proved that all publicity isn't good publicity, according to its author Terrence McNally. Not because the play, which transplants the Jesus story to the gay community of thetitle city
, led to death threats against McNally and theManhattan Theatre Club
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when it premiered in 1997, but because there was nothing shocking enough in the plot to meet the hype.
McNally visited the Alley Theatre in January and spoke to members of Unhinged Productions, the gay-themed company that's currently staging the play. "He told us, 'Whatever happens, I hope there's no controversy,'" says director Joshua Gray. "He was very concerned it would just leave the audience disappointed."
When Corpus Christi first opened, rumors spread that it featured everything from an apostle orgy to Jesus-on-Judas angry sex. The truth is that it's a simple, familiar story about a charismatic leader who gathers a group of followers in a shunned community and is put to death for preaching love and tolerance. He is, um, attracted to dudes, but besides that, it's just Jesus in South Texas. — Nick Keppler
A look at Corpus Christi isn't the only bit of potentially blasphemous fun in this week's Night & Day section�. We also explain how the River Oaks Theatre has created a loophole to get you out of church this Sunday, introduce you to some of Satan's Cheerleaders and tell you what Easter has to do with sadomasochism — if you live in Slovakia.