the theatre

New York’s Stage Shows Have the Audacity to Feature Gay Characters Without Mentioning AIDS

Rent. Angels in America. It used to be that if a major theater production dealt with The Gays, it would also be dealing with AIDS, discrimination, and blazing activism. Today’s productions, however, have gotten over all those dramatics; not because they’re no longer important, but because we’ve got bigger problems. Like: finding a date! Surviving WWII! No more worrying about AZT in these scripts.

Times theater critic Patrick Healy has waded through the handful of gay productions currently showing or en route and finds them “subtler, more nuanced: they place the everyday concerns of Americans in a gay context, thereby pressing the case that gay love and gay marriage, gay parenthood and gay adoption are no different from their straight variations. While persecution remains a reality for most of these gay characters, just as it does in many movies and television shows featuring gay love stories, the widening acceptance of AIDS as a pandemic rather than a gay disease — and the broadening debate on gay marriage and gay soldiers — have led, and have to some extent freed, writers and producers to use a wider lens to explore a broader landscape.”

Like characters sparring over religious differences. Because that is new to the stage, yah?

(Pictured: A scene from Yank, now playing Off Broadway.)