re: Terrance McNally has died from covid at age 81
Last Edit: KingSpeed 06:43 pm EDT 03/24/20
Posted by: KingSpeed 06:41 pm EDT 03/24/20
In reply to: re: Terrance McNally has died from covid at age 81 - andyboy 05:54 pm EDT 03/24/20

I've never liked Shakespeare. I like plays where the characters speak naturally like real people I know. In 1993, I came out during a summer of working at the Forestburgh Playhouse in the Catskills. In 1994, I worked there again and met my future husband who was visiting from NYC. That summer, I was on the prowl for gay lovers and friends and I met a gay couple that invited me to their 4th of July party. That fall, as a student at the University of Michigan, I saw an ad in the NY Times for "Love! Valour! Compassion!" I was very intrigued that it was written by Terrence McNally because I liked a student directed production of "Lips Together Teeth Apart" in which yes, they spoke like real people. The ad for LVC said it was about 8 gay men in the Catskills. Gay people like me and my friends in Forestburgh! Then I saw Stephen Bogardus and Stephen Spinella were in it. I knew them from watching the Tony Awards.That means they're good actors! Then I saw that Nathan Lane was it it! I was in love with Nathan! Then I saw Randy Becker was in it! I knew him! I went to Interlochen Arts Camp with his sister Tineka! Then a few days later, a friend of mine in NYC sent me a clipping of the NY Times review. The review said it had the best ensemble acting in NYC. Okay, now I HAD to see it. But it was sold out at the Manhattan Theater Club. I tried reaching out to the box office to figure out how to be an usher. No luck. I called Tineka and got Randy's phone number but couldn't get through to him. Nevermind. I was so determined that I bought a plane ticket to NYC with a credit card even though I didn't have a ticket to the show. I decided I would stand outside with a sign if I had to. I got to NYC and went straight to the theater and got there when it had just ended. I went up to Randy Becker and explained him my situation. He talked to the box office and got me a ticket to the next day's performance for only $30! And so the next day, I went to the play and LOVED it. The nudity, the comedy, the reality, the gay characters. Loved loved loved it. It remains the most amazing theater experience I've ever had. I should mention that I stayed with my future husband that night and 26 years later, we are still together. In 2005, I appeared in a high profile production of a new musical and on opening night, Nathan Lane emailed me. As a fan at stage doors, I had asked him out to dinner several times. He and I became acquaintances and we eventually had that dinner I dreamed of.

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