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