RIP Terrence McNally

We now have our first official celebrity death.  Playwright Terrence McNally wasn’t someone who craved the spotlight.  But he has the dubious distinction of being the face of the coronavirus.  The analogy to Rock Hudson being the face of AIDS is not exactly ideal.  McNally was not closeted, not a heartthrob, and pretty much lived his life openly (with the possible exception of his alcoholism, which Angela Lansbury called him on and helped him deal with).  He was a lovely, intelligent, thoughtful man.  He had a variety of ailments over the past several years, and Covid-19 was simply the straw that broke this giant’s back.  In all the tributes which have been pouring in, nobody seems to have a bad thing to say about Terrence.  We knew each other and had loads in common.  But, for whatever reason, sadly, we never really “clicked”.  Nonetheless, my feelings for him as an artist and as a person are boundless, and I send his husband Tom my warmest wishes during this difficult time.  He is now at peace – at last.

Legendary NYC drag queen Mona Foot is also a casualty of the coronavirus.  The news was announced by designer Geoffrey Mac, who just won Project Runway.  Foot, also known as Nashom Wooden, was one of those larger-than-life characters who drew people in and nurtured them.  As Mona, he hosted a weekly contest called Mona Foot’s Star Search at Barracuda in NYC – a show which many feel inspired RuPaul’s Drag Race.  An apt comparison, especially since it was Ru who taught Mona how to apply makeup when they were both appearing in the off-Broadway play, My Pet Homo.  When we can go to the theatre again, let’s hope someone mounts a revival of that!


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