by Matt Ritchey

David Caprita’s Jake and the Angel is a mix of a modern telling of the Biblical tale and the all-too-poignant theme of suicide. You wouldn’t imagine something like that to be really funny and upbeat, but it is.

Jake and the Angel tells the story of a well-known movie producer who has finally decided to call it quits on life and is visited by a young guy who says he’s his guardian angel sent to stop him. Stakes are high for the angel, too, as he’s stopped hundreds of humans from committing suicide and if he succeeds again, he gets his wish: to come back to Earth. It seems the afterlife is devoid of taste, touch, and all the things that we, the living, can take for granted.

Plays about the existence of life after death, higher powers, and the meaning of life can very easily fall into talky meanderings or worse, proselytizing. But Jake and the Angel is about two very real characters with understandable goals.  The conversations are personal and while they certainly make you think, the dialogue is always that: dialogue, and not speeches about ideas. Caprita, as the Producer, and Josh Wingate as the Angel, both bring wonderful, grounded performances. And the final moment is a beautiful reminder for all of us.

At thirty minutes with one location, Jake and the Angel has all the best aspects of Fringe: it’s short, sweet, thought-provoking, with great performances, lighting, and direction.