Almost Willfully Out of Contact With the World

  • Michael Paller


Many in the gay theatre-going audiences had always known of Williams’s homosexuality; he had never hidden his private life. Donald Vining reflected the degree to which gay audiences had embraced Williams as an icon when he wrote in his diary about the large audience of queer men who cheered at the curtain calls for The Rose Tattoo in 1951. In 1968, when Mart Crowley included references to Suddenly Last Summer in The Boys in the Band, he felt no need to explain them. This embrace of Williams by a New York gay audience would not last, however, very much beyond Crowley’s play. Changes in the social and political climate, as well as in coverage of gay playwrights in the New York press, and, most importantly, changes in the attitudes of gay men and women themselves, would turn Williams into a figure of ridicule, when not ignored altogether, for many in the emerging gay community of the early 1970s.


Beautiful Thing Drag Queen Village Voice Camino Real Broadway Theatre 
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© Michael Paller 2005

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  • Michael Paller

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