The queer drama “The Boys in the Band” returns to New York this spring in a star-studded revival that couldn’t feel more timely.
In the above video, stars Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto and Andrew Rannells give fans a sneak peek at the 50th anniversary production, which opens May 31 at the Booth Theatre.
When it debuted off Broadway in 1968, “The Boys in the Band” broke fresh ground for its portrayal of gay men in the pre-Stonewall era. Written by Mart Crowley, the play follows Michael (Parsons), who is hosting a birthday party for his friend, Harold (Quinto), at an Upper East Side apartment. The celebration begins to go awry with the arrival of Donald (Bomer), who has left New York in hopes of spurning the homosexual “lifestyle,” and Michael’s college friend, Alan (Brian Hutchison), who claims to be straight.
“The Boys in the Band” ran for 1,001 performances in its original incarnation and drew the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Marlene Dietrich. The hotly anticipated 2018 revival is being produced by Ryan Murphy (“Glee,” “American Horror Story”), and marks the first time the play has been staged on Broadway.
Though the play takes place before same-sex marriage and other LGBTQ social advances, Quinto said he believes its inclusive message will resonate with modern audiences at a time when queer rights feel threatened in America’s political climate.
“We’ve come so far in the last five years just legislatively, and yet, there’s been this explosion of backward and harmful thinking and political ideology that swept our country,” the actor said in the video. “We’re responsible for standing up and being acknowledged and celebrating ourselves and celebrating our community in a way that shows these people who are trying to undo the progress we’ve made that we’re not going anywhere.”
Bomer, who is making his Broadway debut, echoed those sentiments. “It’s this group of guys who do have this anger that’s just boiling to the surface,” the Golden Globe winner said. “I think that there are a lot of undercurrents of that particular emotion in our society right now.”
“The Boys in the Band” opens May 31 in New York.