Trips Past and Present

Above: a panel from my comic strip about "That Night At The Stonewall" and a snapshot of my stage alter ego Trip Langely in rehearsal.

A "trip" (of the LSD variety) is what I and some friends were winding down from on a June night in 1969 when, while wandering through the streets of Greenwich Village and admiring the undulating colors of Tiffany lamps in store windows, we happened upon the Stonewall riots in progress.

And this weekend I learned that, by a quirky coincidence that is of no consequence in the least, a young actor named "Trip" (or Trip Langely, to be specific) will be portraying my trip in a production of Carol Polcovar‘s stage docudrama My Mother Told Me I Was Different: Voices From The Stonewall Rebellion, which will be playing at the Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex in Manhattan through the weekend of July 21-23 under the direction of pioneering gay playwright and director David Gaard.

I met David when we both participated in the Chip Deffaa Invitational Theatre Festival several summers ago and we’ve kept in touch since then, so David alerted me to the fact that my serendipitous and acid-soaked brush with the historic Stonewall riots has been woven into a corner of the larger tapestry of more important first-person accounts that make up Carol’s stirring (to judge by the script, which David emailed to me on Saturday) montage of testimonies.

Mine is a but the tiniest of threads in the play’s tapestry — and rightly so, given my fringe standing as the hallucinating observer of a cultural revolution in the making those many years ago. Had I been courageous enough to leap into the fray and hurl a flaming garbage can or two, I would have given Trip a little more drama to work with.

But it’s always nice to be included, and I wish Trip and the rest of the play’s cast the best as they bring to fresh life an evening in my personal history that remains indelible (if shimmeringly indistinct in its down-to-earth details) in my mind.

Below: Playwright Carol Polcovar and director David Gaard confer backstage.

About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
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