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Review: THE MOST FABULOUS STORY EVER TOLD at Convergence-continuum

Review: THE MOST FABULOUS STORY EVER TOLD at Convergence-continuum

THE MOST FABULOUS STORY EVER TOLD will offend some, delight others.

A stage manager indicates the opening light and sound cues, calls places for the actors, and we are off on a lesson of Biblical history. That is, comedy writer Paul Rudnick's version of Biblical history.

There is God or god or G-d, or no God.

He, she, or it created gay Adam and Steve and Jane and Mabel.

In this version of the great book, homosexuality was normal before heterosexuality.

Adam and Steve navigate the centuries together, with a few kinky side-trips. They encounter odd characters, including gay animals on Noah's ark, a crippled lesbian rabbi, and a flamboyant pharaoh. There is birth, marriage and attacks on traditional marriage. There is a celebration of Christmas, with or without virgin birth, and Hannukah getting in the way of Xmas festivities. And, on and on it goes!

Hey, this is the writing of Paul Rudnick, who has been described as "line by line, may be the funniest writer for the stage in the United States today..."

There have been protests when the show has been scheduled in various venues.

At a production at the University of California-Santa Cruz, Jerry Falwell and members of the Westboro Baptist Church, condemmed the production, making such comments as "This fiasco at UC Santa Cruz is just one more symptom of the deadly disease encompassing this land." And, "they have institutionalized sin and we're going to face the consequences.'" An Oklahoma state representative claimed it was a "direct frontal attack" to Christians. In Dallas, America Needs Fatima protested another production. America Needs Fatima also protested a production in Atlanta.

Worry not, there was no protest at con-con, only laughter and extended applause at the conclusion of the show.

Just to be clear. The script is no great work of literature. The authors of ANGELS IN AMERICA, BENT, BOYS IN THE BAND, THE NORMAL HEART, TOURCH SONG TRILOGY, JEFFREY, LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION!, and GROSS INDECENCY: THE THREE TRIALS OF Oscar Wilde, need fear not about being replaced on the list of best gay-centric plays by THE MOST FABULOUS STORY EVER TOLD.

With a good production, the overly long and somewhat trite script can be entertaining. And, at con-con what they get is exactly that.

For those open to the biblical onslaught and possessing the right attitude, an audience member can cackle, roll-their eyes and think of all the Evangelicals who would be upset and uncomfortable being exposed to this "smut."

Director Denise Astorino keeps the action moving right along. She has inserted some creativity into the staging. Along with costumer Kate Smith, she has handled the nudity issue, maybe to the disappointment of some con-con regulars, with green jockstraps and vines, and Neil Sudhakaran's projections adds in interesting set changes and visual Biblical references.

Alex Strzemilowski(Adam) and Noah Pigza (Steve) are geeky charming as Adam and Steve. Lucy Turner is Dyke-correct as Mabel and Grace Mitri (Jane) makes for a perfect lipstick Lesbian. David L. Munnell, proves again that he is the king of "fey." The rest of the cast, Haley Johnson, Rick Quintana, Amanda Rowe Van Allen, and Katelyn Cornelius are fine in playing multiple roles.

Capsule judgment: THE MOST FABULOUS STORY EVER TOLD will delight con-con regulars and intentionally upset the religious up-tight. But, as Rudnick stated about detractors, "tell them I spoke to God personally and he said they're wrong."

THE MOST FABULOUS STORY EVER TOLD runs at con-con through December 17, 2022.

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From This Author - Roy Berko

Roy Berko, a life-long Clevelander, holds degrees, through the doctorate from Kent State, University of Michigan and The Pennsylvania State University. Roy was an actor for many years, appearing in... (read more about this author)

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