What happens when we die? Why do bad things happen to good people? Are we alone in the universe? Writer/Director Erik Blair tackles these questions and more in God: The Apologies Tour, now playing at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Part monologue, part immersive conversation, God: The Apologies Tour invites audiences to meet the Creator, along with several other manifestations, to get answers to these burning questions.
In an attempt at true communion, the humble and friendly Creator has come back to Earth to welcome a dialogue between his manifestations – Polytheism, Mystic Spiritualism and Self-Reflection – and his creations – us. He expertly weaves humor and pop culture references into the explanations of his choices, reflecting back to the beginning with the Garden of Eden and the true motivations of Lucifer.
The Creator also returned to apologize for his gift of free will. Having seen the destruction and suffering here on Earth, God acknowledges that He has given humanity too heavy a burden to bear. In an early example of that free will, He offers audience members the opportunity to immerse themselves in the discussion by letting them choose which manifestation to visit with. In a group, or one-on-one depending on who guests opt to visit, audience members interact with God’s manifestations as they see fit. Each version of the Creator offers their own insights into religion and spirituality, but audiences are only able to converse with two per show, making God: The Apologies Tour well worth repeated visits for unique interactions.
The Creator and his manifestations are extraordinarily varied: a thundering Zachary Johnson-Dunlop as Polytheism mightily gulps down mead as he reminisces about wars fought in his honor; hushed Stepy Kamei, as Self-Reflection, draws you in with her calm demeanor and intense eyes; Heidi Appe as Mystic Spiritualism is as mysterious as her namesake, only allowing one or two guests to converse with her per show; and Erik Blair as the most “traditional” version of the Creator is eloquent, knowledgeable and immediately calms guests with his quiet strength. Each actor seamlessly flows between scripted text and improvisational responses to audience questions.
Coming from a Catholic high-school background, but currently identifying as a non-believer, I found God: The Apologies Tour refreshing and peaceful. The fears and uncertainties that humanity faces on a daily basis are brought to the forefront, finessed and made relatable to current, everyday life. Updating antiquated ideas for modern audiences and infusing them with humor and love, Blair and his cast provide engaging versions of the Creator that I can definitely get behind. God: The Apologies Tour is a beautifully honest and rewarding exploration of free will and interacting with the divine.