Saturday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. — RANDOLPH — Join Vermont Pride Theater at Chandler Music Hall for the first Vermont presentation of Terrence McNally’s 1994 play “Love! Valour! Compassion!” in a staged reading to benefit Vermont CARES and the HIV/HCV Resource Center.
“Love! Valour! Compassion!” introduces us to eight gay men who gather for three memorable summer weekends. The setting is a lakeside house in Dutchess County, N.Y., where they relax, reflect, and plan for survival in an era plagued by AIDS. When the play opened, New York Times theater critic Vincent Canby wrote, “As the narrative unfolds, Mr. McNally’s characters not only talk to the audience, but they also comment on what the other characters are saying to the audience. They feed us facts they couldn’t possibly know at the time they reveal them. They see into the future to illuminate the past and to give the frequently rocky present added poignancy. The result is a theatrical experience of unusual richness, about characters of unexpected dimension.” The play won the Tony Award for Best Play in 1995.
Northern Stage’s Assistant Artistic Director Eric Love, making a guest directorial appearance at Chandler, says of the play, “It’s a funny, candid, and heartbreaking examination of what it means to be gay, still resonating as clearly today as when it was written.”
The talented regional cast: includes Michael Backman and Paul West from Quechee, Bill Chappelle from Enfield, Altan Cross and Bill Pelton from Montpelier, Teddy Kenyon-Richardson from Randolph, and Alex Nicosia from Middlebury.
The script deals with mature themes, in mature language. A talkback after the reading gives audience and performers a chance to ask questions and share comments; followed by a reception.
Tickets are available at chandler-arts.org or 802-728-6464 weekdays between 3 and 6 p.m. Tickets are $17 advance, $20 at the door for adults, and $12 advance, $15 at the door for students.