Two Plays Ponder a Half-Century’s Change

0

 

The Pride
by Alexi Kaye Campbell
Directed by Joe Mantello
Lucille Lortel Theatre

The Temperamentals
By Jon Marans
Directed by Jonathan Silverstein
New World Stages

 

PART OF a spate of gay-themed plays on the boards in New York this season, two from Off-Broadway present contrasting approaches to the recent history of same-sex male love. The Temperamentals by Jon Marans dramatizes early activism: the creation in Los Angeles of the Mattachine Society by Communist organizer Harry Hay and his then lover, costume designer Rudi Gernreich, and a small circle of friends. The story unfolds in the early 1950’s with America moving from the war years into the McCarthy Era. The Pride, on the other hand, a first play by Alexi Kaye Campbell, is a British import that views the gay present through the lens of the past. It features two different male couples in London in 1958 and 2008; each pair must come to terms with the personal price of gay relations. In 1958, the context is one of social repression; in 2008, one of sexual and social liberation. In short, The Temperamentals sees the gay past in its political dimensions—The Pride, in its personal and essentially private ones.

To continue reading this article, please LOGIN or SUBSCRIBE

Share