Broadway Celebrates Landmark Legislation with Same-Sex Marriages

by Jacob Coakley

Three same-sex couple will marry after the performance of HAIR on Monday, July 25.
Three same-sex couple will marry after the performance of HAIR on Monday, July 25.
I always cry at weddings—I’m a big softie. But in the past couple of years, as various states have legalized same-sex marriages, I’ve been crying (for joy, just to be clear) over the possibility of weddings. A few weeks back (just in time for Pride weekend), the New York state legislature legalized same-sex marriages. In celebration of this fact, on Monday, July 25, immediately following a performance of Hair, Broadway will celebrate three same-sex marriages of members of the Broadway community. Congratulations to partners Terri White and Donna Barnett, Ryan Dietz and Josh Levine, and John Raymond Barker and Jared Pike—and to all the other new happy married couples in New York!

MONDAY, JULY 25, 2011

New York, NY (07/22/11) – To celebrate the passage of the landmark legislation in New York State allowing same-sex couples to marry, the Broadway community will gather to marry some of their own, on stage at the St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street) on Monday night, July 25th, immediately following the 7:00 PM performance of HAIR.

Actress and singer Terri White (Finian’s Rainbow; Follies) and her partner, jewelry designer Donna Barnett; actor Ryan Dietz (The Actor’s Fund’s Chess) and his partner, playwright Josh Levine (who also works at the Theatre Communications Group); and Broadway stage doorman John Raymond Barker and his partner, Jujamcyn theatre usher Jared Pike, will all say “I do” on Monday, becoming some of the first same-sex couples to legally marry in New York state.  The marriages will be performed on stage after HAIR’s curtain call by Tony Award nominee Colman Domingo (The Scottsboro Boys), who got ordained for the occasion.

Broadway Impact, the grassroots organization mobilizing the theatre community and its fans in support of marriage equality, commented:  “This moment has been a long time coming and we are elated to be able to celebrate it with not just one, but three Broadway marriages!  We are grateful for our elected officials in New York who have made this possible, but we are also reminded that the overwhelming majority of same-sex couples throughout the nation are still unable to marry in their home states.  We are committed to continuing to fight until we have achieved full marriage equality in all fifty states.”

Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of the Public Theater, said in a statement: “HAIR has never been just a show; its message of change and hope and inclusion is one we try to live, not just preach. The entire company of this amazing production went to Washington to march for marriage equality and now we are honored to help these loving partners change the world, couple by couple.”

Jordan Roth, president of Jujamcyn Theatres (which owns and operates the St. James Theatre), commented previously, “The theatre is the place where we come together to celebrate and affirm who we are. It is the place where we stand in front of our community to speak our truth. That is theatre. And that is also a wedding. It feels so very right then at this moment of historic magnitude for all of us to host some of the first same-sex weddings in New York State at our theatre.  Our home.”