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After the Garden

The Clinic, 1006 6th St. NW

Remaining Performances:

Tuesday, July 13th, 7 p.m. Friday, July 16th, 8:45 p.m. Sunday, July 18th, 3 p.m.

They say: “So you think you know the story of Adam and Eve? Not so fast!! Walk side by side with them and watch the hilarious twists and turns. You will walk away asking (sic) ‘Maybe, just maybe!'”

Chris’s Take: To summarize After the Garden without making it sound horrendous is a task of Biblical difficulty. It’s a corny, tonally Muppet Show-esque retelling of the story of original tenants Adam and Eve, and of their sons, Cain and Abel. And of how Lucifer, God’s level-headed functionary, got bullied by his boss into taking on the ecclesiastical bad-cop role, and the moniker — Satan! — that goes with it.

Talking about this, you could give yourself a charley horse while trying to tiptoe around the word wacky. And wacky, as we surely needn’t tell you, is not a word that people with souls or imaginations use.

But hey, the play’s the — no, wait, the playing is the thing. All concerned throw themselves headlong into this, and their enthusiasm is catching: Brandon DeGroat and Jennifer Reitz as those outlaw Apple-snackers; Carl Nubile‘s mob-legbreaker inspired angel Gabriel; and especially Scott Olson as Lucifer, who’s about to get stuck with a job he really doesn’t want. But appropriately, the performer who reigns almighty over the proceedings is Ted Ballard as God, a rumpled being of infinite caprice — indeed, as He says: “Way too infinite to sit down and have an empathy session with these lesser beings!”

And what does the Infinite — as imagined by playwright Greg Powell — do with what we hapless primates think of as his time? Oh, you know. Dress like Don Johnson circa 1985. Observe earthly events from his laptop while munching movie-style popcorn.

This isn’t The Screwtape Letters. It isn’t even screwball comedy. But you could do Lots worse.

See it if: You liked, or at least kind of remember, Kevin Smith’s movie Dogma, but wish he’d recast Ben Affleck’s role with a sock puppet.

Skip it if: You noticed the comic-strip-Cathy-sized beads of desperation on the forehead of my “Lots worse” joke up there, just now.