Rudnick says he and Raftis have been to lots of gay weddings, and that traditions don’t always translate.
“When two brides wear gowns, that can be a little competitive,” he says. “While gay men in matching tuxedos can look like waiters.”
Though he’s one of the country’s great humorists, Rudnick is stone-cold serious when he talks about the impetus behind his play The Gay Agenda.
“A lot of [people] will say terrible things and condemn gay people to hell, but then they’ll add, ‘But we don’t hate anybody,’ ” he says. “They’ve been coached to put their bigotry across with a lot of sugar-coating.”
As funny, touching and enlightening as Standing on Ceremony is, the short Broward Center run is art with a purpose. A portion of the ticket price will benefit Equality Florida.
Cast members, Manzelli, The Miami Herald’s Gay South Florida blogger Steve Rothaus and Equality Florida’s Tobias Packer will have a short question-and-answer session after Thursday’s opening night performance, which will be followed (as will all performances) by a reception with wedding cake. After Sunday’s show, Vilanch will serve as grand marshal of the Stonewall Summer Pride Twilight Parade through Wilton Manors.
While those involved in Standing On Ceremony acknowledge that they’ll be “preaching to the choir” with many audience members, Vilanch suggests inviting friends who don’t have an opinion on gay marriage to see the show.
“People think that gay marriage is some strange impulse to imitate the ‘real’ world,” he says. “It’s born of a harsh reality.”
Vilanch, who played Edna Turnblad in Hairspray on tour and on Broadway, says he isn’t married and doesn’t have a partner, but he wants those options.
“It’s ironic, I know, that I’m not in a relationship,” he says with a laugh. “That’s why I’m coming to Florida — to have an open call [for a boyfriend].”