Standing-room-only opening in Central Florida at ‘La Cage’

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Broadway musical has won several awards and was later tuned into an American movie called The Birdcage, which starred Robin Williams and Nathan Lane. La Cage features a gay couple in which one partner runs a French nightclub and the other performs there as a drag queen. The couple has been together for 20 years but make changes when their son bring home his fiancee and her conservative parents.

Janine Papin, Trinity Prep's fine-arts department chairwoman, said earlier that she wanted do the show to "push the limits." She said the play is about family and tolerance, not about homosexuality.

Fred Trabold, a 32-year-old attorney who graduated from Trinity in 1993, agreed with the bishop's decision.

"The issue is whether the Trinity Preparatory School, which is an Episcopalian school, should honor the bishop of the Episcopalian church," Trabold said. "It's not a matter of homophobia. I saw the movie The Birdcage and it was hilarious."

[Bishop John] Howe had no further comment Friday night two hours before curtain.

"I really have said all I want to about it," he said.

Ah, er, might one point out that it is the Episcopal Church? Episcopalian is a noun. Anyway, read it all.




Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureTheatre/Drama/Plays

45 Comments
Posted September 8, 2007 at 11:08 am

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1. Words Matter wrote:

Having become a political event, OF COURSE it was standing room only. 

And, OF COURSE, it’s about same-sex marraige and trashing the political opponents of same.  It’s a good show, funny with good music. Can’t we at least be honest about what it is?

Words Matter

Reasonable people always fear nascent fascism.

September 8, 11:58 am | [comment link]
2. Chip Johnson, cj wrote:

Well, Janine, I believe you have achieved your purpose;

“Janine Papin, Trinity Prep’s fine-arts department chairwoman, said earlier that she wanted do the show to “push the limits.”“

It is a shame that a fairly funny play, with a slapstick family value focus, and not really an apologetic for homosexual behavior, had to be done by an Episcopal school, in a mostly conservative diocese, particularly at this time.

I stand with Bishop Howe, the show should NOT have gone on , at least this season.

Chip Johnson+, cj

The South Dakota Anglican

September 8, 12:01 pm | [comment link]
3. William P. Sulik wrote:

Well, jeez, what are these local people—congregationalists?  Don’t they know they’re supposed to obey the bishop?

“Let the reader, where we are equally confident, stride on with me; where we are equally puzzled, pause to investigate with me; where he finds himself in error, come to my side; where he finds me erring, call me to his side. So that we may keep to the path, in love, as we fare on toward Him, ‘whose face is ever to be sought.’”

—Augustine of Hippo, The Trinity 1.5

September 8, 12:34 pm | [comment link]
4. AnglicanFirst wrote:

“Janine Papin, Trinity Prep’s fine-arts department chairwoman, said earlier that she wanted do the show to “push the limits.””

Let’s see.  Ms. Papin is supposed to be a teacher of pre-adults.  The humor in the play is ‘adult’ and does “push the limits.’ 

Is this what Ms. Papin is supposed to doing as a teacher of pre-adults?  Is she supposed to be using these young people to achieve her goal of “push[ing] the limits?”

September 8, 12:55 pm | [comment link]
5. Brian of Maryland wrote:

It’s even more basic than the above posts: parents allowed their kids to participate in the play.  What the heck were *they* thinking….

Md Brian

September 8, 1:58 pm | [comment link]
6. Words Matter wrote:

What the heck were *they* thinking….

“How sophisticated!”
“How nouveau!”
“Tres avant-gaude”
“Aren’t we just SO moderne and open-minded”

Things like that.

Words Matter

Reasonable people always fear nascent fascism.

September 8, 2:51 pm | [comment link]
7. DRLina wrote:

I am confused.  I thought the bishop banned the production.  Is there much difference between doing it on campus as off campus.  It is still an Episcopal production.  Unless all the teachers got fired and the students….?

September 8, 3:04 pm | [comment link]
8. Irenaeus wrote:

O O O O that Shakespeherian Rag— 
It’s so elegant  
So intelligent

September 8, 4:04 pm | [comment link]
9. MJD_NV wrote:

DRLina, the bishop banned the production in the arena in which he is the authority - a Dio CFl school.

