There’s a line in Woody Allen’s “God,” a paraphrase of an old Hollywood maxim, that goes like this: “Theater is for entertainment. If you want to deliver a message, call Western Union.”
That’s Woody being glib, of course.
Allen, after all, has throughout most of his career been the main man of the big-brain set, a comic who does deliver messages, along with the entertainment.
But that crack makes sense for “God,” one of his earlier efforts apparently designed solely for yuks. Or, when it sinks in the corn, yucks.
This frantic one-act isn’t great Woody, but hey, even God got to rest on the seventh day.
It has some moments, though, which the Orange Coast College Repertory Theatre Company tries to take advantage of in its outdoor on-campus production.
The nervy, enthusiastic actors know they’re hamming it up--it’s even acknowledged in the program, where everybody thanks “The William Shatner School of Acting"--and the fun they have can be catching every now and then.
All the horseplay is pretty self-indulgent, but since the comedy lasts only about 45 minutes and the sunny alfresco setting can be so pleasant, it’s reasonably bearable.
Director Eric Person keeps everything moving along, which helps, even when the cast almost speed-reads over the lines.
Anyway, the plot, centering on a chaotic play within a play that features ancient Greeks with names like Trichinosis and Hepatitis as well as appearances by Stanley Kowalski and Blanche DuBois, welcomes a speedy, elbow-in-the-ribs treatment.
An Orange Coast College Repertory Theatre Company production of Woody Allen’s one-act comedy. Directed by Eric Person. With Scott Aukerman, B.J. Porter, Anita Driessen, Karl Person, Scott Sheperd, Elizabeth Hoffman, Chris Schwenk, Mark Coyan, Kelly Flynn, Julie Ackerman, Shari Heatherly, Adam Martin, Tim KringQ, Michael Hebler, Russell Dunn, Tom Hensley, Anna Fitzwater, Randy Campbell, Brian Wayne Johnston, John Bender and Karl Desmaris. Plays Friday through Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Fine Arts outdoor patio, 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa. Tickets: $3 and $4. (714) 432-5527.