In the evolution of gay-themed drama, there are two landmark productions that each set the standard for what followed: Mart Crowley's 1969 The Boys in the Band and Harvey Fierstein's 1981 Torch Song Trilogy. The best of gay theatre still has not reached the levels of those iconic productions, and the worst, well...
And Moran Makes 3 is a program of three one-act plays that depict different episodes in the relationship of a gay couple: the Jewish Matthew and the Protestant Charles. These episodes include the struggles of negotiating a new relationship, the problems of dealing with the crisis of change, and the difficulties of losing Moran, the ever-present third side to their triangle.
Moran is an ambitious work for a first-time playwright to attempt, and one admires this effort, if not the result. Williams is exploring some very deep issues: the lingering heritage of gay self-loathing, the inability of some men to mature, and the lives that have been determined by 20-year-old events. But the playwright's point of view isn't entirely made clear, and his characters are less than sympathetic and inconsistent; the Moran character especially seems more of a clever device than an integral part of the work (the evening wasn't helped by lackluster staging, terrible lighting and mediocre acting throughout). Sadly, the play fell apart in the last act when, after 30 years without contact, the 70ish Matt comes to terms with the death of Charles, who was killed in a bus accident after living with HIV for decades. Matt's incessant whining stretched credibility to the breaking point æ is Williams saying that in the future AIDS will have been conquered but gay men will really be as infantile as they were perceived to be 30 years ago? Has the gay sensibility really not gone any farther than the bleak but dated outlook of Crowley's The Boys in the Band? One hopes not: it might well be true to life, but unless it is presented in a more compelling, original fashion by characters that the audience has been able to connect with, it makes for less than convincing drama. And Moran Makes 3 may be a trilogy of gay plays, but Williams is not Harvey Fierstein. Not yet, anyway.
(Featuring Ben Franklin, Mark Alan Gordon, John
Jensen, Scott Katzman, Lawrence Merritt, Jonathan
Schancupp. Sets and costumes uncredited. Lighting by Mark
Return to Volume Seven, Number Twenty-four Index
Return to Volume Seven Index
Return to Home Page
Copyright 2001 Doug DeVita