AIDS Back on Stage

In my article for TDF Stages, I look at three new plays that focus on AIDS —
“The Inheritance” by Matthew Lopez, which begins performances on Broadway September 27, opening in November; and Off-Broadway both “As Much As I Can,” running at Joe’s Pub throughSeptember 16, and “Novenas for a Lost Hospital” at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater through October 13 — and ask

Why was there a gap of nearly a quarter of a century before new shows about AIDS graced mainstream stages? Why is it happening now? How do these works differ from landmark plays such as Angels in America, which Lopez calls “the urtext of my generation as theatre artists and myself as a gay man?”

I allude to the landmark original theater about AIDS on New York stages from 1985 to 1996. Here’s a partial list, with their opening dates, and whether they were on Broadway or Off Broadway

As Is  by William M. Hoffman – Off Broadway March 1985, Broadway May 1985

The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer April 1985

Just Say No by Larry Kramer 1988

A Quiet End by Robin Swados 1985, but first produced Off Broadway in 1990

The Baltimore Waltz Off Broadway January 1992

Falsettos April 1992

The Destiny of Me by Larry Kramer October 1992

Angels in America: Millenium Approaches Broadway May 1993

Angels in America: Perestroika November 1993

Love, Valour Compassion by Terrence McNally Off-Bway 1994, Broadway 1995

Rent Off Broadway and then Broadway 1996


Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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