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Convergence-Continuum’s ‘The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told’ is a naughty giggle




As you enter the Convergence-Continuum theater area for it’s current offering you are engulfed by surround sound celestial music. Famous religious paintings are projected on two walls along with gay interpretations of religious scenes. This helps set the mind for what is to come.


The show begins as the stage manager (who may or may not be God) calls out light and sound cues along with places calls for the actors. Off we go for a bit of skewed Bible history with Paul Rudnick’s “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” (cue dramatic and stirring music...Ta Da).


In Rudnick’s version God (he, she or it) is a hands-off deity who is more absent father than loving celestial creator who has created gay Adam and Steve along with lesbians Jane and Mabel. As you can guess in this alternate reality, homosexuality is the norm not the exception.


Together, this troupe travels the centuries together that includes their initial meeting in the Garden of Eden, the Great Flood, Egypt and etc. until they end up in a New York City flat for a Christmas party just in time for Mabel to give birth.


Along the way the playwright has sprinkled in a slew of interesting and laugh provoking characters including religious (and straight) evangelists, a talking cat, pig and rhino with overactive cross species sexual drives, an extremely flamboyant pharaoh who claims to be a god, a wheelchair bound paraplegic lesbian rabbi blogger, a trans Mormon woman straight out of Utah, and a go-go boy. Pretty much what one would expect from Paul Rudnick and especially from Con-Con in short, hilarious.


This highly controversial gay holiday celebration has been controversial from the start with a load of protests (emphasis on “load”) by various self-proclaimed “protectors” of America’s morality (as if we really need protecting). Luckily, Cleveland is more open minded as nary a protester was in sight at the opening. Instead, it was an attentive audience who reacted favorably to the humor.


As for the show, it’s not a life changing message waiting to wow the masses (it’s no “Book of Mormon”). In parts it is pretty pedestrian. While the over two-hour long production is a long sit, the action (directed by Denise Astorino) manages to move along at a pretty fast pace with the gags falling in rapid succession. This makes for an entertaining and laugh filled evening of gay theater.


Costuming by Kate Smith works well, and the early nude scenes are toned down with flesh-colored shorts and green jack straps. Neil Sudhakaran adds video projections that further enlarge the stage and story. The only complaint was with the sound with some of the actors' voices being lost.


The cast is excellent and seem to be having a great time. Alex Strzemilowski (Adam) and Noah Pigza make a charming couple as well as Lucy Turner as super dyke Mabel and Grace Mitri as demure Jane. David L. Munnell (Latecomer, Peter, Dad #1, Pharaoh and Trey Pomfret), Katelyn Cornelius (Cheryl Mindle, Fluffy, Mom #2 and Peggy), Amanda Rowe Van Allen (Miriam Miller, Babe, Mom #1, Ftatateeta) and Ricky Quintana (Father Joseph Markham, Bugs, Rhino, Dad #2, Brad and Kevin Markham) do wonders with their various multiple roles.


If you are a religiously uptight individual this is definitely not the play for you to see. With tickets selling fast it would be best for those who appreciate wacky irreverent humor to have their chance to attend. This is a production for the extremely open minded. Bigots need not apply.


“The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” will be on stage at Convergence-Continuum's Liminis Theatre, 2438 Scranton Road, Cleveland (in historic Tremont) through December 17, 2022. For tickets and more information go to https://www.convergence-continuum.org/ or call 216-687-0074. There are only ten performances so purchase your tickets early.

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Who is Mark Horning?

Over the course of my life I have worked a variety of jobs including newspapers, retail camera sales and photography. Eight years ago I embarked on yet another career as writer. This included articles concerning sports and cultural events in Cleveland, Ohio as well reviews of the many theatrical productions around town. These days are spent photographing professional dance groups, theater companies and various galas and festivals as well as attending various stage performances and posting reviews about them.  

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