This Beautiful Play

Jonathan and I went to the theater on Sunday–a production by the Richmond Triangle Players of “This Beautiful City.”

It is an amazing musical drama. It is the story of a time in the life of Colorado Springs, Colorado–for some years now considered the Evangelical Christian (Right) Capitol of the United States. The story is based on interviews with real citizens of that city in 2006, as Colorado went through a statewide vote on marriage equality (like we did in Virginia that same year) and as leading evangelist Ted Haggard confessed to having sex with another man and to using illegal drugs (that did not happen in Virginia, at least not yet).

What makes this an amazing piece of theater is not only the quality of the production and the actors–director John Knapp has it as close to perfect as you can get–but also the profound quality of the story. The authors include no words that were not said by those they interviewed–even the songs are entirely based on the interview texts.

But the greatest thing is that they allow the characters to tell the story without forcing a conclusion. I left with a more fierce determination than ever to engage the cause of equality in Virginia–AND a newfelt care for the deeply troubled soul of Ted Haggard (and others like him).

It is possible to do what Jesus tells us: love our enemies, even as we oppose them.

P.S. The play runs through February 5. Go see it. And tell your friends.