“SHANTYTOWN” is the forgotten story of the Strip District’s “Pastor of the Poor,” following his rise to near sainthood, survival of a federal trial for a lottery scam, and eventual death in 1951.
Father James Cox pastored Old St. Patrick’s Church and was best known for his courage and love for his people. He printed the first food stamps, fed almost 3 million people, led a major march on the nation’s capital with 25,000 jobless, and was even nominated for president. He was also the first preacher on national radio (WJAS), defended Jewish Americans, and went head-to-head against anti-Semites. His Jewish friend Judge Henry Ellenbogen was the key character witness at Fr. Cox’s trial.
The musical celebrates what he accomplished and how he contributed to The Strip’s unique history while discovering the beloved man behind it all.
After the reading, there will be a brief talk-back session with playwright Ray Werner and others involved with creating “SHANTYTOWN,” which will premiere in the Cultural District beginning February 2023.