Love! Valour! Compassion! is a play by Terrence McNally. The play opened Off-Broadway in 1994 and transferred to Broadway in 1995. It won the Tony Award for Best Play and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play.
Love! Valour! Compassion! premiered Off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club on October 11, 1994, running for 72 performances. The production transferred to Broadway to the Walter Kerr Theatre on February 14, 1995, and closed on September 17, 1995 after 248 performances and 28 previews. Directed by Joe Mantello, the cast featured Nathan Lane (Buzz Hauser), John Glover (John and James Jeckyll), Stephen Bogardus (Gregory Mitchell), John Benjamin Hickey (Arthur Pape), Anthony Heald (Perry Sellars) (originally played by Stephen Spinella), Justin Kirk (Bobby), and Randy Becker (Ramon Fornos).
The play was produced at the Edinburgh Fringe, and won The Stage Awards for Best Actor (Chris Pickles) and Best Ensemble. This production then ran in London at the Tristan Bates Theatre in October 1998.
The setting is at a lakeside summer vacation house in Dutchess County, two hours north of New York City where eight gay friends spend the three major holiday weekends of one summer together for Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. The house belongs to Gregory, a successful Broadway choreographer now approaching middle age, who fears he is losing his creativity; and his twenty-something lover, Bobby, a legal assistant who is blind. Each of the guests at their house is connected to Gregory’s work in one way or another – Arthur and longtime partner Perry are business consultants; John Jeckyll, a sour Englishman, is a dance accompanist; die-hard musical theater fanatic Buzz Hauser is a costume designer and the most stereotypically gay man in the group. Only John's summer lover, Ramon, and John's twin brother James are outside the circle of friends. But Ramon is outgoing and eventually makes a place for himself in the group, and James is such a gentle soul that he is quickly welcomed. "Infidelity, flirtations, soul-searching, AIDS, truth-telling and skinny-dipping mix monumental questions about life and death with a wacky dress rehearsal for Swan Lake performed in drag."
Vincent Canby, in his review for The New York Times, wrote: "...it's utterly contemporary; its one-liners are sometimes hysterical and are slammed home with style, most often by the incomparable Nathan Lane; it has genuine pathos that's only slightly tinged with sentimentality, and, as a singular talking point, it offers more male nudity than has probably ever been seen in a legitimate Broadway theater."
In 1997, a film adaptation written by McNally reunited much of the original cast, with Jason Alexander and Stephen Spinella replacing Nathan Lane and Anthony Heald.