Exclusive: Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Zachary Quinto, more to honor Terrence McNally with livestream reading
Broadway may still be dark in New York City, but the show must go on, now via livestream.
In honor of playwright Terrence McNally, who died last week at the age of 81 due to coronavirus complications, Broadway.com and producers Eric Kuhn and Justin Mikita have assembled a cast for a live reading of McNally's 1991 play Lips Together, Teeth Apart, directed by Trip Cullman.
Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson (as Sam Truman), To Kill a Mocking Bird Tony winner Celia Keenan-Bolger (as Sally Truman), NOS4A2's Zachary Quinto (as John Haddock), and I'm Dying Up Here's Ari Graynor (as Chloe Haddock) will headline the reading on Monday at 8 p.m. ET. The livestream will also serve as a benefit performance to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund.
“Terrence used his work to make seemingly insurmountable societal issues seem surmountable through his belief in our unwavering human spirit,” Tom Kirdahy, McNally's husband and a member of the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “Seeing Terrence’s rage, humor, love, and empathy in the face of a virus feels right during this time.”
Lips Together, Teeth Apart follows two straight couples who spend their Fourth of July weekend on Fire Island when one of the women, Sally, inherits a house from her brother after his death from AIDS. The play opened Off Broadway in 1991 with an original cast featuring Christine Baranski, Nathan Lane, Swoosie Kurtz, and Anthony Heald. A 2014 revival was staged with America Ferrera, Michael Chernus, Austin Lysy, and Tracee Chimo.
Broadway.com previously produced the virtual return of The Rosie O'Donnell Show this month that helped raise nearly $700,000 for The Actors Fund.
“Theater has always been about bringing people together," Kuhn and Mikita said in a joint statement. "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."
Viewers can watch the livestream on Broadway.com and its Facebook and YouTube channels.