Talkin’ Broadway: The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told

Originally published on Talkin’ Broadway.

Christine Power and Robin Rapoport

If you’re looking for an opportunity to ponder the big questions of mankind’s relationship to the eternal in the presence of full frontal male nudity, you’re in luck.  The Encore Theater Company has given us a bold and funny production of Paul Rudnick’sThe Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, now playing at the Plaza Black Box Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts.  The play, originally produced in 1998, originated with Rudnick pondering the anti-gay slogan “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”  What if, he wondered, God had started with Adam and Steve (Albert Chan and Jason Fenton) … and their lesbian friends Jane and Mabel (Christine Power and Robin Rapoport)?.

The Most Fabulous Story follows these four characters through a pageant of Old Testament situations from the ark to Egypt and beyond.  The format provides a frame to not only parody Biblical stories and gay lifestyle quirks, but also to examine faith in an uncertain world.  The second act finds these same characters – now stripped of their Biblical history – living in New York in 1998, dealing with issues of gay marriage, parenting, AIDS, and once again, faith in an uncertain world. Continue reading

Fynsworth Alley: Victoria Maxwell

Originally published on Fynsworth Alley.

Victoria Maxwell is one-third of the Momentum Productions, the producers of Bells Are Ringing. What’s more, Victoria is one of the last of an endangered breed — the independent producer on Broadway. In an industry that seems to be dominated by corporate producers like Disney and SFX, Victoria has carved out a successful career putting on shows as diverse as Damn Yankees, Jeffrey, Stomp, Play On!, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, and last year’s Pulitzer Prize winner, Dinner With Friends.

DL: How did you get involved in producing?

VM: Well, I’m partners with my brother, Mitchell Maxwell. He’s eleven years older than I am, and he was producing plays. He produced his first play in New York when he was 21. Then he directed in England, and soon he was producing more plays. In 1984, he was producing a wonderful play called To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday, which starred Sarah Jessica Parker, Cheryl McFadden, and David Rasche. I was working at the Writers and Artists Agency as sort of an interim receptionist; it was not really a very fun job, but both the writer and the director on that project were represented by the Writers and Artists Agency. So, I had already read the contracts, I had already seen the play. So when they were staffing the show to move it from the Ensemble Studio Theatre to an off-Broadway theatre, I said to my brother, “You have to hire production assistants for the show anyway. I’ve already read the contracts and seen the project, why don’t you try me?” And I did really well – I did everything! I threw the opening night party, I closed the partnership, I spoke to all the investors… I was a one-man-band. I realized that it was really fun and really exciting. There was always a fire to put out, there was always someone to talk to, and then the thing that made it most exciting was at the end of the day, 350 people sat in a theatre and saw your work. The non-stop energy of it, and the immediate audience feedback, people were immediately touched or you made them laugh or you made them cry – it was exciting!
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