McNally's Corpus Christi Rises Again At SF's New Conservatory

News   McNally's Corpus Christi Rises Again At SF's New Conservatory Terrence McNally's controversial Corpus Christi will come to the Bay Area as a part of the New Conservatory Theater Center's Sixth Pride Season, entitled "Body and Soul."

Terrence McNally's controversial Corpus Christi will come to the Bay Area as a part of the New Conservatory Theater Center's Sixth Pride Season, entitled "Body and Soul."

Set in modern south Texas, Corpus Christi depicts the life of gay Christ-like figure named Joshua and the relationships he forms with his twelve disciples, including a Judas-like lover, a lawyer and a prostitute.

When Corpus Christi made its debut in October, 1998 at the Manhattan Theatre Club, protests from the Catholic League of Religious and Civil Rights and fringe extremist groups almost led to the play cancellation. Only counterprotests from the arts community including a petition signed by playwrights Tony Kushner, Craig Lucas, Marsha Norman, Lanford Wilson, Wendy Wasserstein, and Larry Kramer and the threatened loss of Athol Fugard's The Captain's Tiger, brought reinstatement of the play into the MTC season. Throughout the run, protests continued.

Other plays by McNally include Love! Valor! Compassion!, The Lisbon Traviata and Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune. He won Tony Awards for best book of a musical for both Ragtime and Kiss of the Spider Woman.

The other five Pride Season plays will be announced in April. Pride Season begins October, 2000. -- By Christine Ehren