NOTE: Review did not go live before the unexpected close on May 13th.
Provision Theatre presents
Wonders Never Cease
Adapted and directed by Tim Gregory
Reviewed by Katy Walsh on May 7th
Angels! Are heavenly encounters created by Divine intervention or human invention? Provision Theatre presents the world premiere of Wonders Never Cease. A writer pens a bestseller, A Latte with God. A car accident sends a celebrity into a coma. A little girl reports seeing angels. All these incidents combine to produce a guy's latest get rich scam. As he devises the scheme, his girlfriend defends her daughter's celestial imagination. When the visions escalate into a holy mess, a child's innocence and a man's guilt produce very different and satisfying endings. Wonders Never Cease charms with a Touched by an Angel sentimentality and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels comedy.
Tim Gregory adapted and directed Tim Downs' book for the stage. In the story, the good to evil ratio balances out to avoid schmaltzy or preachy. While the bad guys amusingly bumble through their con, a child truthfully exposes herself. Caroline Heffernan (Leah) is precociously adorable. Her chemistry with the gentle, strong Frederick Paul Williams (Emmet) is pure cherubic. Gregory uses a talented twelve person ensemble to bring heaven to earth. It's almost too much of a good thing! Several characters could be eliminated to streamline and solidify the show's focus.
Gregory also splices in visual projections to enhance the experience. Projecting the girl's computer chronicle is incredibly clever in introducing and closing the show. And the OPRAH clip is hilarious! Other film segments establish locale. Although the technique provides another interesting dimension, the frequency, repeated use and length of snippets makes the pace sluggish.
Although Wonders Never Cease IS a little slice of heaven, it could be even littler for eternal rapture.
Wonders Never Cease plays April 30th to June 5th at Provision Theatre, 1001 W. Roosevelt. Running time is two hours and thirty minutes, includes an intermission. Tickets are $25-$28, and may be purchased by calling 866.811.4111 or visit www.provisiontheater.org