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August 8, 2012 by Paula Reed Nancarrow
Review of To and From on the Earth by Mirror Maker Productions
I first saw Rob Gelberg and Alana Horton at a Story City event, where I learned they had this show, and I try to see at least one “this is our first Fringe show” per year. I liked the chemistry between the two of them, and when Rob smiled his fiendish little smile, it reminded me of Claude Rains in Angel on My Shoulder. The play was well-rehearsed and both actors sounded natural and comfortable in their roles. I did note that the script has God referring to “mankind” as if this were a gender neutral term and subsequently correcting the Devil for political incorrectness when he refers to a server as a waitress; this was a minor glitch in an otherwise smooth satire. Predestination and free will is a complicated issue in Christian theology, and I get the Devil’s frustration; as usual in these things, he’s a lot more interesting than God. And he has the better arguments. Then again, for the most part it is pretty clear what side the playwright is on. (This can be measured by the number of times the angry character gets to say fuck.) And yet. There is a moment in C. S. Lewis’ Perelandra where the Devil is shown robotically pulling the legs off of frogs. It’s a way of demonstrating the essential inanity of evil. I was reminded of that scene – though more comically – in the final coffee-drinking moment of this play.