God's Favorite

Mark Brown and Blair Goodgame play characters at odds about a commitment to faith

Pell City’s CEPA stage will begin showing “God’s Favorite” this week on Oct. 7 and 9 at 7p.m. and Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. Admission is free and CEPA encourages donations that will go back toward to the community program. 

“The play is so different because of the set and the flow. I think working with this cast is really fantastic, it’s one that I’ve done several plays with. It’s really neat, it’s like having the dream team,” said Mark Brown, an actor in the production.  

“God’s Favorite,” written by Neil Simon, is a modern take of the story of Job from the Bible. The main character, Joe Benjamin, struggles with an ungrateful family. He is visited by a messenger from God to test Joe’s faith. The messenger puts Joe’s faith to the test to see what it would take for him to renounce God. 

Actor, CEPA assistant director and Spotlight program Coordinator, Shelby Maddox, is looking forward to returning to the stage after seven years in this production.  

“With this show being a collaborative directing experience, it was fun to see the show come together, and the process of everyone working together to make it happen,” said Maddox. “This cast is amazing and works well and they are just all around awesome.” 

The production is a comedy featuring members of Pell City’s Spotlight Core. Brown, who plays Benjamin, is the front man for the cast of characters. 

Brown, Candacey Brown (Brown’s wife) and children became intertwined with Pell City’s CEPA by chance. After being asked to audition for “Bus Stop,” a show being put together at the time, Brown decided to try it out “on a whim.” 

Now, a few years later he, his wife and three children are active in the organization. Brown has been a part of six shows with CEPA.  

“I have fallen in love with it,” said Brown.  

At night Brown can be found performing on the stage, but during the day he can be found at Kinkelder, a saw blade business in Pell City.  

Although Brown didn’t go to school for theater, he has found a home on stage by making people laugh. He said he’s especially excited about this show because of the experience it offers to viewers.  

“It’s an opportunity for people to come out and laugh,” said Brown. “That’s what I really love doing, making people laugh.” 

Brown said he can’t wait for the audience to experience the production he and his friends have been working hard on.  

“There’s a good moral story to it and we can’t put everything we have into just things in this world,” said Brown.  

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