Openings of the Closed: BELOVED KING, A QUEER BIBLE MUSICAL at Oberon
This article is the third entry in a series that celebrates some of Boston's closed or postponed performances. Read more about this series here.
The ART's club venue Oberon Theater goes dark. A moment of anticipation hangs in the air before the band begins the opening bars of "Chosen," the first original song in the new faithfully adapted queer Biblical musical, Beloved King. Before long, we hear a rich voice, powerful and authoritative as it rings out over the house. It takes several seconds for us to realize that the voice is coming from the balcony above the bar. We turn and see a man with long, stark-white hair dressed in a cloak that seems to be stitched together from scraps of fabric and old rags. He holds a staff with a mysterious disc attached to it. On the disc is an inscription in paleo-Hebrew which translates to "Holy, of the house of the Lord."
The man is the Prophet Samuel, and we are in Ancient Israel, before the time of the Kingdom. Samuel sings to us about the shepherd boy who would become King David, and of his first beloved, Prince Jonathan. The Prophet then tells us about Jonathan's father, the first to be anointed by God, King Saul. We realize that Saul has entered onto the stage. He stands alone in a spotlight, a very tall, stern man in linen robes, a massive cloak, and a diadem. A general in studded leather armor approaches the king, eyes averted in deference. The Philistines are attacking, the general reports, and there is word that they bring with them a giant, deadly soldier named Goliath.
The first look at Beloved King: A Queer Bible Musical at Oberon has been postponed to an unknown date. For updates, sneak peeks, and other news, sign up for the mailing list here or follow the show on Facebook here or Instagram @belovedkingmusical.
Photo credit: Jonathan Beckley