Love! Valour! Compassion!

Love! Valour! Compassion! is a 1994 play by Terrence McNally, directed by Joe Mantello. Its off-Broadway premiere was at the Manhattan Theatre Club on October 11, 1994 where it and staged 72 performances. The production then transferred to the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway where, after 28 previews, it opened on 14 February 1995, closing on 17 September 1995 after an additional 248 performances.

Plot synopsis

The setting is at a lakeside summer vacation house in Dutchess County, two hours north of New York City where eight gay friends spend the three major holiday weekends of one summer together for Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day. The house belongs to Gregory, a successful choreographer now approaching middle age, who fears he is losing his creativity; and his twenty-something lover, Bobby, A legal assistant who happens to be blind. Each of the guests at their house is connected to Gregory’s work in one way or another - Arthur and longtime partner Perry are business consultants; John Jeckyll, a sour Englishman, is a dance accompanist; die-hard musical theater fanatic Buzz Hauser is a costume designer and the most stereotypically gay man in the group. Only John's summer lover, Ramon, and John's twin brother James are outside the circle of friends. But Ramon is outgoing and eventually makes a place for himself in the group, and James is such a gentle soul that he is quickly welcomed. Infidelity, flirtations, soul-searching, AIDS, truth-telling and skinny-dipping mix monumental questions about life and death with a wacky dress rehearsal for Swan Lake performed in drag.

Film adaptation

In 1997, a film adaptation written by McNally reunited the original cast, with Jason Alexander and Stephen Spinella replacing Nathan Lane and Anthony Heald.

Awards and nominations



Further reading

  • McNally, Terrence (1995). Love! Valor! Compassion!. New York: Dramatists Play Service.

External links

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