The play had its debut in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in July 2006 at the Arts YOUniverse center for the applied and living arts. The production was under the direction of Paul Winarski and starred Greg Korin as the Archbishop. After several revisions by the director and author the play was remounted in Scranton in February 2007 at the Old Brick Theatre. It is a one man dramatization of events in the life of Catholic Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, whose shady tenure as head of the Vatican Bank included suspicions of money laundering, Ponzi schemes, and even assassination. The original production while well received,underwent several script revisions by the author and director in order to streamline the piece. The revised version which opened in Scranton ran 15 minutes shorter and is now considered the final version of the play.
The play takes place in a small office in what may be purgatory, but looks very much like the archbishop's office in Sun City Arizona, his last residence as a retired man of the cloth. Marcinkus relates directly to the audience stories from his youth, growing up in Al Capone's Chicago and how he eventually became a priest. As the piece unfolds He tell his version of the Vatican Bank Scandal,his appointment as head of the bank, The death of Pope John Paul I, and his job as "bulldog" to Pope John Paul II. Although dramatic,the piece is lightened by the humor that Flannery has instilled in his version of Marcinkus, who was popularly quoted as saying You can't run the church on Hail Marys .
The niece of Archbishop Marcinkus, afraid that the play would be a hatchet job on her uncle, contacted playwright Flannery, who sent her a copy of the text. Not only did she agree that the play was a balanced look at her uncle's life, but even offered a few suggestions which the author included in his rewrite.
- http://www.theweekender.com/stage/A_tale_of_holy_intrigue_11-03-2009.html The Weekender arts magazine