While the revival of The Boys in the Band makes big noise on Broadway, the off-Broadway theater scene is abuzz with queer stories begging to be heard.
Here’s the lowdown on five powerful LGBT-inclusive plays that recently opened for limited engagements.
As Much as I Can
Aligned with a ViiV Healthcare initiative promoting HIV/AIDS awareness among black gay men, this ambitious and soul-stirring immersive experience, impressively staged in an old church, spotlights religious stigma.
Harley & Co.
Harley & Company at Harlem Parish through May 24.
The Gentleman Caller
Utilizing non-white actors, Juan Francisco Villa and Daniel K. Isaac, out playwright Philip Dawkins fictionalizes the 1944 meeting of pre-fame Tennessee Williams and William Inge, two closeted men fumbling to connect.
Abingdon Theatre Company at Cherry Lane Theatre through May 26.
Summer and Smoke
Set in 1916 Mississippi, this soapy Tennessee Williams drama gets a spare but satisfying revival with Marin Ireland as a prim preacher’s daughter who, disregarding her gay-coded suitor, thirsts for her rakish neighbor.
Transport Group at Classic Stage Company through May 25.
Out playwright Leslye Headland explores sloth in her quietly captivating solo show about a queer, actively inactive couch-surfer, a role shared by eight actors with four directors to highlight the universality of struggle and sin.
Animus Theatre Company at the Foley Gallery through May 30.
In out playwright Lucy Thurber’s gripping drama, Juan Castano and Ato Blankson-Wood star as disadvantaged Bronx kids—a hot-tempered wrestler and gay bookworm—vying for scholarships to a prestigious university.
MCC at the Lucille Lortel Theatre through May 20.