Cue the Leslie Uggams clip because June is bustin’ out all over, it’s Tony Awards time and it’s also LGBT Pride Month. With #CallMeCaitlyn on everyone’s lips (and Twitter feed), what better time to highlight shows about LGBT characters and issues? Coming to New York City for Gay Pride? Here are the 10 can’t-miss plays and musicals.
1. If you were going to make time for only one LGBT-centric show this June make it our Show of the Month, the 12-time Tony-nominated Fun Home. The 100-minute musical is based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel and features Broadway’s first lesbian protagonist and her closeted gay dad wrestling with his sexuality—but more than being about gay people, this unbelievably moving piece of art is really about growing up and the secrets your parents don’t tell you. (Circle in the Square Theatre)
2. Single? Dating in NYC bringing you down? Wondering why everyone on your Facebook feed is getting married and having babies and you’re swiping left and right? Welcome to the moving and funny new off-Broadway comedy Significant Other. It’s created by Joshua Harmon (Bad Jews) and stars B’way fave Gideon Glick as Jordan, a gay man looking for and frustrated with love. (Laura Pels Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center)
3. Looking dreamboat Jonathan Groff returns to the stage as the star of Encores! A New Brain. Groff plays a composer diagnosed with a brain tumor, Aaron Lazar plays his bf (#IJustFainted then thought about them singing “I’d Rather Be Sailing” and got weak again) and SNL’s Ana Gasteyer is his overbearing mom. Get tickets for the limited run before they're gone. (New York City Center, June 24-27)
4. The Tony Award-winning best musical Kinky Boots ends its show with a euphoric finale proclaiming, “Just be who you wanna be/ Celebrate yourself triumphantly.” And really what better way to spend LGBT Pride in New York City than being surrounded by that message? (Al Hirschfeld Theatre)
5. So LCT’s new play Shows for Days is written by hysterical out Tony nominee Douglas Carter Beane (Xanadu, Cinderella, The Little Dog Laughed), stars adorable out actor Michael Urie (Buyer and Cellar, Ugly Betty) and features the ultimate of Broadway divas, Patti LuPone—and it’s about the ins and outs of life at Pennsylvania community theatre. The only way it could be more appropriate this month is if Charles Nelson Reilly and Paul Lynde did the prologue. (Beginning June 6 at Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre at Lincoln Center)
6. It’s the 25th edition of Broadway Bares, and the New York institution’s creator Jerry Mitchell is back to direct—AKA: a lot of hot Broadway stars are getting nekkid for a very good cause. See your favorites take it off in the most inventive ways possible on June 21 at the Hammerstein Ballroom. “Top Bottoms of Burlesque” is produced by and benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.
7. If historical fiction is your cup of tea, might I recommend the thrilling off-Broadway premiere of The Twentieth Century Way. The two-hander stars Will Bradley and Robert Mammana, and tells the story of homosexual entrapment in Los Angeles at the turn of the 20th century. (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre through July 19)
8. Another interesting off-Broadway play about gay issues is Consent. This dark, sexy and mysterious drama explores sexual boundaries, sex games, and their ripple effects as former NFL pro and a hot, young Yale law student share a chance encounter. (Begins June 2 at the Black Box Theatre at the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center)
9. Whether you still have never seen Broadway’s 2014 Show of the Year or if you’ve seen it 30+ times with JCM alone, June is the time to revisit the Tony-winning revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The musical stars Darren Criss and Rebecca Naomi Jones as a transgendered German rock star and the retired drag queen she married performing a one-night-only concert in NYC, and damn is this show as hot as ever. (Belasco Theatre)
10. If you’re always rooting for the camp queen on RuPaul’s Drag Race, chances are you’ll love the revival of the award-winning cult classic Ruthless! The Musical. It's a hilarious, musical spin on child stars, stage mothers, suburbia and the lengths one tiny tot will go to star in her school play. (Beginning June 25 at St. Luke’s Theatre)Bonus: Yes, it was last month’s Show of the Month, but It Shoulda Been You works for us yet again thanks to a secret plot twist. But even without the twist, the musical has top-shelf divas Tyne Daly and Harriet Harris throwing “Bosom Buddies”-levels of shade at each other, and that’s more delicious than the $15 drink from Atlas Social Club. (Brooks Atkinson Theatre)