Celebrate Terrence McNally With a Look Back at the Shows He Brought to Broadway

Photo Features   Celebrate Terrence McNally With a Look Back at the Shows He Brought to Broadway
 
The late, Tony Award-winning writer was born November 3, 1939.
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Terrence McNally Evan Zimmerman/MurphyMade

The late Terrence McNally, a five-time Tony Award recipient whose plays often featured explorations of contemporary gay life and a reverence for classical music, was born November 3, 1939.

Mr. McNally made his Broadway debut in 1963, adapting The Lady of the Camellias for the stage and ushering in a six decade career on the Main Stem. Throughout his prolific tenure on Broadway, he wrote gripping dramas like Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class, moving musicals such as Ragtime and Kiss of the Spider Woman, and more. His work was last seen on Broadway in the 2019 revival of Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, starring Audra McDonald and Michael Shannon.

Mr. McNally, who was the recipient of the 2019 Tony Awards' Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre Honor, frequently explored history and the queer experience in his work. “I love it when I remember the artists who try to help us understand the devastation of AIDS even when they were stricken with it themselves. I love it when I remember theatre changes hearts. That secret place where we all truly live," he said while accepting his Lifetime Achievement Honor at the 2019 Tony Awards. "I love my playwright years—past, present, and especially future.”

Mr. McNally died March 24 following complications with COVID-19. He was 81. In honor of the prolific, Tony Award-winning writer, Playbill takes a look back at the shows he brought to Broadway.

In celebration of McNally's legacy, the Committee of Theatre Owners will honor the playwright by dimming the lights of Broadway theatres in New York City for one minute at 6:30 PM ET. Tom Kirdahy, Mr. McNally’s husband, said in an earlier statement, “The theatre community brought so much joy to Terrence’s life, and our life together. He would be honored and humbled to know that the lights of Broadway will be dimmed in his memory. I am brimming with gratitude and pride.”

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