By Jared Bowen | December 27, 2016 | Culture
Prepare for the funniest religious experience you'll ever have.
Master puppet: In the Tony-nominated Hand to God, at the SpeakEasy Stage Company, Satan finds a surprising—and hilarious—channel for expression: a puppet named Tyrone.
Sunday school danger lurks in the most unlikely places… In a small Texas town, down in the church basement, puppet time has gone very, very wrong. So goes Robert Askin’s hilarious comedy Hand to God, which receives its New England premiere courtesy of Boston’s SpeakEasy Stage Company, where it will run from January 6 through February 4, 2017. Nominated for several Tonys, including Best Play, when it was staged on Broadway last year, the show finds teenager Jason and his mother grieving over the recent death of his father.
As Jason tries to process his grief through a puppet named Tyrone, the knitted creation suddenly takes on a personality all its own: Satan. Irreverent, not to mention horny, Satan has no use for church politeness. “I couldn’t resist this play,” says SpeakEasy’s artistic director, Paul Daigneault, who rushed to see the show in New York at the urging of friends and colleagues. The play’s style “allows the [Sunday school students] to give voice to their inner bad boy,” he says. “We get to see all those things that human beings try so hard to cover up. That’s what made me burst out laughing.” Unleash puppet pandemonium… 539 Tremont St., 617-482-3279
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARCIO JOSE BASTOS SILVA (BACKGROUND)