Public health at the top of Curtain Call’s priorities for “Act of God”


The drama takes place in Latham as the Curtain Call Theater resumes performances under its own strict Covid protocols. Opening Thursday July 22, for a three week run is David Javerbaum’s “An Act of God” and it’s actually a comedy. But there have also been dramas – of the real kind – on stage.

Curtain Call’s first production after the shutdown was “At Wit’s End”, a solo show about the late columnist / comedian Erma Bombeck. Just minutes after the performance began on May 22, actress Terri Storti tripped and fell hard on stage, suffering severe bruising to her face. After an ambulance ride and about five hours in the emergency room at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, Storti learned there was no fracture. A week later, she returned to complete the series while wearing heavy makeup to cover up any lingering bruising.

“She just tripped on her own feet, there was nothing on stage,” recalls Carol Max, founder of Curtain Call. “Nothing like this has happened in 30 years. I asked myself, should I open? Is anyone trying to tell me something? Maybe I should go back to my couch and eat some brownies.

If you are starting your own theater company you must have a certain amount of moxie and Maxx still has enough. Yet, as a cancer survivor, she takes health and safety seriously. All Curtain Call spectators are required to show proof of vaccination and even then must wear a mask throughout the evening. Max says that so far she has had very little perspective on the restrictions.

“I tell my audience that my job is to protect you. We wouldn’t want an epidemic in the theater. Maybe on the road it will be optional, but I’m not making any promises on what I can deliver. We’ve been wearing masks for 15 to 16 months now and we can just stick with them, ”she says.

Box office sales are down significantly, but according to Max, that’s because social distancing requirements mean less seating. She likes to brag about having a loyal following and says they can’t wait to come back, adding, “I’m financially responsible and prudent. That’s why we’re still here.

It is by coincidence that during a time of global emergency comes a play called “An Act of God”, in which the Almighty “answers some of the deepest questions that have plagued mankind since creation” ( to quote Curtain Call blurb). The Erma Bombeck show and “Act of God” were the last two remaining productions of the 2019-2020 season which were short. Max therefore decided to pick up where things left off. Most of the planned cast and crew members were able to re-engage.

“It’s so timely with the questions we’ve asked ourselves and the universe. And we’ve updated it a bit with some things that have happened over the last year, ”says Max. “It’s funny too. There is a lot of humor and that’s what it takes.

Patrick White directs the three-person cast which introduces Bill Shein as God, and Scott Wasser and Richard Marshall as his interlocutors, the archangels Michael and Gabriel respectively. “An Act of God” made its Broadway debut in 2015 with Jim Parsons as God. Shawn Hayes played the role the following year.

“It’s never a bad time to hear from God and find out what he’s thinking,” White says. White is a long-time fan of playwright David Javerbaum’s work on “The Daily Show,” where he was writer and producer from 1999 to 2010. Among Javerbaum’s many other credits, he was co-writer on the recent comedy Netflix “The Kominsky Method” and is the executive producer of Comedy Central’s upcoming reboot of “Beavis and Butt-Head.” He won 13 Emmy Awards.

By daring to speak with God’s voice, as he does in the play and his Twitter (@TheTweetOfGod – six million followers), the writer has found an effective platform for his own social commentary. White says Javerbaum’s work is “charged with a new urgency at the intersection of religion, politics, and science with life and death issues after the pandemic.”

Joseph Dalton is a freelance writer based in Troy.

If you are going to

“An act of God”

When: Open at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday July 22 and until August 14.

Where: Curtain Call Theater, 1 Jeanne Jugan Lane, Latham

Tickets: $ 28. Call (518) 877-7529 or visit:


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