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Theater review: 'The Jesus Hickey' at Skylight Theatre

June 18, 2010 |  4:06 pm

Ah, the prayer of an innocent Irish lass: “God Our Father, what the hell are Ya doin’?” It’s a fair question for the Almighty in “The Jesus Hickey,” Luke Yankee’s good-natured satire now at the Skylight Theatre in Los Feliz.

Sligo teen Agnes Flynn (Anastasia Lofgren, alternating with the single-named Aviva) needs a divine sign. Her father (Harry Hamlin) has never gotten over her mother’s death in childbirth, and her salty grandma (Barbara Tarbuck) isn’t exactly an appropriate role model. When a moonlit necking session with a forbidden crush (Aaron Leddick) results in a love bite resembling Our Savoir, Agnes gains healing powers — and the means of finally winning her da’s love.

Yankee, also directing, keeps this Katselas Theatre Company production moving on Jeff McLaughlin’s set, a living room that goes from threadbare to posh as Agnes’ gift brings in the dough. Stylistically, the play — like its Irish accents — wanders a bit, starting out at the kitchen sink and spinning into broader comedy. TV veteran Hamlin is best when least appealing, Tarbuck talks dirty with gusto, but Lofgren holds the show together with Agnes’ lamb-eyed need for male affirmation. Who needs sainthood when all you want is a date?

--Charlotte Stoudt

“The Jesus Hickey,” the Skylight Theatre, 1816 1/2 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Ends July 18. $25. Contact: (310) 358-9936. Running time: 2 hours.

Photo: Harry Hamlin and Barbara Tarbuck in "The Jesus Hickey." Credit: Ed Krieger.