Peninsula Players channel the Book of Job in “God’s Favorite”

The alcoholic son David, played by Chance McClelland, is but one of the many tests facing lead character Joe in "God's Favorite."

ILWACO — The Peninsula Players will bow out with a few laughs and a bit of inspiration this weekend as the group performs “God’s Favorite” as their final production of the season.

“God’s Favorite” is a comedy written by Neil Simon, who also wrote another hit play performed by the Peninsula Players, “Barefoot in the Park.” 

   Director Bob Lindberg explains, “In ‘God’s Favorite,’ Simon takes a look at the book of Job from the Bible as his major plot. This brings Job to the modern day, where he and his family both suffer because of an argument between good and evil. His script ponders the question of how much will one suffer to stand up for what they think is right. Joe, the aka for Job, goes through a number of challenges that one of us may face on a daily basis. What will be the optimum suffering that would cause someone to break?”    

   The play follows the story of Joe, a prosperous and God-fearing man with a somewhat dysfunctional family who is presented with an offer that promises to change his life for the better if he gives up his religious beliefs. And in some ways, one can understand the temptation such an offer would generate: his wife, Rose, is a simpleton; their fraternal twins, Ben and Sarah, are far from smart; and their inebriated son, David, is wasting his talents. Will he give up his faith in order to have the perfect life?

Lindberg says this production has been a challenge for producer Bill Nickila, who is also the show’s technical director. The “God’s Favorite” storyline includes a house fire, a snowstorm, an earthquake and lightning. But with the right combination of light, sound, video and even some costume alterations, Lindberg is confident that the special effects will make the scene.

“God’s Favorite” will be shown May 20, 21, 27 and 28 at 7 p.m., and May 22 and 29 at 2 p.m., at the River City Theater on Lake Street in Ilwaco. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door, the Imperial Schooner in Ilwaco, Stormin’ Norman’s in Long Beach, or Okie’s Thriftway in Ocean Park.


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