Ok, it's going to be at least another month or two before I get to see anything on stage anywhere so I may as well do another installment in the series. This is one where nobody in Australia has yet done a production, and I can't necessarily guarantee it'd be box office for anyone, given that while it was a London success it somewhat tanked on Broadway ... plus there are other issues which I'll get into. Never the less, I really love this, all three times I've read it in the last three years.
It's the story of a group of gay men in New York during the second half of the 2010s. Inspired and bouncing off the plot of E.M. Forster's "Howard's End", it looks at different generations of men growing up in a world where their forbears were largely taken by the AIDS crisis, dealing with love and sex and life without a firm history of how these things are meant to be done Matthew Lopez tells the tale in a mix of direct-address, scenes of wit and pain and angst and anger, and long rhapsodic monologues that delve into gay life honestly and without apology. There's clear acknowledgement of the source material with E.M Forster present to criticize and be criticized in return by the current generation of gay men, and there's scenes that reach beyond to capture recent social history in the strongest ways.
There are risks and limitations. The story is told over two parts, both around three hours in playing time, and the cast is overwhelmingly male - only one actress appears in the play, and she doesn't appear until the last act of the second part (though she does get a multiple page monologue to chew on). And it is six hours spent with reasonably-well-off Manhattanites talking about themselves in ways that may feel excessively navel-gazing to people who aren't into that (I, needless to say, am very into that, but I realize I'm not everybody and don't necessarily represent a budget-recouping demographic). Never the less the script really does ring my bell in every possible way and it's the kind of rich theatrical meal I can't wait to dive into when it shows up, hopefully, on the season of STC or Belovir or the Old Fitz in Sydney in the next couple of years. It's the kind of thing I ache for, and I hope the world comes back together and we're all back in theatres where we're supposed to be again