Let it shine! I barely had time to catch my breath from last week’s double serving of GCB before this week’s generous portion made me realize that this show has certainly found its stride (perhaps quicker than other freshman shows), and said stride comes hand in hand with this week's blissful offering of musical moments between Cricket and Carlene. Hands down, GCB is absolutely the most fun you’ll have watching TV on Sunday -- especially when we’re treated to sing-your-face-off contests between Miriam Shor and Kristin Chenoweth, television’s most delectably campy duo.
Someone definitely snuck a little Glee and Smash into the holy water this week. “Pride Comes Before a Fall” revolved around Amanda’s decision to direct an original church musical after she and Pastor Tudor ran into dimpled teddy bear rival Reverend Steve (played by the delightful Michael Arden), whose own house of worship was putting on a lavish production of Godspell. Amanda dug up a script for The Miracles of Jesus, a biblical stage show written by Heather in high school, and soon the whole church was buzzing to try out.
Cue the funniest audition you've ever seen: Cricket's initially tame "This Little Light of Mine" evolved into a sparring match against techno beep-booping Carlene. Would I be weird if I said I wanted to download the mash-up on iTunes? Because I do.
Naturally Carlene lands the lead role despite opposition from Cricket, who attempted to bribe Amanda with dazzling stage effects. Ripp is cast as Jesus (a hilarious match) and Blake as a shimmering Lazarus; Cricket, stuck with the role of the Leper, quits in a huff. After getting another dose of Reverend Steve’s gloating (“We have a rotating platform and lasers. But hey, less is more. Sometimes.”), Amanda decides to plead with her teenage rival. She agrees to cast Cricket as the Holy Spirit, a decision which earns her full access to an array of flight harnesses and gobos (special theatre lights, y’all!).
Speaking of the word “y’all,” Sharon and Gigi took over B-plot land with Sharon’s disastrous attempt at promoting her Losin’ It With Jesus biblical diet on local Texas television. Sharon employs the talent of former pageant queen image consultant Gigi to make her “camera-ready.” Gigi’s coaching is unexpectedly brutal; she immediately requires Sharon to drop her voice, watch her hand gestures and cut out her signature “y’all” salute. But what will she end her sentences with now!?
Back at church rehearsals, where Ripp has been running things ("I asked myself, what would Jesus do? Turns out he'd direct."). Big kudos to Mark Deklin and David James Elliott, who play Blake and Ripp, respectively; both actors are exceptionally amusing in most situations -- especially when their scene-stealing female counterparts leave them wiggle room. Tonight they deserved just as much praise for thoroughly gut-busting performances, stemming mainly from Ripp’s ridiculous Jesus sight gag and Blake’s surprise vaudeville routine. (An episode highlight!)
NEXT: Stephen Blonde-heim?