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Demon-Puppet Saga 'Hand to God' Headed for Broadway in Spring

By Jon Sobel j.sobel@classicalite.com on Oct 22, 2014 10:27 AM EDT

Robert Askins's raunchy Hand to God, the Off Broadway Alliance's Best New Play winner about a demonic sock puppet, will open at Broadway's Booth Theater in April, announced Tony Award-winning producer Kevin McCollum, who has some experience backing puppets, having produced Avenue Q (as well as Rent and In the Heights).

Star Steven Boyer won an Obie Award for his performance as shy Jason, a young man battling with his possessed sock puppet, Tyrone, in a small Texas town of churchgoing Bible Belters. Boyer along with the rest of the cast from the most recent run at MCC Theater will return for the Broadway production, which will begin previews March 12, 2015 and open April 7. Moritz von Stuelpnagel, who has been with the show since the sold-out Ensemble Studio Theatre production in 2012, will direct.

As I wrote in my review of that first production, the puppet "is such a snarlingly entertaining character that when, at one point, Jason manages to pull Tyrone off and throw him to the floor, I found myself glancing nervously at the lifeless puppet anticipating that he'd spring back to life all on his own."

Changes will be made to the script and the production for the Broadway run, according to a spokesman for the show. Hand to God isn't a show for kids, or at least it wasn't. I observed that "when…the central adult in this group of God-fearing sad cases…lets her guard down, she drops every conceivable inhibition. You'll also see puppets doing some hilariously unspeakable things."

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TagsHand to God, Stephen Boyer, Robert Askins, broadway, puppetry, puppets, MCC Theater, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Obie Awards, Off-Broadway, Off Broadway Alliance