An apartment with a view of New York City’s gay pride parade sets the stage for this sometimes-funny, sometimes-sad exploration of gay relationships and community. Adam Darrow and Andrew J. Tardif play a gay couple who are so over the rainbow that they’re going to the Pottery Barn for new lamps instead of partaking in the pride day festivities. They’re prevented from running their errand due to the arrival of an array of friends, ex-lovers, and the requisite shirtless hottie, who drop in to gawk at the parade from the window and exchange bon mots.
As the cast of characters trickles into the apartment, the banter is witty and the guys are familiar gay archetypes we all know and love, but this is a setup and a group of gay men that’s maybe too familiar. There’s something just slightly stale about it, and when the characters cleverly allude to how their situation is similar to a “gay play” and then continue referring to the things they do and say as parts of a work of theater, you can’t help but feel that this conceit lost its novelty a while ago. As one of the bitchier characters might point out, that kind of thing is so early aughts. To be fair, the play itself is set in the year 2003, so it can be treated as a sort of time-capsule portrait of gay life at that time, when we were just embarking on this brave new future.
The second half of the play amps up the drama with the introduction of a disagreeable ex who’s so over the gay lifestyle that he’s about to throw himself into a sexless marriage with a female friend. This inspires the troupe of gays to invite the luckless lady herself to the apartment for an intervention. Of course, things don’t go as planned. Voices are raised, secrets are revealed, and the play culminates in a gripping, but frightfully serious, end. Fans of Love! Valour! Compassion! should certainly come out and meet this new crop of gay men reckoning with their place in pride.
Showtimes and venue information for The Last Sunday in June and details about the other plays running during GayFest are available at quinceproductions.com.