Tower of Babble is a triptych of vignettes loosely concerned with religion, mainly Catholicism, held together by a connecting call
to God. While it ultimately fails because of uneven writing, direction and performance, Tower has some interesting spots of humor and
Each of the scenes set up the idea of humans looking for God by postulating (sometimes humorously) on how, exactly,
things are run up there. "Lifeline," for example, presents the bureaucratic tech support line that is Godís phone number. Itís a
great concept, as the caller (Jonathan Manos) is a man who simply wants reassurance of his faith; he has to hit a succession of numbers
to make his way up the chain of command to the Judeo-Christian Godís answering machine. Other voices are supplied by Bolen High and
Jackie Enright, who really overleaps the boundaries of questionable accents.
"Duty and the Priest" stars Dean Marazzo as a reluctant priest who leaves his confessional duties to a janitor (Steve Montague), who in
turn must hear the long list of grievous sins committed by the rich confessor (James Napoli). The jokes are too obvious as written, with
a predictable twist at the end, and the actors play it far too over the top for it to be effective; a subtler approach would have served the
In "Scapegoat," Bob Senkewicz plays Sam Gordon, a traffic reporter who dies, never having become what he always wanted to be: a
journalist. He goes to hell and meets a Macintosh-using Lucifer (Jim Williams), who sets him straight on how God and the Devil really run
things above and below. This scene consists of longer monologues, and Senkewicz, who has a Gabe Kaplan quality, has a great delivery
and piques an interest in the character above the more obvious jokes. Williams is a dynamic Devil.
While "Scapegoat" goes on a bit too long, perhaps, it at least attempts to develop its characters and touches on some more
poignant issues of belief and the responsibility of being human. Itís in sharp contrast to the third skit, "God the Father," which presents God
(Cinnante) and Michael (Marazzo) as the Godfather and the Muscle in a theological mafia. Itís Christmas, and the Godfather is receiving
tributes for His sonís birthday from Zeus, Dionysus and the other "family" of Greek Gods. Some of the banter in the middle of the scene
could easily be excised, but this is a funny and interesting concept for parody with a use of Italian slang that rivals The Sopranos.
Marazzo responds much better to this material: he looks the part, a big guy in a wife-beater and wings,
with a sword in his belt instead of a gun. He and Cinnante keep the pace up and act this scene with vigor.
"God the Father" would be an excellent ending to Tower of Babble, which is unevenly written by Joseph Sikorski and Michael Calomino
and similarly directed by Sikorski, but the last installment of "Lifeline" tries to finally give the caller the answer heís seeking. The three main
skits are better as the play moves along; "Lifeline," unfortunately, grows less interesting and more saccharine with each part. "Never
stop evolving," says Lucifer to Sam in "Scapegoat," and thatís good advice for the creators of Tower of Babble.