Playbill Pride: From Angels in America to Hedwig, Our Top Ten Gay Plays

By Ben Rimalower
27 Jun 2013

10. Beautiful Thing
By Jonathan Harvey

Although the British coming-of-age/coming out drama played New York (in a terrific import of Gary Griffin's Chicago production at the Cherry Lane), Beautiful Thing is probably best remembered stateside for its excellent 1996 film adaptation, which made memorable use of many Mamas & Papas hits, as well as Cass Elliot's solo recordings. In particular, I remember "Make Your Own Kind of Music," which so affectingly underscored a montage of the adolescent boys falling in love. There's no major dramatic edge to make Beautiful Thing stand out as a great work of the stage, but it's a simply told story of universal themes that just happens to concern two gay boys, and it was one of the first pieces of theatre (and subsequently film) to achieve that so elegantly.

Glen Berry, Hettie Macdonald and Scott Neal in the film.
Sony Pictures Classics