“The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” opens tomorrow at the Oklahoma City Civic Center; it lasts until Dec. 22. When it opened in the East Village in New York in 1998, I said, “it sounds like a routine homosexual play: full-frontal male nudity, filthy language, discussions of body parts, butch lesbians, effeminate gay men, ranting about nature, damning God for AIDS, etc.” The play was a flop, never making it to Broadway. Now the taxpayers, both nationally and in Oklahoma, are paying for it.
The play is a gay rendition of the Bible, focusing mostly on the Old Testament. It opens with two men in jockstraps (of course) in the Garden of Eden, one of whom identifies himself as a Jew. They run into a self-described bull dyke and her lesbian lover. This masterpiece is the work of Paul Rudnick, a homosexual “Jew from New Jersey.” His goal, he said, is to mock religion: he is angry at God for allowing AIDS. Naturally.
The play is being performed at a city-owned venue, and is being presented by the Oklahoma City Theatre Company. The latter receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oklahoma Arts Council; the Arts Council refused to fund this play, but contributed $18,000 to other productions during the 2013-2014 season.
It is against federal and state laws to fund religion, making absurd the notion that the public must pay for attacks on it. Civic Center officials say the play does not contain full-frontal male nudity. However, it does include simulated sex acts, and the Arts Council is explicitly prohibited by state law from funding such fare (money being fungible, it is).
Rachel Irick, the director of the Theatre Company, says “We need to build our diverse audience and offer a different Christmas story.” Well, Rachel, anti-Semitic bigots have some great ideas on how to write a play that trashes Jews. Any interest in a “different Hanukkah story”?