The AIDS Quilt Makes Its Broadway Debut
By Brandon Voss
Portions of the AIDS Memorial Quilt are now on display at Broadway's Golden Theatre, home of Mothers and Sons, a new drama by Tony Award-winning gay playwright Terrence McNally. This display marks the first installation of the AIDS Quilt in a Broadway theater. The iconic tribute—which is referenced in Mothers and Sons—can be viewed in the lower lobby for the remainder of the play's open-ended run.
The AIDS Quilt was created by Cleve Jones and other San Francisco activists in 1987 as a memorial to friends and loved ones lost to the disease. The Quilt, managed by the Atlanta-based Names Project Foundation, now contains more than 48,000 panels dedicated to more than 94,000 individuals.
Chelsea Pines Inn is sponsoring the Golden Theatre display in memory and honor of Sheldon Post, the hotel's founder.
"The Quilt is perhaps the most powerful reminder we have of those lost to AIDS; a hand-made monument lovingly constructed," writes Tom Kirdahy, McNally's husband and a lead producer of Mothers and Sons, in a statement. "Mothers and Sons is honored to display panels of the quilt in the lobby of the Golden Theatre as a tribute to those lost, who were all foot soldiers in the march towards equality. We must never forget those we lost during the darkest days of the plague as we joyfully celebrate our hard won victories today. Remember Their Names."
Directed by Next Fall's Sheryl Kaller, Mothers and Sons stars Tony-winner Tyne Daly as a mother paying an unexpected visit to her late son's former lover (Frederick Weller), who is now raising a child (Grayson Taylor) with his husband (Bobby Steggert). Daly and Steggert reprise the roles they created in last summer's world premiere engagement at Bucks County Playhouse.
Star of the 1995 indie classic Stonewall, Weller played a homophobe in Take Me Out and tackled multiple gay roles in McNally's Some Men. Steggert, who starred as a gay soldier in the World War II musical Yank!, revealed that he is gay in a 2013 interview with Out.
Mothers and Sons, which opened March 24, marks McNally's 20th Broadway production. Others include The Ritz, The Rink, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Master Class.
For more information, visit MothersAndSonsBroadway.com.