This week we bring you a crucifixion, ghetto Shakespeare and mean people in love. Because why get vanilla ice cream when you can get, say, caramel ice cream with fudge chunks and cookie dough and cherry bits and sugar cone slivers? Just kidding. You can't really get that ice cream. But ghetto Shakespeare, we got that.
at New Conservatory Theatre Center
One of the last times playwright Terrence McNally's name was linked to a crucifixion, it was in the late 1990s and the play was his Corpus Christi. Featuring a tormented gay man named Joshua who leaves Corpus Christi in search of tolerance and who picks up, so to speak, 12 other men along the way, it was one of those plays that was picketed, threatened, dropped from theatres schedules and then put back on after protests from other artists. Well, as far as we know, the world premiere of Crucifixion at New Conservatory Theatre Center has had no such problems. Using multiple story lines laid out by 11 characters, the play centers on a high-profile TV producer who is murdered by a Jesuit priest. The characters, ranging from a lesbian couple to a Broadway composer to a Bay Area weatherman, discover how they're connected through family, faith and community. Artistic director Ed Decker commissioned the play after McNally, who was in San Francisco for the production of Dead Man Walking (he wrote the libretto) at the San Francisco Opera a few years ago, dropped in on New Conservatory's rehearsals for, appropriately, Corpus Christi. The rest is, as they say, soon to be history.
Crucifixion opens October 8 and plays through November 6.