I was devastated to learn late last night of the passing of gifted playwright, Terrence McNally. This wonderful man, whose work gave me so many gifts over the years, died from Coronavirus on March 30. It seems so unfair that the artist survived the AIDS plague, only to succumb to COVID-19.
The 4-time Tony winner penned many smash hits over the years, including masterpieces like The Full Monty, Frankie and Johnnie, Love! Valour! Compassion, and my favorite, Lips Together, Teeth Apart. The year I came out, I saw that last play at the Lucille Lortel Theater on Christopher Street, and I will never forget it. The dream cast included Christine Baranski, Swoosie Kurtz, Nathan Lane, and Anthony Heald. I was utterly starstruck.
What I have for you today is a great free reading of Lips Together, Teeth Apart. The play puts two straight couples in a gay community on Fire Island on the Fourth of July after one of them inherits her dead brother’s house, and it’s nothing short of brilliant. The reading is done by L.A. Theater Works, and it includes an interview with McNally by NPR. Having seen the play on stage, I didn’t expect that an audio-only recording would do anything for me, but I think I enjoyed it every bit as much as I did the staged version.