Monday, July 18, 2011

Mary of Bethany - The Magdalene

I did not get an opportunity to see Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper when I first visited Milan on a business trip in 2007. However, I vowed that if I was ever in Milan again, I would make it a point to see this great piece of art.

Well, earlier this year, I had the great fortune to return to Milan, and the day I landed, I went to see The Last Supper at the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. To remember my visit, I purchased a magnet, which now sits as a proud reminder on my refrigerator (an image of the magnet is the header of this blog entry).
Growing up in Brooklyn, a bronze plated version of this artwork hung in my family’s home. Seeing the original in person was simply amazing. At some point during the short window I had to relish this piece of history, I could not help but look to Jesus’ right. Like many, I’ve read the famous Dan Brown fictional novel, The Da Vinci Code, and for a moment, I wondered whether the apostle was not St John but in deed Mary Magdalene, who the novel claims was married to Jesus and bore Jesus’ children.
As I sat in the audience of La Magdalene: A Musical Play, which was recommended by a friend, my visit to Santa Maria delle Grazie and The Da Vinci Code all came back to memory. La Magdalene is a love story about how Jesus (Yeshua) and the fiery Mary of Bethany meet, how Mary (a woman) becomes a disciple, how they fall in love, how he names her The Magdalene, how they marry and how she becomes pregnant with Jesus’ child.
Devout Christians will probably have a hard time connecting with this play. One entry on a message board found it offensive. However, if you are a fan of The Da Vinci Code and musicals, La Magdalene: A Musical Play, which is inspired by the Gnostic texts and playing at The Theatre at St. Clemens, may just be for you.

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