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BroadwayWorld Celebrates Pride: Top 10 LGBTQ+ Plays!

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From Angels in America, to Choir Boy, Slave Play, Indecent, and more, learn more about some of our favorites in honor of Pride Month!

June marks the official start of Pride Month! This year, BroadwayWorld is celebrating pride with a series focused on some of our favorite LGBTQ-themed musicals, plays, characters, and songs!

This week, check out our top 10 favorite plays featuring LGBTQ+ characters or themes! Let us know what your favorites are by leaving us a comment on our Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook pages!


Angels in America

The epic two-part play is often described as one of the greatest theatrical journeys of our time. The play is also eternally relevant, taking on themes of Reaganism, McCarthyism, immigration, religion, climate change, and AIDS against the backdrop of New York City in the mid-1980s.

The play was first performed in Los Angeles as a workshop in May 1990 by the Center Theatre Group at the Mark Taper Forum, and debuted on Broadway in 1993. In April 2017, a new production began previews at The National Theatre in London, before transferring to Broadway.


The Normal Heart

Larry Kramer's landmark play The Normal Heart opened on Broadway at the Golden Theater in 2011.

The play follows a tight-knit group of friends who refuse to let doctors, politicians and the press bury the truth of an unspoken epidemic behind a wall of silence. It addresses themes including gay marriage, the healthcare system and, of course, AIDS.

The production went on to win three Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Play, Best Featured Actor in a Play (John Benjamin Hickey), and Best Featured Actress in a Play (Ellen Barkin).


Torch Song

Torch Song, written by Harvey Fierstein, follows Arnold Beckoff, a Jewish homosexual, drag queen, and torch singer who lives in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Audiences get taken on Arnold's journey to find happiness in New York. All he wants is a husband, a child and a pair of bunny slippers that fit, but a visit from his overbearing mother reminds him that he needs one thing more: respect.

The original Broadway production, titled "Torch Song Trilogy", opened on June 10, 1982 at the Little Theatre. A significantly revised version of the play, cut down by Fierstein and retitled simply Torch Song, was produced Off Broadway by Second Stage Theatre in 2017.


The Inheritance

Matthew Lopez's two-part play The Inheritance follows the interlinking lives of three generations of gay men searching for a community of their own - and a place to call home. In contemporary Manhattan, Eric and Toby are 30-somethings who seem to be very much in love and thriving. But on the cusp of their engagement, they meet an older man haunted by the past, and a younger man hungry for a future. Chance meetings lead to surprising choices as the lives of three generations interlink and collide-with explosive results.

The play premiered in London at the Young Vic in March 2018, before transferring to Broadway in November 2019.


Choir Boy

Choir Boy tells the story of one man's journey to finding himself. For half a century, the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys has been dedicated to the education of strong, ethical black men. One talented student has been waiting for years to take his rightful place as the leader of the legendary gospel choir. But can he make his way through the hallowed halls of this institution if he sings in his own key?

Choir Boy premiered in September 2012 at The Royal Court Theatre, London, and began Broadway performances on December 12, 2018.


The Boys in the Band

The Boys in the Band recently had a resurgence of hype after a revival in 2018, featuring a star-studded cast.

In his Upper East Side apartment, Michael is throwing a birthday party for Harold, a self-avowed "thirty-two-year-old, pockmarked, Jew fairy," complete with surprise gift: "Cowboy," a street hustler. As the evening wears on - fueled by drugs and alcohol - bitter, unresolved resentments among the guests come to light when a game of "Truth" goes terribly wrong.

The play by Mart Crowley premiered Off-Broadway in 1968, and was revived on Broadway for its 50th anniversary in 2018.


The Laramie Project

A well-known play often performed in schools, The Laramie Project centers around the real-life reaction to the 1998 murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming, which was called a hate crime.

The play draws on hundreds of interviews conducted by the theatre company with inhabitants of the town, company members' own journal entries, and published news reports.

The Laramie Project premiered at The Ricketson Theatre by the Denver Center Theatre Company in February 2000. The play was also made into a film in 2001.


Slave Play

Jeremy O. Harris' groundbreaking play recently made Tonys history when it became the most-nominated play of all time.

In the play, Harris rips apart history to shed new light on the nexus of race, gender and sexuality in 21st century America. It follows three interracial couples undergoing "Antebellum Sexual Performance Therapy" because the black partners no longer feel sexual attraction to their white partners.

The play premiered off-Broadway in November 2018, and opened on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre in October 2019.


M. Butterfly

This play by David Henry Hwang has a plot entwined with that of the opera Madama Butterfly. However, it focuses on the relationship between French diplomat Bernard Boursicot and Shi Pei Pu, a Peking opera singer. Their 20-year relationship pushed and blurred the boundaries between male and female, east and west - while redefining the nature of love and the devastating cost of deceit.

The play opened on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre in March 1988, and was revived in October 2017.


Indecent

This play from Paula Vogel follows a troupe of actors, the cast of Polish-Jewish playwright Sholem Asch's God of Vengeance, which was produced on Broadway in 1923, and for which the producer and cast were arrested and convicted on the grounds of obscenity.

The production premiered in May 2016 at Off-Broadway's Vineyard Theatre and opened at Broadway's Cort Theatre in 2017. The play was nominated for three Tony Awards and won Best Direction of a Play for Rebecca Taichman and Lighting Design in a Play for Christopher Akerlind.


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