‘Making God Laugh’ is a riot | Theater Review
“If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans” – Woody Allen
Families make plans. We map out our lives, though seldom do we become who we intended to, or who our parents molded us to be. Curtain Call Theatre’s “Making God Laugh” is a perfect illustration of that.
The audience is introduced to a dysfunctional family that does their best to cope with their disappointments in their lives and each other. Bill and Ruthie are a long married couple who have drifted apart.
All three of their kids have left the nest and started to build lives. They unite for the holidays. The four scenes we witness take place 10 years apart from each other.
Richard is the rocker who, typically enough, develops a substance abuse problem. Maddie is an actress who doesn’t get too many parts, but sticks with it. And Thomas is studying for the priesthood.
Their mother treats them all differently. The priest, of course, is treated as the favorite. Ruthie dotes on Richard, and looks the other way when things are going wrong.
Maddie, however, gets non-stop criticism over everything. Their father, Bill, does his best to keep the peace at these tense family occasions.
Through the decades, we witness their changes and how when they are in each other’s company, everything is the same.
So is this play a comedy or a tragedy? Most people who’ve seen Woody Allen’s films, know there isn’t always an easy answer.
“Making God Laugh” isn’t written by Allen, but Sean Grennan definitely captures his balanced tone. However, the cast is what brings the materiel to life.
The Curtain Call Theatre group has migrated from Bothell to Everett, but for this occasion, they are performing the new and improved Rosehill Community Center in Mukilteo.
Rob Perkins plays the world-weary husband and father, Bill. He’s a dutiful father, and has no doubt seen better days, but has learned to cope with problems mostly by ignoring them.
Rosie Bryant plays the mother, Ruthie, who drives her family crazy. Like many mothers, she has control of the room and runs her family with a stop watch. She insists on perfection in music, meals and life in general.
Richard is obviously the most troubled, though he hides it under a confident veneer. He, more than anyone else, seems the most disappointed that life dared to happen to him.
Kelsey Jacobs plays the angry Maddie who never catches a break from her mother. She insists on being who she is, and Ruthie can’t understand why she won’t aspire to live up to her expectations.
And then there is the good-humored Tommy, played by Greg Lucas. As a priest, he tries to leave his work at the parish, and to be treated like a person at home, but his mom makes that nearly impossible. He obviously got his serene spirit from his dad.
You won’t miss a laugh, if you don’t miss the show.
“Making God Laugh” is playing at 8 p.m. on Oct. 18 and 19 and at 2 p.m. on Oct. 20 at the Rosehill Community Center, 304 Lincoln Ave., Mukilteo. For ticket information, call 206-473-0278.