Beautiful Ordinary

The premise of Terrence McNally’s Love! Valour! Compassion! is pretty simple: A group of eight gay men spend the three major weekends of a summer — Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day — together at a lake house, enduring traumas and creating dramas. But for Chris Silberman, who plays one of the lead characters in Vintage Theatre’s production of the play, the impact is much deeper.

"There’s a movie of Love! Valour! Compassion! that came out in the mid-’90s, which I saw right around the time that I came out as a gay man,” Silberman recalls. “It was the first time I really saw gays portrayed as human beings, and it had such a huge impact on my life, just to see gays depicted as something other than caricatures. So when this role opened up, it really called out to me.” The role in question is that of Bobby, the blind gay man who, along with his partner, Gregory, is hosting the gathering. As it turns out, Bobby’s been cheating on Gregory, and the resulting tension is one of the central concerns of the action. But what really counts, says Silberman, is the play’s humanity: “While on a basic level it can be seen as a play about a gay men, I think it’s more about people.”

See it tonight at Vintage Theatre, 2119 East 17th Avenue, at 7:30 p.m.; performances continue Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. through September 8. For information and tickets, $15 to $25, go to
Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m. Starts: Aug. 19. Continues through Sept. 8, 2011

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte