Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Best Gay Plays

Happy Gay Pride!  To celebrate the day, we've asked some of our favorite gay playwrights to share their top 10 LGBT plays.

We left it up to the playwrights to define what constitutes an LGBT play (Kathleen Warnock cheekily suggested The Odd Couple as one of hers before changing to Sontag: Reborn, and Tony Asaro chose several non-traditionally gay plays including Lips Together, Teeth Apart, which he called a gay play with all straight characters).

Without further ado, here are their choices.  We'll add ours at the end.

Tony Asaro, composer/librettist of Our Country.

1. The Normal Heart, Larry Kramer
2. Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams
3. Angels In America, Tony Kushner
4. Lips Together, Teeth Apart, Terrence McNally
5. The Zoo Story, Edward Albee
6. Fifth of July, Lanford Wilson
7. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tennessee Williams
8. Twilight of the Golds, Jonathan Tolins
9. The Children's Hour, Lillian Hellman
10. Torch Song Trilogy, Harvey Fierstein

Kathleen Warnock, whose Grieving for Genevieve just finished a run at the Venus Theatre.

1. The Haunted Host, Robert Patrick

2. The Madness of Lady Bright, Lanford Wilson
3. Street Theater, Doric Wilson
4. The Secretaries, Five Lesbian Brothers
5. Angels in America, Tony Kushner
6. Hedwig & the Angry Inch, John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask
7. The Baltimore Waltz, Paula Vogel
8. Corpus Christi, Terrence McNally
9. Monstrosity, Lucy Thurber
10. Sontag: Reborn. Adapted & performed by Moe Angelos

She gives honorable mention to The B Factor by Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Milk, Milk Lemonade by Joshua Conkel, Almost Home by Meryl Cohn, and No Need for Seduction by Victoria Libertore.

Duncan Pflaster, whose latest play, Messin' With the Kid, had a reading last week.

1. Angels In America, Tony Kushner
2. Torch Song Trilogy, Harvey Fierstein
3. Bent, Martin Sherman
4. The Boys in the Band, Mart Crowley
5. A Late Snow, Jane Chambers
6. Cloud Nine, Caryl Churchill
7. Beautiful Thing, J. Harvey
8. The Dying Gaul, Craig Lucas
9. Untold Decades, Robert Patrick
10. The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Paul Rudnick

Robert Patrick, Caffe Cino playwright and author of Kennedy's Children.

1. Fifth of July, Lanford Wilson
2. As Is, Wiliam M. Hoffman
3. Street Theater, Doric Wilson
4. Michelangelo's Models, Robert Patrick
5. The Madness of Lady Bright, Lanford Wilson
6. Goodnight, I Love You, William M. Hoffman
7. The Bed, Bob Heide
8. The Brown Crown, Haal Borske
9. Torch Song Trilogy, Harvey Fierstein
10. Moon, Bob Heide

We agree with the lists above and would add:

The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me, David Drake
The Laramie Project, Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project
Rent, Jonathan Larson
Jeffrey, Paul Rudnick
Love! Valor! Compassion!, Terrence McNally
Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, Moises Kaufman
Falsettos, William Finn
The Sum of Us, David Stevens
Take Me Out, Richard Greenberg
The Tempermentals, Jon Marans
The Ritz, Terrence McNally

So what have we missed?  Any particular favorites that should be added to the list?

As an extra bonus, Robert Patrick has sent us a link to his lecture, "Caffe Cino: Birthplace of Gay Theatre."  While checking it out, look at the other videos he's posted, which include productions of several of his plays.


  1. I am so flattred to see my work included on some lists. Thank you for posting the link to my Caffe Cino lecture. Here is a playlist of online videos of eight gay plays by me, plus three with gay characters.

  2. A Streetcar Named Desire is not a gay play. Nor is Zoo Story.
    What about plays out of Theatre Rhinoceros in San Francisco. New York plays are NOT the main source of gay plays. --Daniel Curzon