If God Is Dead, Who's Been Smiting Me? | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

If God Is Dead, Who's Been Smiting Me? 

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If God Is Dead, Who's Been Smiting Me?, Side Project. The funniest thing about this sketch-comedy revue is its title. If this religious-themed 75-minute show followed the same formula--short and punchy--it would be far more entertaining. The best segments make their points quickly: the devil pines while singing Janis Ian's "At Seventeen" with acoustic-guitar backup, parishioners leave their confessions on a church voice-mail system, and the apostles engage in a series of semantic arguments at the Last Supper.

The rest of the scenes, written by various cast members, take their time, lack punch, and/or are unoriginal--as if we've never seen Jesus and his Dad fight or an angel intervene when someone hasn't lived a full life or heard a priest quash opinions while preaching tolerance or considered the irony of holy wars. Marketing men pitching strategies to Buddha and Jesus is something that's been done much better on the Second City E.T.C. stage. Adam Webster's direction is dull, Jim Mulvaney's sound design is more upbeat and diverse than the sketches, and Jeff Madden is the only person in the ensemble with the skill to make at least a few good lines stand out.


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