- About Us
- Shore Events Calendar
- How To Add Spotlights
- Shore News
- Create content
- Sales and Specials
- Theater Listings
Jimmy (Craig Spidle) and Ruthie (Peggy Roeder) are retired empty-nesters. Ruthie really wants grandchildren, but none of their three children are married. Thomas (Kevin McKillip), the ‘good’ son, is studying to become a priest, so he’s out of the running. With Richard (Joe Foust), a high school football star, ‘sowing his wild oats,’ Maddie (Erin Noel Grennan), an aspiring actress, is squarely in her mother’s sights.
The action takes place on four holidays over four decades: Thanksgiving 1980; Christmas 1990; New Year’s Eve 2000 and Easter 2010. Styles change dramatically, but Ruthie never does. She looks like a sweet old lady, but her tongue can drip acid. Although Jimmy really loves her, she’d rather avoid him.
Ruthie’s son, the priest, is her pride and joy. Since she has no expectation at all for her second son, he continues to chase every fad. Maddie, however, does nothing right: she needs to lose weight so she can get a man, acting is a waste of time, so she needs to get a real job.
Everyone hates Ruthie’s specialty, fantasia dip, but no one has the courage to tell her, so she makes it again and again. Watching Ruthie dishes up and dispense fantasia dip, which is the consistency of wallpaper paste, is one of the play’s best sight gags – and enough to make you gag if you had to eat it!
Although “Making God Laugh” has every Catholic cliché ever, it’s still very funny. The characters are so fully developed that I found myself crying as well as laughing with them. In fact, I think that since every family has at least one of these people, the story really resonates.
The title becomes clear when Ruthie quotes Woody Allen early in the first act, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Playwright Sean Grennan who also wrote “Another Night before Christmas” has created a heartwarming family.
Theatre at the Center collaborated with First Folio Theatre to produce “Making God Laugh.” First Folio Associate Kevin McKillip, making his debut at TATC, told me he was really enjoying the experience. Craig Spidle, whom I last saw performing in “A Catered Affair” at Porchlight Theatre, is also new to TATC. Peggy Roeder, Joe Foust and Erin Noel Grennan all appeared in the inaugural run in Wisconsin.
I recommend “Making God Laugh” to everyone who has a family (lol)! In other words, it’s a must-see. “Making God Laugh” runs through June 10th at Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Indiana. Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 2:00 pm; Friday and Saturday at 8:00; Sunday at 2:30; and select Thursday evening and Saturday matinees. Tickets range from $38-$42. FYI (219) 836-3255 or www.TheatreAtTheCenter.com.