4. Buzz – Love! Valour Compassion! by Terrence McNally
Surely there was a cliché of the obsessed musical theatre show queen before Terrence McNally's 1995 hit, Love! Valour Compassion!, but I can't imagine it ever had the panache and brio of Buzz, particularly as played on Broadway in a dazzling turn by Nathan Lane. More than just a string of hilarious one-liners, Buzz was a man who was lonely and who didn't fit with the rest of the gym-toned gays heading for the beach. Musical theatre was his escape and his vice and his totem, and he carried it with pride. This conviction in who he was enabled him to find a kindred spirit and fall in love — and we were all rooting for him.