Tis the season for star-studded staged readings with a gay bent.
On Monday, Broadway’s Eugene O’Neill Theatre played home to an emotional benefit reading of Dustin Lance Black’s upcoming Prop 8 play, 8, with Morgan Freeman, Ellen Barkin, Matt Bomer, Cheyenne Jackson, John Lithgow and other boldfaced names reciting dialogue shaped from transcripts, interviews and courtroom observations from 2010’s Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial. As the cast took its bows, they were joined onstage by the plaintiffs and prosecutors they portrayed.
Now comes news of another one-night-only reading, this time of an established play and on the Left Coast.
108 Productions, who recently mounted a tour of Terrence McNally’s Gay-Jesus drama, Corpus Christi, is staging a special reading of McNally’s 2006 gay-history play, Some Men, at L.A.’s NoHo Arts Center on October 11. The performance is doubling as a celebration of National Coming Out Day and ticket sales benefit the I Am Love Campaign, which works to disempower religious bullying and homophobia. The cast includes several out actors including Robert Gant (Queer as Folk), Kevin Spirtas (Days of Our Lives), Steve Callahan (East Side Story) and Chad Allen (Dr. Quinn).
Premiering off-Broadway in 2007, Some Men is a collection of interwoven tales of gay life in and around New York City over the past eight decade: A summer escape in 1920s Hamptons, a nightclub in 1930s Harlem, a Greenwich Village piano bar on the day of the Stonewall riots, an AIDS hospice in 1989 and a contemporary gay wedding.
We’ve loved Gant since his days on Popular and the material is particularly relevant as we head into Gay History Month. If you’re in the City of Angels, don’t miss this one-time-only performance.