This play reminds me of a time when I probably was not yet a teenager on my grandparent’s Arkansas farm. It was during a summer visit that my grandfather whipped my cousin from Detroit. He got a whipping for “praying” at the breakfast table: “Jesus wept, Moses fell down the back door step.”
He got the belt and before we could think of our cousin as being hilarious, we all got the cultural/religious training: Don’t play with and don’t question God.
In “Oh God,” God (Mitchell Hebert) appears at psychiatrist Ella’s (Kimberly Schraff) for help. When the psychiatrist asks God about his past, he says he has been “an orphan from birth.” Ella, who is of Jewish heritage, says she is not tied to any particular belief system. She quips, “I eat shrimp wrapped in bacon.”
While the setting is very easy on the eyes and comfortably perfect like a staged home ready for sale, and the dialogue is full of hilarious quips, the play is not for every one.
Ella goes on and questions God about his fear of abandonment and having a problem with being violent. She talks about Jews being the “chosen people,” goes into the history of Jewish oppression, and says, “We cut off our son’s dicks and get screwed.”
Lior (Cameroon Sean McCoy), as Ella’s autistic son, as one would expect, does not have hilarious lines. However, his inclusion and great performance must be noticed.
While you won’t get screwed seeing the 90-minute play. You just might not be able to see this play in Jacksonville, Florida, where church billboards seem to line the street. However, even in DC, I would not take someone like my traditional Black Baptist grandfather to see this often hilarious performance unless I was prepared for a possible belting.
Mosaic Theater has extended “Oh, God” until Sunday, January 20.