The gay parade, Advocate; 4/1/2003 Issue 886, p61
It's gay pride parade day in New York City—the last for Michael (Johnathan F. McClain) and Tom (Peter Smith), because after seven years together they're buying a house and leaving the city. Meanwhile, their Christopher Street apartment is a perfect parade-viewing perch for assorted friends, including the newly out Joe (David Turner), wisecracking HTV-positive writer Brad (Arnie Burton), and the unimaginably ancient (he's in his 50s!) opera buff Charles (Donald Corren).
Does this sound like every gay-guys-in-a-house play since The Boys in the Band? That's the idea. The characters in Jonathan Tolins's The Last Sunday in June joke about all the ways their party resembles a typical gay play, complete with a cameo appearance by a shirtiess hunk (Matthew Wilkas) and a theatrical truth-telling device (in this case, a noisy juicer). And as one of them says, “There's always a character who everybody hates and the audience wonders, ‘Who is this asshole? Why don't they ask him to leave?’” That would be James (Mark Setlock), Tom's ex, author of a universally panned gay novel called Circuit Boy who announces that he's so fed up with gay life, he's marrying a female friend (Susan Pourfar).
Tolins, who wrote Twilight of the Golds and was a writer-coproducer on the first season of Queer as Folk, deserves credit for bringing up a slew of issues very much alive among gay men in New York: the insecurity about being left out of the gay community, the wounds caused by body snobbery, the difficulty of sustaining a relationship that's both sexually alive and emotionally honest. James especially questions what gay life holds for him besides chances for anonymous sex. (That he's a deeply unpleasant and unhappy personality makes his critique all the more complicated.)