Corpus Christi

The story of Jesus and his disciples, but gay, potty-mouthed, and sexually active

Obviously, all the outraged folks screaming sacrilege over The Da Vinci Code haven't seen Terrence McNally's play Corpus Christi. When it was produced on Broadway in 1998, there were threats to burn down the theater, kill its staff, and exterminate the playwright. The script is essentially a contemporary retooling of the story of Jesus and his disciples, as McNally would have it — that is, all gay, potty-mouthed, and sexually active. This production's 14 cast members get baptized as disciples, tell us about themselves (Judas: "I've got a big dick"), and take us on a whirlwind two-hour tour of Jesus' life. Much of it plays like a camped-out episode of South Park in which the football coach asks the son of God if he likes pussy, Mother Mary likes to go out nights "dancing," and on prom night at Pontius Pilate High Jesus is voted "Most Likely to Take It Up the Hershey Highway." At the center of the Magical Acts Ritual Theater Company's version are the strong and serious performances of Jason Thomas and Francis Serpa as the lovers Judas and Jesus, respectively. They're the heart within all the cast and script shenanigans, steadfastly preaching the simple message of compassion — or, as Jesus would have it, "God loves us most when we love each other."

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