If the kids go off campus and nothing is **officially** sanctioned by the Diocese, there’s not a lot the bishop can do.  So, in essence, by having another venue produce the show and not actually calling it a Trinity show, the Trinity students have done nothing illegal, or even unfair.

Now, as to the morality of teenagers putting on such a show, I agree with MD Brian - whhat WERE they thinking?  Unfortunately, Words Matter is probably exactly right.

If God is not Father, Jesus is not Lord, the Son is not unique, baptism is not necessary, the creeds are optional, repentance and sin are dated concepts and the atonement is marginalized or even rejected, where do we go from here? The faith remaining will be a very different faith from the Christian faith once delivered to the saints - and I, for one, am not going there!  ~ Bp. Miller, Church of Ireland

September 8, 4:34 pm | [comment link]
10. Ruth Ann wrote:

Well, maybe since he IS still bishop, he should expel the school? 

I think the parents and board of the school are mostly to blame, allowing something like this, and having faculty like the theatre person AND headmaster, who are obviously more interested in their own agendas, rather than setting a Christian example as their bishop would prefer.  It really does not seem like they want to be a Christian school.

September 8, 4:35 pm | [comment link]
11. Larry Morse wrote:

Buit it is am apolgetic for homosexuality; that is its entire point. I didn’t think it was particularly funny, myself, merely campy and urban/cool. But the point is that i presents homosexual marriage and everything to do with homosexuality (and being in drag) as acceptable precisely because it is funny. It is to be taken seriously because it is not to be taken seriously. In any case, for a bunch of Episcopalian young and their parents, this is exactly what one would expect. The bishop is, clearly a fuddy-duddy, so yesterday and a half. Tut. L

September 8, 7:46 pm | [comment link]
12. Bob from Boone wrote:

Yes, TPaine, a lot of cluck-clucking here. I is also quite possible that the standing-room only crowd was drawn by Bp. Howe’s action: let’s go see the play that the bishop tried to put the kibosh on. Nothing like an appearance of censorship to get a bunch of Americans riled up.  +Howe’s action gave the staging of this musical far more publicity than it might have gotten otherwise.

September 8, 9:07 pm | [comment link]
13. Fred wrote:

Looks like homophobia to me. Do I hear objections to productions of other great musicals like Guy & Dolls or The Man of La Mancha because of their questionable subject matter: gangsters, gambling and rape….just to name a few? No, course not. There is really nothing in La Cage that is objectionable. No matter what they say, this is pure and simple church promoted, bishop sanctioned homophobia. When is it going to stop??????

September 8, 9:57 pm | [comment link]
14. Br. Michael wrote:

It’s trash pure and simple.  Nice to know the usual defenders of such have spoken.

September 8, 10:06 pm | [comment link]
15. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “Yes, TPaine, a lot of cluck-clucking here.”

Hey BfromB—we’re reasserters.  We don’t share the same values or gospel with you.  What we cluck over, you wouldn’t.

Pretty matter of fact, here.  The play celebrates [not describes, but celebrates] sex outside of marriage.

September 8, 10:48 pm | [comment link]
16. Words Matter wrote:

Man of La Mancha is not about rape, but redemption.  Fred, take your meds. Most of the people here enjoy the musical, but acknowledge that the subject is a same-sex relationship. If that looks like “homophobia” to you, then perhaps you are heterophobic.

Words Matter

Reasonable people always fear nascent fascism.

September 8, 10:51 pm | [comment link]
17. Sarah1 wrote:

Were I a traditional Episcopalian in the Diocese of Central Florida who had children in the area, I’d be scoping out the board of trustees at Trinity Prep, which its web site lists as below.

