A long time ago (1998) in country far, far way (The USA), legendary playwright Terrence McNally wrote a Passion Play with a twist: Jesus, in his “Corpus Christi” story, is gay. Well slap my ass and call me Mary Mother of God, but some good folks in New York City complained, with silly little bomb and death threats. After metal detectors greeted paying audience members, the play fell into relative obscurity.
Six years ago, L.A.-based 108 Productions revived the play, took their show on the road, and, wouldn’t you know it, were greeted with more death threats and some not-so-kind words from the Religious Right. The production was so acclaimed, however, that it’s still playing, and has been turned into a documentary film, Corpus Christi: Playing with Redemption. It’s a mission of morals for all involved, as the play delves into religious homophobia, bullying, marriage equality, and HIV/AIDS … wait, perhaps Corpus Christi doesn’t take place so far away and so long ago.
Starting this Saturday, New Yorkers can attend special fundraising/screenings of the show, in the Hamptons June 9, then in New York City on June 11. Each screening includes a light reception with Mr. McNally himself, filmmakers Nic Arnzen and James Brandon, and some of the various cast members. The price for tickets is $50, and all proceeds benefit the I Am Love Campaign and Tour.