Three Decembers tells the story of a famous stage actress – Madeline Mitchell – and her two adult children: Beatrice and Charlie. Both children resent their mother's long absences on the road and her lack of concern for the tragedies in their lives. Charlie believes his mother is distant because he is gay, even as his partner, Burt, is dying of AIDS. Meanwhile, Beatrice, trapped in an unhappy marriage, feels Madeline resents her enduring affection for their deceased father. As the story unfolds over the decades, long-simmering resentments surface, accusations are hurled, and family secrets revealed, leading ultimately to a hard-won peace and forgiveness for both the living and the dead.
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Music by Jake Heggie; adapted from an unfinished play by Terrence McNally; libretto by Gene Scheer.