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Prayer vigil, demonstrators await playgoers outside Oklahoma City theater on cold, icy night

Groups give contrasting views on biblical satire, ‘The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told'
by William Crum Modified: December 7, 2013 at 12:59 pm •  Published: December 7, 2013

/articleid/3912135/1/pictures/2287682">Photo - Hannah Leggett holds a sign in support of the ÒThe Most Fabulous Story Ever Told" play at the Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City, Okla.,  Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Hannah Leggett holds a sign in support of the ÒThe Most Fabulous Story Ever Told" play at the Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City, Okla., Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Bergner's group had promises from about 100 people who responded to a Facebook invitation.

Both groups could be heard singing “O Come, All Ye Faithful” across the plaza.

Dozens of pastors signed a letter objecting to the play and calling on elected leaders to speak against it. Labeling it “gross pornography,” they suggested producers and cast could be brought up on obscenity charges.

Critics also contended the play received taxpayer support and questioned how it could be tolerated in a publicly funded facility such as the Civic Center.

However, the Oklahoma Arts Council, the theater group's source of public money, denied the group's request for funding. The city responded that it was compelled by law to rent facilities to any group that pays its rent and follows the rules.

Rick Tepker, a University of Oklahoma law professor who reviewed the pastors' letter, said he could find nothing to show that a prosecution for obscenity was “possible or plausible.”

Oklahoma City Theatre Company is a resident community theater company at the Civic Center.

In addition to “Most Fabulous Story,” the six productions in its 2013-14 season include “In the Heat of the Night” and an annual Native American New Play Festival.

“Most Fabulous Story” opened off-Broadway in 1998 and was described as a comedic retelling of the Bible “from a flamboyantly gay perspective.”

The original's full-frontal nudity was dropped from the production.

In the play, Adam and Steve meet in the Garden of Eden. The couple leave the Garden only to encounter lesbians Jane and Mabel, who insist they were Earth's original inhabitants.

Act 2 is set in contemporary New York City at Christmastime.

by William Crum
Reporter
OU and Norman High School graduate, formerly worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Press, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, and the Norman Transcript. Married, two children, lives in Norman.
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