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The Temperamentals Show Poster

The Temperamentals Tickets

New World Stages - Stage Five

"Temperamental" was code for "homosexual" in the early 1950s, part of a created language of secret words that gay men used to communicate. The Temperamentals tells the story of two men—the communist Harry Hay and the Viennese refugee and designer Rudi Gernreich—as they fall in love while building the first gay rights organization in the pre-Stonewall United States.

This show is closed.

Performances ended on May. 23, 2010.

New World Stages - Stage Five

340 West 50th Street
New York, NY 10019

Previews Feb 8, 2010
Opening Feb 28, 2010
Closing May 23, 2010


What Is the Story of The Temperamentals?
Set in the early 1950s, The Temperamentals is the true story of the founding of The Mattachine Society, one of the earliest gay activism groups in the United States. Created by Communist and social radical Harry Hay and famed fashion designer Rudi Gernreich, the underground organization came together secretly, building its membership through various forms of covert communication during a time when nearly all homosexuals were closeted. The play explores the trials of the society’s founding fathers as they risked their lives and livelihoods to gain equality. More than just a history play, the show is also a love story, detailing the romance of odd couple Hay and Gernreich as their passion for their cause and each other grew.

Critics' Reviews

""[Thomas Jay Ryan and Michael urie] create an affectingly ambivalent portrait of what is, in essence, a marriage. More than just an inspirational history lesson, though it is indeed partly that!""

Review by Ben Brantley from The New York Times

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