Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Remembering Terrence McNally

It seems very fitting that Terrence McNally wrote a play called Love! Valour! Compassion! - especially including the exclamation marks. By all accounts he loved and was loved by all who knew him. His works showed amazing courage, taking on subjects that, in their time, were revolutionary and dangerous. But even as he boldly led the fight for gay rights and a myriad of other social issues, what makes his entire oeuvre is filled with compassion for his characters and the humanity they represent.

I count myself blessed to have seen many productions of his plays and musicals.  Three of them resonated with me in particular, and all for different reasons. The aforementioned Love! Valour! Compassion! made me think a lot about my place in the gay community, my friends (who were my family) and living as a gay men in harrowing times. Then there was Kiss of the Spider Woman, a show that is one of my all-time favorites. I could write a book about what it means to me, but I'll just say that the characters inspire me. The same can be said for my other McNally favorite, The Full Monty, but in entirely different ways.

Laughter. Tears. Compassion.

Thank you, Mr. McNally.

Rest in Peace.


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