2007-2008

Chair - David H. Hughes
Vice Chair - Paula J. Shives
Secretary - Elisabeth F. Prast
Treasurer - Gerald S. Sutton ‘83


John D. Allen
John E. Barrett ‘85
Charles H. Brown
Allison Muller Chambers ’77      
Beth S. DeSimone
John L. Evans, Jr. ‘85
Dykes C. Everett
H. Blake Hostetter
The Rt. Rev. John W. Howe    
Miriam Staples Kersey ‘72
David H. Lebioda
Jerry R. Linscott
Craig S. Maughan, Headmaster
Gregory P. Miles ‘74
The Rev. Dr. Malcolm Murchison
Paul C. Perkins, Jr.  ‘84
Kathleen M. Powell
Tina E. Regan
Robert B. Simms
Rebecca R.  Stafford
Elizabeth F. Stevens
Deborah S. Stockton ‘76
Whitney J. Watson ‘89
Richard A. Wells
John T. Wettach, Jr. ‘81
Rawn N. Williams ‘84
Jacquelynn S. Zollo

Ex-officio Trustees
Sally H. Herder (TPO)
Elisabeth F. Prast (Patrons of the Arts)
Isabel M. Guarino (Boosters)
Georgia S. Parker (Faculty Rep)

Trustees Emeriti
The Rev Canon A. Rees Hay (d)
Jack D. Holloway (d)
Frank M. Hubbard (d)
John H. Quinn
Jack H. Zimmer

September 8, 10:51 pm | [comment link]
18. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “Since the characters in this situation would not be allowed to get married, it would be pretty obvious they would not be married.”

Of course, they are allowed to get married.  All adult men and women are allowed to get married, to one person at a time.  Naturally I—and most Americans—don’t accept any attempts at redefining the word marriage.

RE: “My Bible has Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Am I missing one?  Or maybe you got some new and different kind of Bible?”

Nope—progressives just have a different gospel from MMLJ.  No biggie, in a way.  I suspect that most progressives in 2007 now recognize that the two groups just don’t share the same foundational worldview at all.  Hard not to see on so many many of these threads.

RE: the point of the list—certainly traditional Episcopalians in Central Florida should contact these excellent members of the board of trustees in order to express their disatisfaction with the actions of the key staff at this school.  Especially parents of children at the school.

After all—that’s what we do with other representatives of other organizations, both public and private.  That’s why they’re there, in part, listed on the web site!  And I’m sure that they will be happy to receive feedback, as all professionals on boards are happy to receive.  They may not follow the feedback, but most good representatives appreciate honest, forthright, thoughtful feedback.

Hope this helps, “TPaine” . . . ; > )

September 9, 12:33 am | [comment link]
19. Brian of Maryland wrote:

Unless there were alternatives (as in the local school system is in shambles and I’d want my kids in a private school), I would have already taken them out of this one.

  To the advocates here, the point isn’t the play.  The point isn’t the Bishop’s desire the play not be held on campus.  The point isn’t homophobia.  The point is the willingness of a teacher to use her students to make her own political point. 

  Surely even the most dense among us can see a direct link between the choosing of this play and what sort of count-down is ending this month.  Maybe it’s just me, but I really wouldn’t want my kids used like this.

OH, and the standing-room-only ... do we even know who all those people where?  IF (and I use if) this teacher was using her students to make a political point, don’t you think it might be possible she contacted outsiders to make sure the point was heard?

Md Brian (as in from Maryland)

September 9, 7:26 am | [comment link]
20. Brian of Maryland wrote:

Crap - still haven’t figured out the bold thing.  Only the word *use* was supposed to be bolded.

Md Brian

September 9, 7:27 am | [comment link]
21. Larry Morse wrote:

#22: You have taken the words out of my mouth. That the teacher can use her authority in this way - and get away with it - is a clear sign that the school needs disciplning itself as does the teacher need firing. The students become pawns. Why would any parent tolerate this - save that her agenda is theirs, which seems only too likely.

September 9, 8:39 am | [comment link]
22. Words Matter wrote:

Brian,

The teacher didn’t need to bring in ringers. Once the bishop objected to it, it became the hottest ticket in town to the terminally hip, slick, and cool crowd.

Words Matter

Reasonable people always fear nascent fascism.

