Terrence McNally on working with producer-husband

In this April 1, 2010, file photo, playwright Terrence McNally poses at the Kennedy Center in Washington. McNally, the four-time Tony award winner, is nominated for another Tony Award for "Mothers and Sons." The Tonys will be held on June 8. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

NEW YORK: In order to keep the peace around their household, playwright Terrence McNally and his husband Thomas Kirdahy have established some ground rules.

That's because the four-time Tony award winner and current nominee for "Mothers and Sons" is married to the show's lead producer.

"We don't talk about work after 10 o'clock and we keep our differences in the rehearsal room and try not to take them to the kitchen table," Kirdahy said.

But outside of that, anything goes.

"I'm a staunch member of the Dramatists Guild, so management... we got our dukes up," McNally joked.

"There also has to be a healthy exchange of ideas, it can't be just patting one another on the back and saying, 'That's wonderful.' We can go at it. And that's healthy for the process. Without that, no one would win. But there are household rules or things could get ugly," Kirdahy said.

"Mothers and Sons" tells the story of a mother, played by Tony-winner and current nominee, Tyne Daly, who shows up unexpected at the apartment of her son's former partner 20 years after he died of AIDS. He is now legally married and with a child, forcing the mother to confront a variety of emotions. McNally's play is being billed as the first time a legally married gay couple has been portrayed on Broadway.

"The fact that Tom and I are married and how our world has changed... I wanted to investigate it, celebrate it, and write about it," McNally said.

The play took less than a year from the time it was written to come to Broadway. That included a two-week stint at the Bucks County Playhouse last June.

"We didn't read and rehearse it and workshop it to death. (Just) get it out there to a paying audience, who's the best judge of all for a play," McNally said.

But it takes more than fan appeal to get a new American play on Broadway and McNally credits the show's producers - especially Kirdahy - with that difficult task.

"He's been a great producer, actually. I have no criticisms of him. And usually I'm very angry at producers," McNally said smiling.

Kirdahy joked: "That's because he's sleeping with management."





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