Brandon Miller
'This Beautiful City' at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

When a trendy young theater company announces that its next subject is going to be the explosion of the evangelical Christian movement, snarky parody is a natural expectation. What's surprising about "This Beautiful City," a diverting if curiously earnest performance piece by the New York-based company the Civilians, is how it keeps its satiric powder dry. Some things, such as the blurring of church and state, may be too important to horse around with (though please don't tell Bill Maher). In any case, the Civilians approach the show, which opened Sunday at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, like anthropologists out to understand a culture that for many urban theater types is...