Public opinion is shifting dramatically in favor of gay marriage, evidenced in a few high profile national politicians recently announcing that their views on the issue have “evolved,” as well as the reaction to a pair of gay marriage related cases heard by the Supreme Court in March. A propitious time, then, for a play revisiting the 1969 Stonewall riots, the flash point that touched off the national gay rights movement.
Ike Holter’s Hit the Wall (at the Barrow Street Theater in New York City through July 7) could have heavy handedly stressed contemporary political parallels, but it doesn’t. Instead, the play shows-not-tells how history is made by humans who are merely reacting to their situations, not necessarily setting out to “make history.” Hit the Wall does offer poignant commentary on the human costs of government persecution of victimless crimes—the NYPD targeted sexual “deviants” throughout the ’60s—to which parallels with the war on non-violent drug use are inescapable. —Ed Krayewski