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Review: 'Most Fabulous Story' is well-told, though irreverent

Late 1990s play is being staged in the 88-seat basement venue at Civic Center Music Hall
BY JOHN BRANDENBURG Published: December 7, 2013

An irreverent, R-rated Oklahoma City Theatre Company preview of “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” had something to entertain, wildly amuse and potentially offend nearly everybody.

The late 1990s play by Paul Rudnick was staged Thursday in the intimate 88-seat basement venue of City Space Theatre at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker Ave.

Particularly startling was the first act in which biblical stories of the Garden of Eden, the Great Flood and the Exodus were told in a manner that might court controversy, but was often outrageously funny.

To do this it needed only a minimal set, portable props and some good lighting effects, plus Jackie Smola to play God, sort of, or an Arbitrary Authority, as the Stage Manager, shouting “Go” at each scene change.

Exploiting the sheer theatrical possibilities of discovering sex and that they were alive in the first place, and living in a wonderful garden, not necessarily in that order, were Adam and Steve, and Jane and Mabel.

Fabrice Conte was outstanding as Adam, and Josh Bonzie was in some ways even better, as the first man's dark other half, Steve, not only in the long first act, but in the shorter second, set in modern times.

Striking a good balance between playing it straight and camping it up, the two men brought the right attitude, half knowing and half naive, to their early, simulated, yet still risque sex scenes.

Things got even livelier — and messier — after they met Jane and Mabel, well-played by Rachel Morgan and Krissy Jones, then left the Garden, because Adam wanted to see what the rest of the world was like.

Morgan was just tough and tomboy enough, as Jane, especially in the second act, a Christmas party scene, in which she grudgingly gives birth in a powerful but hard-to-watch vignette.

Jones got across the Isadora Duncan-like qualities of Mabel, coming up with the idea of God, as she dances under the moon in act one, and giving the right hint of flower power to Mabel after intermission.

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