McKeever Play Remains Relevant a Decade Later

  • This content is brought to you in partnership with Ronnie Larsen Presents and Plays of Wilton (POW!)

Robert Koutros and Ryan Didato play a gay couple wrestling with marriage in the revival of Michael McKeever’s “Daniel’s Husband,” opening May 23 at the Foundry in Wilton Manors. Credit: Dennis Dean.

When the world premiere production of Michael McKeever’s “Daniel’s Husband” opened at Island City Stage in 2015, the validity of marriage equality was being weighed by the Supreme Court.

In the year since, the play about a gay couple’s wrestling with the desire vs. the need of getting married has played to triumphant reviews Off Broadway and in regional productions across the country. 

And, the extreme rightward shift of the Supreme Court during the Trump administration once again places doubt on the long-term guarantee of marriage equality, as Plays of Wilton and Ronnie Larsen Presents open the first revival of “Daniel’s Husband” in South Florida.

“Marriage equality was something everyone was talking about [then],” recalled playwright McKeever, who is taking his first turn directing the show that swept the Carbonell Awards in its inaugural production. “It suddenly became a possibility and then a reality.”

He has continued to work on the show since, but “never realized the world was going to catch up. Not only has gay marriage and the way it’s looked at by society changed, as the playwright, I’m able to do that. During the Trump years, it was precarious that we might lose it and we could again. Everybody keeps saying it’s done, but we thought that about Roe vs. Wade. Nothing is safe.”

In the play, conflict arises when a gay couple consider whether to tie the knot and get married. Their friends are doing it, but one partner just doesn’t feel the need to fall into “heteronormalcy,” as McKeever puts it.

“Not every gay man was signing up,” he pointed out, but when tragedy strikes, the legal protections of marriage seem obvious.

The core story has remained the same, McKeever added, even as he has tweaked the dialogue, added and cut a monologue here and there, and updated references.

“I truly believe that as I’ve aged, I’ve become a better writer with more life experience,” he said. “And now, for the first time, I’m directing. I’ve had such great fortune to have been directed by and worked with brilliant directors with regard to this play. I’ve learned about the art of directing, and now I can apply my own take. The story and storytelling remain the same, but there’s a point of view I can add.”

The show opened in the tight Empire Stage space, prior to Island City’s move to Dixie Highway in Wilton Manors, a space that is not unlike the Foundry.

McKeever added, “I love the intimacy of the Foundry … to me, it's very much like an Off Broadway space from the 1990s or 2000s. It allows us to have a connection with the audience. In a situation like this, where you’re dealing with a very personal story, that really helps the play. When Ronnie Larsen invited me, I couldn’t say yes fast enough.”

Michael McKeever’s “Daniel’s Husband” will be presented May 23 – June 16 at the Foundry, 2306 N. Dixie Hwy. in Wilton Manors. Tickets start at $27.50 at

This content is brought to you in partnership with Ronnie Larsen Presents and Plays of Wilton (POW!)


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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