Readings and songs weaving a thread of love, valor and compassion with a warmly gay sensibility were on display Monday in Gotham.
Operatic arias, dramatic readings, songs from shows well known and not — were the classy compendium saluting Terrence McNally for the Acting Company.
Angela Lansbury, “feeling croaky,” hosted a troupe that included Edie Falco, Alan Cumming, Tyne Daly, Roger Rees, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Raul Esparza and Met soprano Joyce DiDonato.
McNally, 72 and with new musical “Catch Me if You Can” in previews, stepped onstage with his husband, attorney Tom Kirdahy, and saluted his father, “who had show albums and Billie Holiday records and took me to real theater.”
He also thanked three women: Manhattan Theater Club’s Lynne Meadows, “who gave me my artistic life”; Lansbury, who “saved my life by saying, ‘Terrence, I think you drink too much,’ “; and Memorial Sloan Kettering thoracic surgeon Dr. Valerie Rusch, who treated his lung cancer.
A sitdown dinner followed at Times Square’s Blue Fin restaurant, where Kirdahy recalled their decade together, and McNally noted, “April 9 is our first anniversary. We got married on the banks of the Potomac behind the Kennedy Center.”