Credit: Evan Hanover

Steve credits his self-described “prayer warrior” ethic with netting him a
soon-to-be-delivered $18.6 million in Swiss francs to start a chain of
gospel-themed hotels (the slogan: “Where would Jesus stay?”). For him,
belief in God’s capitalist-friendly grace is all anyone needs to succeed.
Sam, who lives in an apartment identical to Steve’s in the same complex, is
his calculated opposite: having lost his fiancee and half his face in a
horrific, metaphorically overdetermined automobile accident (hit by an
orange juice delivery truck on a Tropicana access road in Sunrise,
Florida), he now has faith in nothing. Caught in the middle is Steve’s
perpetually belittled wife, Sarah, for whom Sam’s newfound nihilism offers
a restorative antidote to her husband’s condescending certainty.

Welcome to the stacked deck of Craig Wright’s sporadically brilliant 2004
one-act, which reduces the complexities and consequences of commercialized
faith to a tidy fable in which no amount of foreshadowing is too much.
Which isn’t to say the play’s a bust. Far from it. Wright’s characters are
engaging and carefully observed throughout (and brought compellingly to
life in director Georgette Verdin’s beautifully acted production for
Interrobang), and the script’s numerous brutal monologues are stunning. But
Wright’s untroubled plotting turns most every messy predicament into a
foregone conclusion.

And that’s particularly problematic when the play opens with one character
murdering the other two, then rewinds a few weeks to discover why it
happened. Once the answers are obvious (somewhere around the halfway point)
the play’s squandered its dramatic purpose.   v