Interfaith Understanding With The Rev. Bill & Betty
nytheatre.com review by Roger Nasser
August 23, 2010
Interfaith Understanding with The Rev. Bill & Betty is a mock cable access show on the Really Christian Broadcasting Network that, we're told, has just been picked up by Manhattan public access. Reverend Bill and Betty are excited to reach more sinners. During the show we learn that Reverend Bill and Betty are not as perfect and pure as they seem. We are also reminded of how ignorant religious zealots and fanatics can be.
The show has the format of a television show. After each segment there is a pre-recorded commercial break. The videos that make up the commercials range from funny—some funnier than others—to not so funny. I almost wished that some of these were performed live. During the "TV show," Reverend Bill and Betty go over different temptations that are out there.
Rik Sansone and Jen Ryan absolutely shine as Reverend Bill and Betty. They are a great duo. They are both extremely energetic performers with great comedic timing. They carry the show very well. They really embody the characters they are portraying. They also do a really good job showing the humanity of their larger-than-life characters.
Interfaith Understanding is written by Martin D. Hill. The script has very funny points. I liked the way that the characters were written and the quirks that they had. The premise was also fun. Some jokes, however, felt very redundant. It seemed like the ignorance of the characters was a running gag throughout the show and after a while that gag stopped being as funny. The audience that I was a part of seemed to really enjoy the show a lot.
The costumes by Aughra Moon are fantastic. I loved that Betty is done up in purple from head to toe. Reverend Bill's costume of yellow and gold really complements Betty's costume and seems really appropriate for this preacher to wear.
Interfaith Understanding is a really fun show, and though sometimes the gags fall a little short it is not the fault of the talented cast. Sansone and Ryan deliver really solid performances, under the direction of Leonard Jacobs. They will make you laugh and maybe even question and reconsider your faith just a little.