05/08/2013 10:04 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

A Very Enduring Kiss


Twenty-one years after David Drake's The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me gave voice to an era's anger and passion, the blond, blue-eyed showman is still living with moxie.

The summer of 1992, a one-man show opened off-Broadway that boldly dramatized the anger and passion gay and AIDS activist groups ACT UP and Queer Nation had brought to the streets. Titled The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me, it was the young, blond, blue-eyed gay actor David Drake’s attempt to translate a pivotal encounter with Kramer, the godfather of AIDS activism, into a show that captured the breadth of being queer, angry and scared—and, yes, hopeful—in those dark years before effective HIV therapy or gay-rights progress. The show was a smash, attracting VIPs nightly and running a year before taking Drake around the world to perform it. (He released a movie version in 2000.)

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