September 9, 8:53 am | [comment link]
23. Brian from T19 wrote:

Episcopal schools are not under the authority of their respective Bishops

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

September 9, 9:30 am | [comment link]
24. Brian from T19 wrote:

Sarah

You have truly surprised me.  Good thing you are arguing simply for the exercise.

First you trot out the old marriage definition canard.  Cute, but definitely tired.

Then you feign outrage at La Cage aux Folles and pretend that it rises to the level of a Gospel issue.  While Jesus may not like the subject matter, he had to at least appreciate Robin Williams in the movie version;)

Finally, and perhaps most unbecoming, is your publishing of a “hit list” akin to the anti-abortionist websites.

Let’s face it.  It’s a play.  +Howe overreacted and now appears ridiculous.  Your letters of protest will fall on deaf ears or be unread and the Bishop is powerless to do anything.

You usually pick your battles better.  That’s OK, perhaps you are getting weary of the fight…

The view that has been expressed by all the Instruments of Communion in recent years is that <u>interventions are not to be sanctioned</u>. - Archbishop Rowan Williams

September 9, 9:38 am | [comment link]
25. MJD_NV wrote:

#26 - yes they are.  He is their ecclesial authority.  He has the ultimate word in things moral.  If they do not like that, they need to leave their property and assets at the diocesan door on the way out.

What’s good for the goose…

Howe did what needed to be done -make sure that this ridiculous woman could not use her political agenda to smear the Diocese of Central Florida.  I frankly have no real problem that they took it off campus - saddened that children were so used (this is HS theater, people, not community theater) but if their own parents are so soul-sick that they can’t see the problem here, this play is not going to make much difference. 

Brian, you are being utterly ridiculous.  The list Sarah published is directly from the school’s website.  It’s not a “hit list” - spare us your over-worn hyperbole.  The point is these kid were used, the school was used, and the staff was biting the hand that fed them.  People can and should protest such things.

If God is not Father, Jesus is not Lord, the Son is not unique, baptism is not necessary, the creeds are optional, repentance and sin are dated concepts and the atonement is marginalized or even rejected, where do we go from here? The faith remaining will be a very different faith from the Christian faith once delivered to the saints - and I, for one, am not going there!  ~ Bp. Miller, Church of Ireland

September 9, 12:11 pm | [comment link]
26. Brian of Maryland wrote:

TPaine,

To extend the mode of conversation, “You know how extremely silly your post sounds and what a characiture of a progressive you convey to me?”

I think you have rightly interpreted Sarah’s response.  Orthodox Christians around the world (you know, the overwhelming majority of believers) discern that revisionists believe in a different Gospel.  Why is that so offensive to you?  Is there something about the boundary, “No” that is uncomfortable? 

Where in the NT does it say being a Christ-Follower is about tolerance?  It’s about repentance and discipleship.  Further, in the NT I read a lot about the struggle to maintain the faith as it had been taught, particularly in Paul’s letters.  And in the letters of the early church fathers. 

There are two churches within TEC.  Come early October I have a sense a process will begin to relieve your tension about that reality.

Md Brian

September 9, 3:30 pm | [comment link]
27. MJD_NV wrote:

TPaine, it’s not “Sarah’s” interpretations. 

It’s the Church’s.  One, Holy, Catholic & Apostolic.  It is one thing to say that we have different interpretations - on some matters, people of faith can agree to disagree.  But when you claim that an interpretation rejected universally by the Church, East, West Reformed, quod umbique, quod sempre, quod ad obnibus creditum est, should share equal footing, it is you who are “narrow-minded, arrogant, judgmental, and downright ignorant.”

We stand under the judgements of Holy Writ & Holy Tradition, TPaine, not over them.

If God is not Father, Jesus is not Lord, the Son is not unique, baptism is not necessary, the creeds are optional, repentance and sin are dated concepts and the atonement is marginalized or even rejected, where do we go from here? The faith remaining will be a very different faith from the Christian faith once delivered to the saints - and I, for one, am not going there!  ~ Bp. Miller, Church of Ireland

September 9, 5:01 pm | [comment link]
28. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “First you trot out the old marriage definition canard.  Cute, but definitely tired.”

