God, Gays, and OJ.

One woman and 1,000 Homosexuals.

Anita Bryant was a pop singer in the late Fifties who made a name for herself entertaining American troops on deployment. In the Seventies, she became a spokeswoman for the Florida Citrus Commission. In 1977, she got riled up about a law that would protect gays from discrimination, and from her pulpy bully pulpit, she waged a campaign against the ordinance. Florida’s homosexuals retaliated by throwing a pie in her face (“At least it’s a fruit pie,” she quipped at the time) and boycotting orange juice. The boycott worked, and Bryant fell into bankruptcy, disgrace, and lesbian leather fetishism. Actually, that’s a lie — but she did go bankrupt. Today she runs a tacky religious sect and personality cult of sorts in her home state of Oklahoma.

The world premiere of 1,000 Homosexuals promises to lift Bryant’s waning star. She’s the hero of the play, as she battles the gay agenda, shields children from homosexual recruitment efforts, and stands up for God. Playwright Michael Hawney hasn’t hesitated to portray this earnest but demented Southern Baptist in a flattering light. His intentions are tongue-in-cheek. 1,000 Homosexuals premieres this Thursday at 8 p.m. at the Arsht Center.
Thu., Nov. 20, 8 p.m., 2008

 
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