FringeArts won’t cancel ‘blasphemous’ Philly drag show

Martha Graham Cracker (center) with students from Paul Green Rock Academy in 2019 HARRY BRICKLIN / COURTESY PAUL GREEN
Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

An online petition with nearly 20,000 signatures started by a Christian author will have no effect on a planned Philadelphia show called “Jesus Drag Superstar,” according to FringeArts and the performers involved.

The event, set to take place Dec. 17 and 18 at the FringeArts theater on the Delaware River waterfront, features popular Philly drag cabaret Martha Graham Cracker, backed by 30 music students from the Paul Green Rock Academy.

Both show dates were already “practically sold out,” Paul Green said, when the movement calling for their cancelation came to his attention Wednesday.

He spent the morning sending the petition around to families taking part in the show, and got what he described as “a universal guffaw” in response. Green, a 49-year-old musician who in 1998 founded the School of Rock, expected nothing less. “We have very cool parents,” he said.

“Honestly,” Green added, noting he was born Jewish and raised Catholic, “I think Jesus would love this show.”

The  online petition, which lives on the “Return to Order” website run by conservative writer John Horvat II, appears to disagree. It reads, in part:

“This performance is a blasphemous insult to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ, who is chastity par excellence, is portrayed by someone who flaunts impurity and blurs the lines of male and female. This is too much!”

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