As the last weekend of Pride Month 2020 comes to a close, make sure you check out these two terrific streaming Pride events today.
First, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS will sponsor a one-night-only streamed presentation of the 2013 multi-actor performance of David Drake’s Award-winning play – The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me – on June 28 at 7 pm ET/4 pm PT to benefit Provincetown Theater.
After joining the activist group ACT UP, Drake began writing autobiographical monologues about the AIDS crisis that eventually became a one-man show about this critical point in American history.
Drake won an Obie Award for his work, and the original Off-Broadway run at the Perry Street Theatre, produced by Sean Strub and Tom Viola, became one of the longest-running solo shows in New York theatre history.
Comprised of seven monologues, the play explores many different stages in a gay man’s life, from childhood to adolescence, to adulthood, and travels through his personal timeline, from past, to present, to future.
The soliloquies veer from hysterically funny (“Why I go to the Gym”) to deeply inspiring. In the piece, “The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me,” Drake recalls in vivid detail attending a performance of Larry Kramer’s award-winning play, The Normal Heart and the impact of Kramer’s words on the soon-to-be activist.
“As Larry Kramer was such a formative figure for me and several generations in the LGBTQ community, it seems absolutely appropriate to stream this virtual event as a salute to his towering legacy at the conclusion of Gay Pride Week on Sunday, June 28,” said Drake in a press statement.
“Indeed, I believe the activism inherent in the piece also provides a great gatherer of the current manner in which Gay Prides are being celebrated this year—by joining forces with the Black Lives Matter movement in the march for unequivocal equality.”
For its 20th anniversary in 2013, the celebrated solo show was re-imagined to feature an ensemble cast of twelve.
Directed by Tony Award nominee Robert La Fosse, the cast in the archival video features playwright and Provincetown Theatre Artistic Director Drake, Tony winner André De Shields (Hadestown), Tony winner BD Wong (M. Butterfly), three-time Tony nominee Robin De Jesús (The Boys in the Band), Tony nominee Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon), Anthony Rapp (If/Then, Rent), and more.
On a personal note, back in 1991, as a young actor in New York City, this writer was cast as the standby for the original cast of the off-Broadway hit musical, Pageant. I joined the cast immediately after the show had opened and David Drake, who stopped the show nightly as ‘Lurinda Summerford, Miss Deep South,’ had in his contract a week off to do an early workshop production of The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me.
First of all, it was a thrill to go on in David’s brilliant role in Pageant. But working with David, and seeing the genesis of his one-man show was a gift of inspiration.
It was in seeing David develop his Obie Award-winning play that I discovered my own awakening activism. It is impossible for me to underscore what a groundbreaking event his play was for me and thousands of theatergoers.
The stream will be available at ProvincetownTheater.org and on YouTube.
Although the stream is free, donations are encouraged to Provincetown Theater, which has canceled its operations through 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic.
Honoring iconic LGBTQIA+ musicals, creators, and musical performers, the Pride Spectacular will feature performances by a cavalcade of theater luminaries including (in alphabetical order) Jelani Alladin, Wilson Cruz, Robin De Jesús, Lea DeLaria, Brandon Victor Dixon, Eden Espinosa, Harvey Fierstein, Cheyenne Jackson, Jawan M. Jackson, Michael R. Jackson, Francis Jue, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, John McDaniel, Michael McElroy, John McGinty, Gerry McIntyre, John Cameron Mitchell, Javier Muñoz, Alan Muraoka, Ken Page, Jai Rodriguez, Mj Rodriguez, George Salazar, Jason Tam, John Tartaglia, Sergio Trujillo, BD Wong, and more.
The 90-minute musical extravaganza includes musical direction Emmy and Grammy Award winner John McDaniel, and accompaniment by Dan Berkery, Justin Craig, Charity Wicks-DePinto, Matt Gould, and Meg Zervoulis.
Join the incredible lineup of Pride Plays artists in making a lifesaving difference for men, women and children across the country affected by COVID-19, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses and crises.
Voluntary donations will help provide lifesaving medications, nutritious meals, housing, emergency assistance and other vital services.
Hit this link to watch Playbill’s Pride Spectacular. The video player will be posted at this link at 7:30 pm ET/4:30 pm PT.