunchiest scenes from “South Park,” “Book of Mormon” and “Avenue Q,” multiply by two, add some crude language, sex with a minor, Penthouse puppetry and comedic, maniacal characters, and you’ve got yourself a show that received five Tony Award nominations, including one for Best Play.

This is a fast-moving show about a schizophrenic boy, Jason (Ben Thorpe), his seedy highly sexed mother, Margery (Wendy Melkonian) a church pastor, Greg (Allan Edwards) and the church’s puppet-making class. There are scenes, such as the one in which the pastor fights an unruly puppet by spraying holy water on him, that are laugh-out-loud funny, and there are sex scenes that will turn many cheeks pink.

I think back in my twenties or thirties, I would have found this irreverent comedy more amusing. Still, the stellar performance by Thorpe, who plays both a shy, introverted teenager and a puppet besmirched by the devil, alone makes this show worth seeing.

Written by Robert Askins, directed by Marc Masterson, the Alliance Theatre’s production of “Hand to God” runs through Nov. 12 at Dad’s Garage.

Cast:

Alexandra Ficken as Jessica
Patrick Wade as Timothy

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