Last Summer at Bluefish Cove is a play by Jane Chambers. The story follows eight women over the course of a summer on a fictional Long Island seaside town called Bluefish Cove.
Set amongst a cluster of beachfront cabins traditionally rented out each summer to the same group of lesbian women, Eva, a newcomer who has left Manhattan to get time away from her husband, is unaware of the sexual orientation of her summertime neighbours. Eva’s neighbour Lil, one of seven lesbians who are making their annual pilgrimage to the Cove, and the only single woman, is likewise unaware that Eva is straight. After some initial confusion and awkward introduction, Eva and Lil end up falling in love. However, Lil, not yet 30 years old, has cancer and is not expected to last the year. By the time she chooses to reveal this to Eva, she has become quite ill, and dies before autumn.
The play focuses on the friendships and journeys of the eight women at Bluefish Cove, and was one of the first pieces of theatre to present lesbians as rounded, three dimensional characters, avoiding the problematic and homophobic tropes that had been necessary to portray queer stories on stage.
Last Summer at Bluefish Cove debuted off-Broadway in 1980 at the Actors’ Playhouse in a production directed by Nyla Lyon and starring Jean Smart as Lil and Susan Slavin as Eva. Casting for the 2020 Broadway production will be announced at a later date.
The upcoming main-stem staging will be Broadway’s first production with an all-female creative team and cast.
Cynthia Nixon is set to direct the production and is being backed by producers Ellen DeGeneres and Lily Tomlin