The Great Work truly began in 2018.
Theatergoers were #blessed by high-profile Broadway revivals of iconic gay masterworks, controversial lesbian lip-locks, and herstoric trans representation headed in heels by Drag Race darling Peppermint, not to mention innumerable queer scene-stealers sharing New York City’s smaller stages.
No shade, Cher, but here are the 10 best LGBTQ-inclusive plays and musicals that premiered both on and off-Broadway this year.
America Is Hard to SeeT. Charles Erickson
Based on real interviews with sex offenders, this audacious musical about redemption featured Ken Barnett as a choir director who “flunked out of gay rehab” after his inappropriate behavior with a student. Life Jacket Theatre Company at Here Arts Center, closed.
Straight White MenJoan Marcus
Is God IsJulieta Cervantes
Twin sisters from the Dirty South go west in Aleshea Harris’ Tarantino-esque tragedy. Seeking revenge on the dad who left them fire-scarred, they encounter a nerdy gay half-brother played by Anthony Cason. Soho Rep, closed.
The Boys in the BandThe Boys in the Band/Joan Marcus
Sugar in Our WoundsJoan Marcus
Collective Rage: A Play in 5 BettiesJoan Marcus
At Home at the ZooJoan Marcus
In Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story, paired with prequel Homelife, Paul Sparks was electric as an unhinged “h-o-m-o-s-e-x-u-a-l” outcast who provokes an affluent square (Robert Sean Leonard) in Central Park. Pershing Square Signature Center, closed.
The PromThe Prom/Deen Van Meer
Angels in AmericaBrinkhoff/Moegenburg
What the Constitution Means to MeWhat the Constitution Means to Me/Joan Marcus
The radiant Heidi Schreck, who gave speeches on the U.S. Constitution as a teen, intimately explores the debatable document’s impact on women in her timely triumph. Providing “positive male energy,” likable gay actor Mike Iveson breaks character as an American legionnaire to further unpack toxic masculinity. The show is essentially 2018 in 90 life-affirming minutes, both seditious and a salve, and We the People must demand its swift return. New York Theater Workshop at Greenwich House Theater through December 30.
Agnes at 59E59 Theatres.
The Amateurs at Vineyard Theatre.
Eve’s Song at Public Theater.
Fairview at Soho Rep.
I Was Most Alive With You at Playwrights Horizons.
Let’s Get Ready Together at the Tank.
Lewiston/Clarkston at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.
Mean Girls at August Wilson Theatre.
The Pattern at Pendarvis at Here Arts Center.
Plot Points in Our Sexual Development at LCT3.
queens at LCT3.
Secret Life of Humans at 59E59 Theaters.
Soundstage at Here Arts Center.
This American Wife at Next Door at NYTW.
Three Tall Women at Golden Theatre.
Transfers at MCC’s Lucille Lortel Theatre.