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Musical From Here, dealing with Pulse tragedy, to make New York debut

Musical From Here, dealing with Pulse tragedy, to make New York debut

from here pulse nightclub shooting broadway musical NYC debut
Ashleigh Ann Gardner for Renaissance Theatre Company

"That moment intersects with the daily drama of the show" about a group of queer friends in Orlando, says playwright Donald Rupe.

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A musical play exploring the effects of the Pulse nightclub mass shooting on a group of queer friends in Orlando will open this week in New York City.

From Here will begin previews Thursday and will have its opening night Saturday at off-Broadway’s Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center. It will run through August 11.

Written by Donald Rupe, the play is set in 2016 and tells the story of Daniel, a 30-something gay man in Orlando, and his friends as they experience life, love, and the changes wrought by the tragedy at the LGBTQ+ nightclub, in which a gunman killed 49 people in the early hours of June 12 that year.

From Here centers on the fictional character of Daniel (who is inspired by the show’s writer and also other people in our friend group), and it weaves in the real-life experience of what it was like living in Orlando during the days surrounding the shooting,” Blake Aburn, the actor who will reprise the leading role in his off-Broadway debut, said in a press release. “From Here isn’t about the shooting ... rather, it’s about our city’s response to tragedy ... it’s about what senseless gun violence can do to a community ... and it’s about chosen family. Through Daniel, we show what Pulse meant to people like me and my friends, who spent our formative years at Pulse and nightclubs like Pulse. It changed us. It changed many of us.”

“The Pulse connection really was not planned, but if I was going to write honestly about myself and about my friends around that time period, it would be false not to talk about how it affected us,” Rupe recently told the Associated Press.

“It is and it isn’t about Pulse,” he added. “We don’t even mention Pulse for the first 45 minutes of the show. But then, like it did in real life, once that moment intersects with the daily drama of the show, it changes the entire show. That’s intentional because that’s what it felt like here.”

From Here, produced by the Renaissance Theatre Company, was first performed at the Orlando Fringe Festival in 2019, and it completed an Orlando run in May after an earlier engagement was cut short by the pandemic. A concert version was staged at 54 Below in New York City in January.

“Order” — From Here the musicalyoutu.be

The theater company plans to partner with organizations such as Equality Florida, the state’s largest LGBTQ+ group, to raise funds and awareness. LGBTQ+ people and others affected by the Pulse shooting will be invited to speak before performances and collect funds and support for their causes.

“In the aftermath of Pulse, when so many of us were grieving and the future seemed uncertain, the Orlando community got clear on what we wanted the legacy of our tragedy to be: inclusion in the face of division, compassion in the face of cruelty, and love in the face of hatred,” Brandon Wolf, a Pulse survivor who now works for the Human Rights Campaign, said in the press release.

From Here is a beautiful encapsulation of that legacy, a powerful journey through both the ripples of grief and pain and the power of friendship and community. Our joy is our resistance, our love is our defiance — and From Here is our story.”

Tickets and more information are available here.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.