A new musical with songs by Elton John is based on the life of a Christian pop diva from the United States who, out of her compassion for those living with HIV/AIDS, became a gay legend.
This week marked the beginning of rehearsals for the October global premiere of Tammy Faye at London’s Almeida Theater in north London.
The show has music by Elton John and a storyline was written by James Graham, who also wrote the TV series Sherwood and Brexit: The Uncivil War as well as the play Ink.
“A monument of faith, resilience, and the temptations of success,” the Almeida declared of the production.
In conjunction with her first husband, the late Jim Bakker, Christian television was revolutionized thanks to Tammy Faye Messner, who passed away in 2007.
Tammy Faye was well received due to her elaborate haircuts, abundant makeup, and kind demeanor. The PTL Club (an abbreviation for “praise the Lord”), the couple’s flagship program, was once seen in over 13 million U.S. households.
The two of them met in bible college and went on to open Heritage USA, a Christian theme park that has been quite successful in South Carolina. During the 1980s, when it was at its height of popularity,
it was only surpassed in popularity by Disneyland and Disney World.
Since she didn’t care what other Christian broadcasters thought, Tammy Faye gained a massive fan base. To stand out within a religious movement defined by homophobia, she had to accept LGBT+ persons and show compassion for those suffering from the AIDS crisis.
Particularly controversial was her tearful 1985 televised interview with Steve Pieters, an openly gay church minister suffering from HIV. Some prominent figures at the time even claimed that God sent AIDS to punish homosexuals for their sins.
Several years later, Jim Bakker was incarcerated on charges of fraud and conspiracy. He had also been accused of raping and paying off a church secretary, both of which he strongly denied.
While Bakker was in jail, Tammy Faye filed for divorce, went on to publish three books, and make frequent TV appearances. Her final public appearance was two days before her 65th birthday, on the Larry King Show, where she tragically passed away from cancer.
It was a weird, baroque, almost operatic life tale,” remarked Rupert Goold, creative director of the Almeida and the musical’s director. “She might be very kitsch and quite romantic, but fundamentally she is a very empathetic figure.”For more information you can visit day by day on TheActiveNews.Com.