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Love! Valour! Compassion!

Love! Valour! Compassion!
Your Price: $18.95 CDN
Author: Terrence McNally
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 104
Pub. Date: 1995
ISBN-10: 0822214679
ISBN-13: 9780822214670
Cast Size: 7 male

About the Play:

Love! Valour! Compassion! has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Male Monologues.

Love! Valour! Compassion! is a full-length dramatic comedy by Terrence McNally. This celebrated drama is a touching portrayal of eight gay men who vacation together at an upstate New York country home to relax, exchange some great dialogue and confront their lives, loves and friendships over three summertime holiday weekends.

Love! Valour! Compassion! is a tense dramatic comedy set in a beautiful Dutchess County farmhouse in New York. Eight well-heeled gay men (played by seven actors – there's a set of twins) hash out their passions, resentments and fears over the course of the three principal weekends of summer: Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. There's Perry and Arthur, a professional couple of long standing, whose relationship, while strained, always manages to settle into the loving routine of a couple grown too familiar with one another, but happily so. The owner of the summer house, Gregory, is an ageing choreographer who dotes on his younger lover, Bobby, who is blind. Their relationship seems solid, until an irresistible dancer, Ramon, callously flaunts his sex appeal and manages to seduce Bobby on the first night in the house. Trying to keep Ramon to himself is John Jeckyll, a soured ex-patriot Brit with a taste for melodrama – and cruelty. John rankles everyone around him, speaking the unspeakable in haughty nonchalance while probing the weaknesses of the others. The painful truth about his ire eventually becomes clear when he has to take care of his terminally ill twin brother, James. Unlike John, James inspires nothing but affection in those around him, and here lies both the crux of John's complaint and the source of one of the play's most blistering and revealing of monologues about the related questions of gay identity and self-esteem. Finally, there is Buzz, a maniacal lover of the musical theatre. Like James, Buzz suffers from AIDS, and he has resigned himself to a life of humorous anecdotes and comforting trivia. Strange things can happen, though, and against all odds, Buzz finds himself falling in love for what may be one last summer.

Love! Valour! Compassion! opened in 1994 Off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC), and then transferred to Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre and won the Tony Award for Best Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play.

Cast: 7 male

What people say:

"…Love! Valour! Compassion! The new play… is a big, generous, haunted comedy that in its vaguely neo-Chekhovian way is both very funny and filled with intimations of time's passage, of loss and death… it's Mr. McNally's breadth of vision and his ambitious attempt to deal with characters, who are both privileged and threatened, in a way that ignores self-pity but doesn't ignore the larger world outside… Mr. McNally is in rare form." — New York Times

"…in this beautifully written work McNally…presents humbling evidence of what human love is and can be." — The New Yorker

"…Love! Valour! Compassion! is one of [McNally's] very best. Unshowy and quiet, it rings louder with authenticity than his satiric farces do with laughter." — Village Voice

"It is [McNally's] Chekhovian apotheosis, his most satisfying tapestry of emotional brights and darkness — so witty and tough and beautiful that it helps identify our terrible time as a golden age for gay theater. This also happens to be his most ambitiously unambiguous gay play, and it speaks difficult truths with acid grace and all those generous words exclaimed in his title." — New York Newsday

About the Playwright:

Terrence McNally (1938-2020) was an American playwright whose career has spanned six decades. Initially active in the burgeoning Off-Broadway theatre movement in the 1960s, he is one of the few playwrights of his generation to have successfully made the transition to Broadway, and, in the process, passed from avant-garde to mainstream acclaim. In addition to four Tony Awards for his plays, he received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller grant, and was a recipient of the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lucille Lortel Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Tony Awards' Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre Honor. He is considered one of America's great playwrights.

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