Yeh—a lot of morality is so “tired” . . . ; > )  But then, TPaine shouldn’t have squeaked about how gay people weren’t allowed to get married.  A bit like polyamorous triads squeaking about their not being allowed to get “married”—which of course is their attempt to assume their own redefinition of “marriage”. 

Sorry—I always call that card, as it’s merely a bluff.  ; > )

RE: “Then you feign outrage at La Cage aux Folles and pretend that it rises to the level of a Gospel issue.”

Goodness!  Not “outraged” at all, so nothing to feign.  But also not certain why reasserters are supposed to approve of well-written homosexual propaganda being performed by schoolchildren of a purportedly Christian school in a conservative Episcopal diocese.  No need to be outraged.  But also no need to perform propaganda for the gay activists either.

I’ve no idea of what you mean by a “hit list”—board members get used to hearing from their constituents, and I suspect that they are hearing from parents both pro and con.

It’s a good thing.

Always a good idea, BfT19, to set the stage for future efforts by traditionalists in the diocese.  ; > )

Good idea to soften ‘em up for future decisions when they ponder human resources decisions.  Nothing wrong with that . . .

RE: “TPaine”—yawn.  Thanks MJD_NV and MD Brian.

Reasserters and progressives have different gospels.  It’s obvious on this thread—recall that “TPaine” marvelled over all the “cluck clucking” on this thread and others.  . . . But, you know, people who have different gospels cluck over different things.  “TPaine” clucks over those things that are within his gospel.  Traditionalists cluck over those things that are within their gospel.

Fairly standard analysis.

Stands to reason.  Reasserters value different things from progressives, for we believe a different gospel from them.

September 9, 5:22 pm | [comment link]
29. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “Good thing you are arguing simply for the exercise.”

Well, that and the fun of it.  ; > )

September 9, 5:23 pm | [comment link]
30. Brian of Maryland wrote:

TPaine,

What is truth?

If you must insist on name calling, I really wish you’d include more than just me and Sarah.  To properly add depth to your indignation, I think you must/need to include all of the early church fathers, two thousand years of church historians and systematic theologians, and nearly the entire Christian church throughout the globe.  If you are properly indignant when told, “no” by the likes of us, it might be helpful to at least understand the size of the group that’s not impressed with the arguments you support.

I’ve never said I alone possess much of anything and, I will note, no one here has replied in a fashion similar to the malice you have thus far demonstrated.  I find that somewhat revelatory.

Md Brian

September 9, 8:13 pm | [comment link]
31. Words Matter wrote:

There is the church of Christ, and there is the church of fascist fundamentalism.

That’s it… I have been holding off saying this for a few days. The Bp. Orama threads, and now this thread, have been hijacked by reappraiser bile.  TPaine (and Brian/T19 and Bob from Boone and the others): perhaps people are leaving TEC partly because they are tired of your smug, self-righteous superiority. You express nothing but scorn for you supposed “rothers and sisters in Christ”, accusing them of bigotry and hate, and why? They are “homophobes” who don’t subscribe to your version of sexual politics. You present - over and over - bad science, bad history, bad theology, and think that intelligent, well-read people are ignorant because they recognize stupid arguments. God help us - someone somewhere is trying to argue against the scriptural passages on same-sex acts because we don’t care about the length of men’s hair: human sexuality is on a par with hair styles.

Christopher Hathaway had the right part of it: you people are a waste of time. The Africans can be engaged to a greater understanding of persons suffering from same-sex attractions (although I suspect they know more than Americans, taking seriously sin and repentance); the American homosexualists are hopelessly obsessed and irrational. The irony is that having abandoned Tradition, perverted scripture in the most superficial ways, and abandoned reason, they still claim to be Anglicans.

This post will probably get deleted, but the pure hate being vomited in this site by TPaine and his friends demands a response.  And that’s the last I have to say. Hate some more, “reappraisers”. It’s what you do best.

Words Matter

Reasonable people always fear nascent fascism.

