Laughing all the way to the crucifixion

By D. A. Blackburn

Antonio David Garcia has a unique relationship with Christ, and in his work "Candy Corn, Christ, and the Convoluted Creation of Golf," which plays at the Boll Family YMCA through the end of the month, it comes to life on the stage with heart-warming laughter.
Garcia's vision of the prophet is a bit unconventional. He is easy going, charming, funny and disarmingly human, but distinctly the son of God. The play wades through some familiar biblical material, albeit, at the shallow end of the pool, frequently sprinkling in drops of humor, but not making big enough waves to offend the average (non-fundamentalist) Christian.
Garcia's writing is straightforward and genuinely witty, producing a show that feels like a children's parable come to life. Throughout the play's two acts, his depiction of Christ is consistently positive, but the work suffers a bit of an identity crisis. "Candy Corn's" script packs just enough sexual innuendo and near-blue language to make it inappropriate for young children, but it feels too juvenile to be a truly adult production.
The show's cast is quite good. Miguel Garcia creates a delightful Jesus, with a perfect demeanor for A. D. Garcia's writing, and a look that hits the mark exceptionally. Director Melvin A. Lyons is likewise excellent as Damion/Lucifer, creating a likable and charming, if evil, devil. Also notable is Travis Timlin's Thomas, a bumbling and naive apostle with a heart of gold.
"Candy Corn's" staging is clean and simple, opting for function over form, but doing so in a tidy and attractive fashion. The show's costume design is thoughtful, blending garb that feels perfectly appropriate to the subject matter, with garments used strictly for humors sake.
"Candy Corn's" light-hearted, humorous approach to religion is refreshing. In the end, it feels like vacation bible camp, providing a good message without taking itself too seriously.

'Candy Corn, Christ, and the Convoluted Creation of Golf'
Y-Arts Detroit, Marlene Boll Theatre, 1401 Broadway, Detroit. Fri.-Sat. through Sep. 27. Tickets: $15. For information: 313-223-2751 or