#DamesAtHome: Virtual celebration of Caffe Cino and the Birthplace of Gay Theater

May 18, 2020 | 6:15PM to 7:30PM

Join the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project for #DamesAtHome, a *FREE* virtual celebration of the birthplace of Off-Off-Broadway and a haven for pioneering gay theater: the Caffe Cino. Held on the 54th anniversary of the premiere of “Dames at Sea,” the Cino’s most successful production ever, and the stage debut of Bernadette Peters.

Book and lyrics for “Dames at Sea” (1966) by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller, music by James Wise, directed by Robert Dahdah. Other then-unknown gay playwrights and directors whose experimental, controversial, or campy works were staged at the Cino include: Doric Wilson, H.M. Koutoukas, Robert Heide, William M. Hoffman, Lanford Wilson, Tom Eyen, Jeff Weiss, Ronald Tavel, Jean-Claude van Itallie, David Starkweather, Charles Stanley, Paul Foster, and Robert Patrick, and for directors such as Marshall W. Mason, Tom O’Horgan, and Neil Flanagan.




Here’s what’s in store!

Project manager Amanda Davis will lead a virtually immersive Zoom tour through the history of the Caffe Cino, located at 31 Cornelia Street, in Greenwich Village, from 1958 to 1968.

6:15PM — Zoom check-in and chat

6:30PM — Kick-off by Project co-director Ken Lustbader

6:35PM — Virtual tour of the Caffe Cino with Amanda Davis

7:00PM — Q&A

7:15PM — Conversation & Community

In June 2019, during celebrations for #Stonewall50, the Cino was designated an NYC Individual Landmark by virtue of its significance in LGBT and theater history, thanks to the advocacy of the Project and other key allies. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.


caffe cino color - 1965 james d. gossage
Caffe Cino, 1965. Photo by James D. Gossage.