September 9, 8:27 pm | [comment link]
32. Brian of Maryland wrote:

I repent.  I apologize to all my orthodox friends on this blog.  I have inadvertently fed the troll.  I promise not to do it again.  Forgive me.

Md Brian

September 9, 9:30 pm | [comment link]
33. MJD_NV wrote:

(Patting gentlt) It’s okay, MD Brian.  No one is blaming you for their ungliness.

TPaine, the Arians had “Matthew Mark Luke & John” too - and a different religion than Catholic & Apostolic Christianity.

If God is not Father, Jesus is not Lord, the Son is not unique, baptism is not necessary, the creeds are optional, repentance and sin are dated concepts and the atonement is marginalized or even rejected, where do we go from here? The faith remaining will be a very different faith from the Christian faith once delivered to the saints - and I, for one, am not going there!  ~ Bp. Miller, Church of Ireland

September 9, 10:05 pm | [comment link]
34. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “Since you claim you have a “different gospel” from mine, apparently you don’t believe in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Is that what you are saying? . . .  I suspect you both think you are the supreme arbiters of how one should interpret the gospel.”

I certainly don’t believe in the Matthew Mark Luke and John that you do, Tpaine! But then, that’s what I’ve been saying over the past 5 or 6 comments and you’ve alternately denied it and been insulted by it.

RE: “There is the church of Christ, and there is the church of fascist fundamentalism.

And see . . . . even *you* admit that there are two gospels.  There’s your gospel . . . “the church of Christ” . . . and the gospel of reasserters . . . “the church of fascist fundamentalism” [giggle] . . .

And that does not insult or outrage me at all. 

But why you are spending so much time 1) denying that there are two different gospels in one organization, and then turning around and 2) articulating the two different gospels and decrying ours is beyond me.

Don’t you think you should make up your mind?

Doesn’t bother me a bit that you call me a pharisee or a fundamentalist—to respect the attempted insult one must respect the opinion of the insulter.

RE: “Do you not understand this is a serious and insulting charge?”

Not sure why.  You started out pointing out that people were cluck clucking and I pointed out why reasserters were—we believe a different gospel from you and thus have different values and foundational worldviews.

Now you’ve progressed to pointing out that, yes, the two groups believe totally different things, the one being the “church of Christ” and the other being fundamentalist fascist pharisees.

RE: “. . . but feelings suddenly become sensitive when it goes the other way.”

I’m not hurt at all.  I’m rather exhilirated, and certainly don’t feel sensitive about it.  Progress has been made.  You admit that there are two different gospels—and that’s great!  We agree.

Why you’re so outraged by that, I dunno.  I assure you that I am not—nor am I insulted by your description of the opposing gospel to yours.  It’s perfectly understandable for those who hold to your gospel to describe that of reasserters as fundamentalist fascist pharisaism. 

Not a big deal.

Chippers!  ; > )

Sarah

September 9, 11:18 pm | [comment link]
35. Sarah1 wrote:

LOL, MJD_NV, good one!

“. . . the Arians had “Matthew Mark Luke & John” too - and a different religion than Catholic & Apostolic Christianity.”

; > )

September 9, 11:18 pm | [comment link]
36. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “You’ve made it abundantly clear that you believe in mutliple gospels.  And I’ve made it abundantly clear that I believe in the one gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, presented in four versions (Matthew Mark Luke John) in scripture.”

Yep—two gospels, one organization.  Or . . . “multiple gospels”, one organization.

RE: “And may I say, mine is the orthodox position.”

You certainly may!  Doesn’t bother me in the least.  That’s what happens when we have two different gospels competing on one organization.  Each one claims to be the correct one.

See . . . it is possible to hear somebody say that theirs is orthodox without taking offense and blustering one’s outrage.  It’s easy!
; > )

September 11, 12:40 pm | [comment link]
37. rob k wrote:

No. 31 et al. - Some of the dearly held Calvinistic/Protestant positions held by several participants in this thread have certainly not been a part of what has always and everywhere been believed, either.  There have been different gospels before the current controversies.

September 13, 12:18 am | [comment link]


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