State lawmaker opposes staging of 'The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told'

Rep. Dan Fisher, R-Yukon, says a play being staged in Oklahoma City that satirizes biblical stories — employing homosexual relationships and nudity in the telling — is a “direct frontal attack” on Christians.
by William Crum Modified: October 4, 2013 at 9:25 pm •  Published: October 4, 2013

A state representative from Yukon says a play being staged in Oklahoma City that satirizes biblical stories — employing homosexual relationships and a fair share of nudity in the telling — is a “direct frontal attack” on Christians.

Rep. Dan Fisher, a Republican who is senior pastor of Yukon's Trinity Baptist Church, said Friday that a group of pastors and legislators will pressure city leaders to block it.

The Oklahoma City Theatre Company's Christmas-season production “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” opens Dec. 5 in CitySpace, a small theater in the basement of the Civic Center Music Hall. It runs through Dec. 22.

“There's a difference between satire and pornography,” Fisher said. “This is pornography.”

The New York Times reviewed “Most Fabulous Story” when it opened off-Broadway in 1998, describing Paul Rudnick's play as a comedic retelling of the Bible “from a flamboyantly gay perspective,” with full-frontal nudity.

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.

Oklahoma City touts itself as a big-league city with a vibrant urban culture, said Scott Hamilton, executive director of the Cimarron Alliance.

As such, it cannot afford to be in the business of banning literary works, said Hamilton, whose alliance advocates on behalf of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Oklahomans.

“Most Fabulous Story” is a funny play, Hamilton said. “It certainly has a place on the stage, in New York and here in Oklahoma City.”

Theater has deep roots

Oklahoma City Theatre Company is a community theater founded in 1999 by University of Oklahoma graduate Richard Nelson, who was its first artistic director.

The company stages most of its productions in Civic Center Music Hall's versatile CitySpace, a black-box theater that seats fewer than 100 patrons.

Its larger productions, such as next spring's “Jesus Christ Superstar,” are presented in the 286-seat Freede Little Theatre, a proscenium-style venue.

Artistic Director Rachel Irick said homosexual themes and nudity are nothing new to OKCTC.

Past productions have included “Bug,” by “August: Osage County” playwright Tracy Letts — nudity — and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” the story of a transgendered rock star staged as a cabaret performance.

In the case of “Fabulous,” Irick said: “We don't have any plans to use total nudity.”

Of the portrayal of the two homosexual couples at the center of Rudnick's play, she said, “Thankfully that's becoming less and less controversial.”

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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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If we are to realize all that Oklahoma City can become, we must do so with a constant eye toward diversity and inclusivity.”

Scott Hamilton

,
executive director of the Cimarron Alliance

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