Sister Mary Ann Walsh of the United States Catholic Conference reviewed a play that appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts this past June, finding that “the barbs against the Church convey an intolerable, mean-spirited stereotyping.” She was referring to “The Complete Millennium Musical,” a performance by the Reduced Shakespeare Company. Sister Walsh said the show repeatedly labeled the Church “intolerant.”
A letter from the Catholic League to the Center expressing our concerns (e.g., the establishment is funded by the taxpayers, one-quarter of whom are Catholic), was “politely” answered by the Executive Vice President for the Center, saying he was “sorry” that the reviewer “found parts of the play offensive and inappropriate.” That we find his “sorrow” to be as insincere as it is condescending is something he’ll never figure out.
“Occasionally a performance will use humor in an effort to make people think,” wrote J. Kevin McMahon, “to open discussion and most importantly help us all recognize that we must all live together.” So why doesn’t the Center sponsor a JKF-bashing show (good ideas are not hard to come by) and then tell the complaining caviar crowd that they missed the humor in it. But most significantly, they should be told how we all have to learn how to live together. Fat chance this will ever happen.