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‘God Hates This Show’: New York musical parodies Westboro Baptist Church

Updated: 2013-10-07T19:13:37Z


The Kansas City Star

We really don’t need to tell you what this New York show is about after we give away the title.

“God Hates This Show: Shirley Phelps-Roper In Concert, Live From Hell,” debuts Oct. 16 for a five-day run at Dorothy B. Williams Theatre in New York.

Actress Erin Markey – described by one New York review as a “tangled mash-up of humor, horror, brains and balls” – stars as Shirley, daughter of Fred Phelps, founder of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church.

Imagined by John J. Caswell Jr., founding artistic director of New York’s Progressive Theatre Workshop, Phelps-Roper has died and gone to, well, not heaven.

As hell’s newest resident, she’s forced to sing songs from the church’s fire-and-brimstone catalog.

Says “In a match of performer and role that sounds like sulfuric genius, the ferocious Erin Markey plays Westboro Baptist Church brimstone monger Shirley Phelps-Roper in John J. Caswell's musical fantasia, which imagines the anti-gay firebrand performing a hateful cabaret act in the very hell to which she imagines ‘fags’ will be consigned.”

Backed by a full rock band, Markey as Phelps-Roper sing such “hits” as “Death in Your Window,” a parody of Melissa Etheridge’s “Come to My Window,” and “Stinky Freak,” known in non-helllish circles as “Super Freak.”

She’s accompanied by a trio of backup singers and dancers in full-on cabaret mode.

We’re surprised that Vince Gill isn’t singing backup.

The country crooner, married to Amy Grant, confronted church members last month outside the Kauffman Center, where they picketed his show.

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