Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS sponsors a one-night-only streamed presentation of the 2013 multi-actor performance of David Drake's The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me June 28 at 7 PM ET to benefit Provincetown Theater.
Directed by Tony nominee Robert La Fosse (Dancin’, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway), the cast in the archival video features playwright and Provincetown Theatre Artistic Director Drake, Brandon Cordeiro (Ribbons), three-time Tony nominee Robin De Jesús (The Boys in the Band), Tony winner André De Shields (Hadestown), Claybourne Elder (Company), Tony nominee Rory O'Malley (The Book of Mormon), Anthony Rapp (If/Then, Rent), Wesley Taylor (SpongeBob SquarePants), Chad Ryan (Chicago premiere of The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me), Donald C. Shorter, Jr. (La Cage aux Folles national tour), Aaron Tone (BearCity 2), and Tony winner BD Wong (M. Butterfly).
After joining the activist group ACT UP, Drake began writing autobiographical monologues about the AIDS crisis that eventually became a one-man show about this critical point in American history. Drake won an Obie for his work, and the original Off-Broadway run at the Perry Street Theatre, produced by Sean Strub and Tom Viola, became one of the longest-running solo shows in New York theatre history. For its 20th anniversary in 2013, The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me was re-imagined from a one-man show to one featuring an ensemble cast.
“As Larry Kramer was such a formative figure for me and several generations in the LGBTQ community, it seems absolutely appropriate to stream this virtual event as a salute to his towering legacy at the conclusion of Gay Pride Week on Sunday, June 28,” said Drake in a recent statement. “Indeed, I believe the activism inherent in the piece also provides a great gatherer of the current manner in which Gay Prides are being celebrated this year—by joining forces with the Black Lives Matter movement in the march for unequivocal equality.”
“David Drake is a consummate artist and a dear friend,” added Tom Viola, Executive Director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. “I have strong memories of joining Sean Strub to present David’s acclaimed solo performance in June ’92. The play and David’s exhilarating performance galvanized many to re-commit to action at the height of the AIDS epidemic, four long years before the advance of life-saving anti-viral treatments. The expanded 20th Anniversary benefit was a poignant look back at a heartbreaking time and a joyous celebration of activism and survival. I am thrilled that Broadway Cares can once again join David, this time in his creative revival and leadership of Provincetown’s historic theatre. I know Larry would love this latest turn in the road we’ve all walked together for so long.”
Although the stream is free, donations are encouraged to Provincetown Theater, which has canceled its operations through 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic, by visiting ProvincetownTheater.org.