Gay Jesus May Play on Broadway
.c The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - Acclaimed playwright Terrence McNally is working on a play featuring a Christ-like character who has sex with his apostles, the New York Post reported today.

``Corpus Christi,'' likely to open on Broadway or off-Broadway in September or October, features a character called Joshua, the newspaper said. The name Jesus is a variation of the name Joshua.

Gilbert Medina, an assistant to McNally's agent, confirmed that the play is being produced by Manhattan Theater Club, the paper said. A reading of the play was held Tuesday at the club, and about three dozen people attended.

The sex in the play is offstage and just talked about, the newspaper said.

The play borrows dialogue from the Bible's New Testament, paraphrasing Pontius Pilate's questioning of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion, the paper said.

``Art thou king of the queers?'' McNally's Pontius Pilate character asks instead of ``Art thou the King of the Jews?''

``Thou sayest,'' the Joshua character answers.

Roman Catholic leaders denounced the portrayal.

``If that were true, that would be horrifying,'' said Joe Zwilling, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York. William Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights called the play ``sick beyond words.''

McNally, a three-time Tony Award winner who has written numerous gay-themed plays, was quiet about his work. His previous works include ``Master Class'' and ``Love! Valour! Compassion!''

``I don't want to say anything about it. It's new,'' McNally said Thursday.

AP-NY-05-01-98 0820EDT


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