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Broadway to mark NY gay marriage law with nuptials

Some of the first gay marriages in New York will literally be a theatrical event.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Some of the first gay marriages in New York will literally be a theatrical event.

The Broadway theater where "Hair" is being performed this summer will be the stage where some same-sex couples will be married on July 25, the day after gay marriage becomes legal in the state.

Rory O'Malley, a star of "The Book of Mormon" and a co-founder of the gay-rights group Broadway Impact, said several gay couples from the Broadway community will be married on stage right after that evening's performance of "Hair."

"It's not just a summer of love," he said at a press conference Wednesday in front of the St. James Theater, where the touring revival of the hippie musical has landed. "It's a summer of equality."

Other theater celebrities on hand for the announcement included Joel Grey from "Anything Goes," the cast of "Hair" and Will Swenson from "Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the Musical."

"Theater people tend to shoot our mouths off about everybody," said Oskar Eustis, artistic director of the Public Theater. "But there's absolutely one subject that the theater actually has an expertise in: We know that gay and straight equality is not simply a political opinion. It's an existential fact. We prove it every day of our working lives."

Jordan Roth, president of Jujamcyn Theatres, which owns and operates the St. James, said he was proud to be able to host some of the first same-sex weddings in New York state. He said there was a natural connection between the theater and weddings.

"The theater is the place where we come together to celebrate and affirm who we are as a people. It is the place where we stand in front of our community on a stage and we speak our truths. That's what theater is and that's what a wedding is."

New York will become the sixth and largest state with legal gay marriage when the law takes effect after the stroke of midnight signals the beginning of July 24, a Sunday.