The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me Benefit, With David Drake, BD Wong, Wesley Taylor, Anthony Rapp and More, Raises $66,025

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and Andrew Gans
22 May 2013

Anthony Rapp
Anthony Rapp
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The starry 20th anniversary performance of David Drake's solo show, The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me,  which was presented May 20th at the Gerard W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College, raised $66,025 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Sero Project.

Tony nominee Robert La Fosse directed Drake's play, which was re-imagined from a one-man show to one featuring an ensemble cast.

"The 20th anniversary performance was a moving, exhilarating success," said Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, in a statement. "Under Robert's superb direction, the brilliant ensemble cast joined David in an explosive re-working of what had been landmark solo work. We were so proud to be a part of this evening, celebrating the present, remembering the heartbreak and still committed to a better future."

The one-night-only reading featured the talents of Drake, Brandon Cordeiro, two-time Tony Award nominee Robin De Jesús, two-time Tony nominee André De Shields, Claybourne Elder, Tony nominee Rory O'Malley, Anthony Rapp, Wesley Taylor, Chad Ryan, Donald C. Shorter, Jr., Aaron Tone and Tony winner BD Wong. 

Actor and activist Drake wrote The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me in the early 1990s. After joining the activist group ACT UP, Drake began writing autobiographical monologues about the AIDS crisis that eventually became the one-man show about this critical point in American history. First performed by Drake himself, who won an Obie for his work, the original Off-Broadway run at the Perry Street Theatre became one of the longest-running solo shows in New York theatre history. There have been nearly 100 productions worldwide, and it's been translated into French, Portuguese, Spanish and Greek.



"What began as an expression of my feelings became a work that reflected the cultural zeitgeist of a community," Drake said in a recent statement. "When the 20th anniversary of the play approached, I started thinking about a reconfigured version with a cast, rather than as a solo performance. Incorporating a full cast conveys today’s passionate cries from our community’s heart while honoring the legacy of activism that brought us to this transformative moment in our history."

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For more information on the Sero Project, which is working to end inappropriate criminal prosecutions of people with HIV, go to seroproject.com.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $225 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.