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Zachary Quinto, Jesse Tyler Ferguson Star in Terrence McNally Reading

Quinto McNally Ferguson

Out actors Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Zachary Quinto will headline a livestreamed reading of Terrence McNally’s play Lips Together, Teeth Apart to honor the late gay playwright and raise funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund.

Celia Keenan-Bolger and Ari Graynor are also in the cast of the reading, which will be streamed Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern on Broadway.com and its Facebook and YouTube channels, Entertainment Weekly reports. Trip Cullman will direct.

The play deals with issues of mortality as two straight couples spend a weekend on Fire Island in a house one of the women has inherited from her gay brother, who has died of AIDS complications. It was first produced Off-Broadway in 1991.

“Terrence used his work to make seemingly insurmountable societal issues seem surmountable through his belief in our unwavering human spirit,” Tom Kirdahy, McNally’s husband, who serves on the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS board of trustees, said in a statement, according to EW. “Seeing Terrence’s rage, humor, love, and empathy in the face of a virus feels right during this time.”

McNally died March 24 of COVID-19 complications. The acclaimed writer’s other plays include The Lisbon Traviata, Master Class, The Ritz, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, and Love! Valour! Compassion! He also wrote the books for several musicals, such as Kiss of the Spider Woman, Ragtime, The Full Monty, and The Rink.

“Theater has always been about bringing people together,” producers Eric Kuhn and Justin Mikita said in a joint statement to EW. “For our first livestream play reading, we couldn’t think of a playwright that represented that more than Terrence. In these uncertain times we are thrilled to partner with Broadway Cares and provide audiences some moments of relief.”

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