Even under normal circumstances, Broadway is usually dark on Mondays. But not this week. Broadway.com in collaboration with producers Eric Kuhn and Justin Mikita will present a live reading of Terrence McNally’s Lips Together, Teeth Apart tonight at 8 p.m. (EST). Benefitting the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund, the livestream will be dedicated to McNally, who passed away on March 24, due to coronavirus complications. Viewers can watch on Broadway.com and its Facebook and YouTube channels.
Lips Together, Teeth Apart will star Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Sam Truman, Celia Keenan-Bolger as Sally Truman, Zachary Quinto as John Haddock, and Ari Graynor as Chloe Haddock. It will be directed by Trip Cullman. The play, which The New York Times called one of “Mr. McNally’s finest,” chronicles two straight couples visiting the Fire Island home of a relative who recently died of AIDS during the height of the pandemic.
“Terrence used his work to make seemingly insurmountable societal issues seem surmountable through his belief in our unwavering human spirit,” said Tom Kirdahy, the husband of the late McNally and a member of the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Board of Trustees. “Seeing Terrence’s rage, humor, love, and empathy in the face of a virus feels right during this time.”
“Theater has always been about bringing people together,” said Kuhn and Mikita. “For our first livestream play reading, we couldn’t think of a playwright that represented that more than Terrence. In these uncertain times, we are thrilled to partner with Broadway Cares and provide audiences some moments of relief.”
Terrence McNally had a remarkably far-ranging career, including new work on Broadway in each of the last six decades. In 2018 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was a 2019 recipient of a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement. He also received the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and the Lucille Lortel Lifetime Achievement Award.
McNally won four Tony Awards, for his plays Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class and his musical books for Kiss of the Spider Woman and Ragtime. He wrote a number of TV scripts, including “Andre’s Mother,” for which he won an Emmy Award. He received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, four Drama Desk Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, two Obie Awards, and three Hull-Warriner Awards from the Dramatists Guild. In 1996 he was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.
The Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund is helping those onstage, backstage and behind the scenes impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and work shutdown. With every passing day that theatres remain dark, entertainment professionals face unprecedented health and financial challenges requiring immediate attention and resources. More than 20 Broadway producers are now offering a $1 million challenge match to double the impact of new donations. To donate visit broadwaycares.org/help2020.
The COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund is providing urgent additional resources for the vital social service programs of The Actors Fund, including emergency financial assistance, health insurance, counseling, and the operation of The Actors Fund’s Friedman Health Center for the Performing Arts