“Next Fall”: A Play About an Interfaith, Gay Romance

It’s not very surprising, I’ll admit, to see a gay relationship portrayed on a theater stage. But in this play, there’s a bigger twist: One of the men is a Christian; the other is an atheist.

“Next Fall” is the play — opening night was tonight. It’s playing at the Playwrights Horizons in New York.

Even as you’re being entertained by the witty talk of ingratiatingly imperfect people, feeling as comfortable as if you were watching your favorite long-running sitcom, big and uneasy questions — really big ones, without answers — are forming in the back of your mind. Don’t expect them to go away when the play is over.

What’s the conflict in the show? Something all too familiar to many of us:

Their big problem… [is] that Luke, a hard-core Christian from Florida, believes that the man he loves is going to hell. Not for having sex with men, mind you (that’s just sinning and can be forgiven on Judgment Day), but for not believing in Jesus. Questioned by Adam, Luke admits uncomfortably that the killers of Matthew Shepard — the victim of a much-publicized hate crime in 1998 — would go to heaven were they to accept Jesus, while Mr. Shepard would not, unless he too had chosen to believe.

Another review has a line that makes me hesitate about a rave preview:

Since so much of the play has to do with Adam’s conversion from cynical atheism to a belief in love…

They say that as if atheists can’t fall in love. Which is absurd.

Still… a play about an atheist/Christian relationship? I’m in. I want to see this. Now. Apparently, tickets to the show are $40, tops.

Who wants to fly me to NY?

(Thanks to Joe for the link!)

  • littlejohn

    Why is atheism always described as cynical? Phony religiosity is cynical; atheism is sincere.

  • Eliza

    Luke? Adam?

    Shortage of imagination when naming his characters?

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Yes, atheism should be related to skepticism. A skeptic can be optimistic and strive to make the world a better place through education.

    A cynic is one who has basically given up and stopped trying for change because they no longer believe change is possible.