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The Story Behind Harry Connick's Gay Romance on Broadway

The Story Behind Harry Connick's Gay Romance on Broadway


Harry Connick Jr. plays a straight psychiatrist who falls in love with his male patient in the revival of On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, but don't call it a gay twist, says out director Michael Mayer.

In an interview with Playbill, the director, who won a Tony Award for directing Spring Awakening, discusses the reimagining of the classic 1965 musical that became a 1970 Barbra Streisand film. He says he's loved the cast album since he was a kid but knew the show's book was "extremely problematic."

In Mayer's revamp playwright Peter Parnell has replaced Daisy (previously played by Streisand in the film and Barbara Harris onstage) and her paranormal abilities with David (David Turner), a gay florist. Connick headlines as widowed Dr. Mark Bruckner, who learns that David's previous life was as Melinda (Jessie Mueller), a 1940s jazz singer. "David falls in love with Mark, a man who's unavailable because he's heterosexual," Mayer tells Playbill. "Mark falls in love with Melinda, but he can't have her because, well, she's dead. Now that's a love triangle."

"It's easy to label this On a Queer Day, but that's so reductive, and it actually bugs the hell out of me," Mayer insists. "A gay character doesn't make it a gay twist. I take the work seriously, and my collaborators and I are trying to do something real here. It's not some gimmick."

On a Clear Day is currently in previews at New York's St. James Theatre and will officially open December 11.

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