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Final Bow

Final Bow: A Few Heavenly Words From the Angels of An Act of God

David Josefsberg and James Gleason say goodbye to Sean Hayes and Broadway's divine comedy.

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It's a tough job playing wingman to God — especially when He has assumed the body and winning persona of beloved TV star Sean Hayes. But David Josefsberg and James Gleason have done an angelic job all summer long at the Booth Theatre where David Javerbaum's An Act of God has enjoyed its latest Broadway run. Before the pair of loyal angels fly off into the heavens after their final performance on September 4, we asked them to leave us mere mortals with some parting wisdom. After all, it's not often that theater folk cross paths with the divine.

Broadway God Sean Hayes is flanked by his onstage angels James Gleason and David Josefsberg.
(© Allison Stock)

1. What is your favorite line that you get to say?

David Josefsberg: I guess they both come during my big rant near the end of the show when questioning God. "Where were you during the Holocaust, or on 9/11, or when they made the last five Adam Sandler movies?" And "Why is Donald Trump allowed to roam the earth!?"

James Gleason: "Thou shalt not tell others whom to fornicate."

2. Everyone loves inside jokes. What is the best one from your show?

David: If I shared it, it would be an outside joke! I must pass!

James: In An Act of God, the Angels have to ride suitcases in the Finale. I sign in at least two hours before every show and then go and practice riding the suitcase.

3. Every show experiences technical difficulties. What was the worst technical difficulty experienced during your show and how was it handled?

James: Being an Angel, I wear wings. One night, going offstage for the quick change into the finale song, I hit one of the wings on something and the wing fell off. So I did the last number as a "one-winged angel."

David: Instead of technical difficulties how about this...it's more interesting. Two ladies in the second row were waving, and laughing inappropriately, and talking to us onstage. Everyone around them was getting disturbed and it was going to be impossible to do the show. Sean, as God, left the stage, talked to stage management, and security came in and removed the unruly patrons. God came back out with a super one-liner about his powers and on went the show!

4. What was the most "interesting" present someone gave you at the stage door?

David: Definitely a Russian nesting doll from Lori Mooney. You know, those dolls that sit inside each other, and you can take them apart. These were so awesome because each one was from a different Broadway show (and Altar Boyz) that I was in. She really is the best gift-giver. She also gave me a Me Bobblehead Elvis doll for Honeymoon [in Vegas], and an awesome picture book for Altar Boyz! Thanks, Mooney!

James: On opening night, my family sent me a telegram, a real theatrical tradition from the past. It made the night much more fun.

5. Who is the coolest person that came to see your show? (You can't say your family!)

David: Well, in LA I will go with Tom Hanks and Samuel L. Jackson. Here, I will say Amy Poehler, Martin Short, and Christopher Fitzgerald.

James: Maria Shriver came and said, "I loved the show. Now I am going to confession."

James Gleason and David Josefsberg as Sean Hayes' angels Gabriel and Michael.
(© Jim Cox)

6. What has been your favorite Sean Hayes ad-lib during the run of the show?

James: We always have people who come in late and Sean asks them, "What happened — the bridge or the tunnel?" One lady said, "We were waiting in line for tickets to Hamilton. Without missing a beat, Sean said...

David: "…He may be on the ten dollar bill [but] I'm on all of 'em!!!"

7. Between you and your fellow angel, who do you think would make for a better real-life angel, and why?

David: Me...I look better in a skirt!!!

James: David Josefsberg has a high tenor voice, which would be the perfect sound in an angelic choir.

8. Which of God's lines consistently gets the best audience reaction?

James: The Garden of Eden story of Adam and Steve.

David: "Heeeeeeeyyyyyyy Sssssssssssteve." As the serpent!

9. What aspect of David Javerbaum's rendering of God do you hope turns out to be true?

David: His sense of humor! That "Sean Hayes" sure is funny!!!!

James: The last commandment, "Thou shalt love thyself."

10. If you could write your own commandment, what would it be?

David: Thou shalt support the Mets, Jets, and Knicks with all thine might!!! Oh, and Bourbon, though shalt drink muchly, and oftenly!

James: "Thou shalt spend money on live theater."

An Act of God star Sean Hayes flanked by his angels James Gleason and David Josefsberg, taking their bows at the Booth Theatre.
(© Allison Stock)
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