Hail Satan

Mac Rogers' crisp comic drama Hail Satan leaves you wondering about the playwright's real feelings about evil. He seems to know an awful lot about the Dark Lord.

A riff of sorts on Rosemary's Baby, the story follows nice guy Tom (Matthew Kinney) from his first day at a new job. He discovers that the rest of his co-workers -- led by Charlie, the department head (Sean Williams) -- are all worshippers of Satan. A brief relationship with one, Kristen (Renee Delio), leads Tom to take part in a ceremony that produces the miraculous birth of Satan's daughter, Angie (Laura Perloe), who Tom and Kristen raise as their own.

Rogers plays the faith straight enough and with enough philosophical underpinning that you start to see how this could conceivably draw in a group of passionate followers. He never trivializes their beliefs, which makes the story that much more chilling. The cast is perfect, especially Perloe, who ages from a baby to 18 years old in one act and makes it completely believable. Also terrific is Williams as the preternaturally calm leader. Director Jordana Williams establishes solid pacing, and Saundra Yaklin's set is smart and functional.

Presented by Gideon Productions as part of the New York International Fringe Festival

at the Bleecker Street Theatre, 45 Bleecker Street, NYC.

Aug. 11-24. Remaining performances: Wed., Aug. 22, 10 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 24, 7:15 p.m.

(212) 279-4488 or (888) 374-6436 or www.fringenyc.org.