February 29 – March 4
Fort Lauderdale, FL – Parker Playhouse featured a five-day run of Matthew Lombardo’s play, “High,” with Kathleen Turner starring as a recovering alcoholic, gutter-mouth nun. Convinced of his special claim to victim status because of his own penchant for drug addiction and homosexuality, the playwright narcissistically invented a self-denigrating nun character as a reflection of himself. In doing so, he symbolically trashed the character of real-life nuns. The play ran for only six days when it opened on Broadway in 2011. Though Turner protested that the “New York critics were wrong,” the play was anything but a success.
San Francisco, CA – The Terrence McNally play, “Corpus Christi,” which depicts Christ having sex with the apostles, was performed three times in San Francisco at Southside Theater at Fort Mason Center as well as at the Small Chapel in the First Unitarian Church. The performances were part of a national tour of both the play and a documentary about the play called “Corpus Christi: Playing with Redemption.” The director said his mission is to “change the story on religious bullying and homophobia.” Proponents of the play masquerade as advocates of tolerance only to attack Christians in the most vile terms. The play depicts the Christ-figure, Joshua, having sex with the apostles, branding him “King of the Queers”; it portrays Jesus saying to the apostles, “F*** your mother, F*** your father, F*** God”; and it shows Philip asking Jesus to perform oral sex on him. The script is replete with sexual and scatological comments.
New York, NY – Artist Sebastian Errazuriz handed out his magnum opus: his “Christian Popsicles”— wooden popsicle sticks shaped as a cross and inscribed with the image of Jesus. The flavors were reported by one news network as “frozen holy wine transformed into the blood of Christ”; the wine was “inadvertently blessed by the priest while turning wine into the blood of Christ during the Eucharist.”
September 27 – October 26
New York, NY – The Edward Tyler Nahem gallery in mid-town Manhattan hosted the exhibit, “Body and Spirit: Andres Serrano 1987-2012,” which featured Serrano’s “Piss Christ” showing a crucifix submerged in a jar of his own urine. The Catholic League objected not only to the work of “art,” but also to the venue and the timing. The gallery is located on 57th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, the most expensive rent district in the city, just two blocks from the Plaza Hotel, Central Park, and high-end jewelry stores. In other words, it was the artistic establishment of New York sticking it to Christians. Cheering for them were other segments of the cultural elite, e.g., the New York Times fawned over it. It was the political elites who made the timing of the exhibit so offensive. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were busy condemning an anti-Islam video that they (erroneously) said sparked Muslim riots in the Middle East. When Todd Starnes of Fox News called the White House asking if there would be a statement condemning Serrano’s anti-Christian art, he got no response.
At a press conference organized by the Catholic League, Bill Donohue unveiled his own magnum opus: a bobblehead of Obama sitting in a jar of faux feces (it was actually brown Play-Doh). If Serrano got $15,000 back in the 1980s for his “art,” Donohue reasoned that his contribution should be worth about $50,000 today, correcting for inflation. He wanted to ask Serrano (he was present at the exhibit) if he would help him write a grant. When Donohue went to enter the gallery to see the exhibit, he was turned away by gallery officials, effectively censoring him. In addition, a gallery spokeswoman lied when she told the New York Times that the police showed up after they were summoned, that thirty or so protesters barged into the building, and that Donohue balked when Serrano confronted him to discuss the controversy. The Times reporter confirmed with police that no officer showed up during the press conference; no one barged into the building, as was confirmed by the video that the Catholic League posted to YouTube; and Serrano and Donohue never met, as Serrano himself later admitted to the Times reporter.
Boston, MA – The Bunker Hill Community College Arts Gallery hosted a painting by Michael D’Antuono, a left-wing artist known for exploiting racial tensions.
The painting was entitled “Truth” and depicted President Barack Obama with outstretched arms wearing a Crown of Thorns, against the backdrop of the Seal of the President of the United States.
“Truth” was supposed to debut on April 29, 2009 in New York’s Union Square to commemorate the first 100 days of Obama’s presidency. But D’Antuono withdrew his painting after being hit with angry e-mails. Now he was back, apparently thinking that after Obama won reelection, the time was ripe to rip off Christian iconography for the purpose of making a cheap political statement.
New York, NY – The off-Broadway musical “Bare: The Musical” opened at New World Stages. The show was a revival of “Bare: A Pop Opera.” According to the script, the story revolves around two high school seniors, adolescent boys, at a Catholic school who are in love with one another. The script contains many anti-Catholic elements and celebrates homosexuality. For example, confession is referred to as the “sacrament of oppression” and a “poor man’s therapy session.” In another scene, the Blessed Mother appears to one of the characters in a dream and tells him to tell his mother about his homosexuality. She says Joseph hasn’t done anything for her since he let her ride on the donkey to Bethlehem. In another scene, one of the characters in the play, a nun, tells another character to be proud of his homosexuality.