Jesus May Have Died For Our Sins Today But He’ll Rise Again, Only Gayer, In Corpus Christi: The Movie

Corpus Christi, Terrence McNally’s controversial Passion play that debuted on Broadway in 1998, is being resurrected—but this time on the big screen. Directed by Nic Arnzen and James Brandon, the documentary Corpus Christi: Playing with Redemption details the play’s evolution in the decade-plus since its premiere, looking at a small production in L.A. that led to a world tour and, eventually, a staging in Corpus Christie, TX. The film also chronicles how various groups have reacted to the play—productions have been met with protests, cancellations and even bomb threats—and how the show has become a vehicle of change.

With the show depicting Jesus Christ and his Apostles as gay men, Christ performing a same-sex marriage, and Judas betraying him over romantic jealousy, we thought it’d be the perfect post for Easter.

Happy holidays!

Corpus Christi: Playing with Redemption premieres at the Castro Theater in San Francisco on April 29 before touring the country with a live stage production. Photo via Mikki Willis

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  • Adam

    I saw this production when it was in Los Angeles last summer, and to be honest, it seemed very community theatre. It’s a difficult play, for starters (that’s not to say play’s not good, it is). But it was directed with such a two-dimensional, unimaginative eye that the play came off as incredibly saccharine and pandering, like an Easter pageant for liberal audiences. It felt like the production was resting on the fact that the play is controversial. There seemed to be no interest in exploring McNally’s deeper resonances.

  • ptcruiser13

    I always thought Jesus and Peter had a thing for each other… it’s why Peter was named father of the catholic church, and why Judas betrayed Jesus – he was jealous. Looking forward to the release of the new film.

  • House of Cabbagé

    And we wonder where the “gay = stupid, dumb, idiotic” idea came from!

  • Clueless

    Unimaginativ and tasteless.

  • Mark

    @Adam: I couldn’t disagree more Adam. Not sure if you specifically saw this cast or another version of the show (there were a couple happening last year- all hail the return of “corpus christi” lol) but I’ve seen this particular production and cast several times over their years in LA and think it’s the best production I’ve ever seen of the play. So honest and raw and genuinely heartfelt- it moved me in ways I’ve never felt in the theatre before. And usually everyone around me is in tears at the end- it is a powerful, well done production and I applaud this group for their courage, strength and commitment to bringing change to this world through this beautiful piece of art.

  • J Stratford

    Eew. This play was bad from the very beginning. bad actors. bad storyline. Now its a movie and we are supposed to like it because it is gay? Yuck. Gays have a ton more taste this trash.

  • kevininbuffalo

    There’s a word for this: Christophobia. The GBL world is awash in it.

  • Shannon1981

    @kevininbuffalo: Christophobia? WTF? More like the Christian world is awash with homophobia. Get it right.

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