Boys In The Band Set For Broadway Revival, Cast Includes Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto

Variety reports:

Matt Bomer will make his Broadway debut (following his one-night-only appearance in “8“) in “The Boys in the Band,” a new revival of the landmark 1968 drama to be directed by Joe Mantello with a cast that includes Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto and Andrew Rannells.

Ryan Murphy, the TV megaproducer (“Glee,” “American Horror Story,” “American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson”) who first got into the Broadway game with “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” starring Jessica Lange, will co-produce with David Stone, the Broadway regular behind “Wicked” and, most recently, “War Paint,” the musical starring Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole that closes this week.

Robin de Jesus (“In the Heights”), Brian Hutchison (“Man and Boy”), Michael Benjamin Washington (“Mamma Mia!”) and Tuc Watkins (“Desperate Housewives”) round out the cast of Mart Crowley’s play, which is considered a theatrical turning point for its unflinching depiction of gay men in pre-Stonewall New York. The title’s 1968 Off Broadway premiere was a sensation, running for more than 1,000 performances.

The photo I used above is from the 1970 movie.

  • Rambie

    Joe, is there two Jim Parsons in the cast or is he just that good. 😉 😉

  • JoeMyGod

    “You’re a sad and pathetic man. You’re a homosexual and you don’t want to be, but there’s nothing you can do to change it. Not all the prayers to your god, not all the analysis you can buy in all the years you’ve got left to live. You may one day be able to know a heterosexual life if you want it desperately enough. If you pursue it with the fervor with which you annihilate. But you’ll always be homosexual as well. Always Michael. Always. Until the day you die.”

    • j.martindale

      Should be tattooed on every Log Cabin Republican in America.

      • Todd20036

        And on the members of GOProud… oh, wait a minute.

    • Mrs. Councillor Nugent

      One of the most depressing movies I could possibly see as an 18 something trying to come to grips with something vaster than I was with no help whatsoever–it wasn’t to be just a phase, as my mother’s Ladie’s Home Journal and McCall’s assured me.

      • Ron Robertson

        I agree, I found it very depressing. Not sure why they’d want to remake it.

        • Mrs. Councillor Nugent

          The only book that the local library could supply on the subject was Hall’s Well of Loneliness–I nearly slit my throat.

          • Ron Robertson

            Good grief! Other commenters here are making comments about how seeing this as a period piece could be beneficial. I can see how that might be. Just not sure I want to see it again, even if I do like the actors. Maybe it can get across how wrong oppression is.

        • CityWOOF

          It’s brilliantly structured with terrific dialogue. Suspenseful and funny. I know every line by heart, I love this play!

      • ohbear1957

        It’s even worse when your name is Michael.

  • JoeMyGod

    “Show me a happy homosexual and I’ll show you a gay corpse.”

    • Todd20036

      I don’t fuck THAT hard…

      • Gerry Fisher

        A gay corpse with a *cigarette* in its mouth.

        • Dazzer

          And a smile on its face.

  • Rene Salinas

    Turning.

  • joe ho

    How appropriate as a federal judiciary stacked by Trump with far-right anti-gay judges will be chipping away at our rights for the next 30 years!

    • fuow

      They surely will – it says something that you and I, as far away from each other as two people can be on the definition of rational analysis – are and were in total agreement on this from the beginning.
      Part of me is OK with the pain coming the way of the gay men who supported Trump. The ones who didn’t vote or voted Green. The rest of me, though, is just sad and furious.

    • I’m seeing a lot of liberal people in denial. “They can’t overturn Obergefell!” Yes, actually they can. They overturned Hardwich with Lawrence. They can re-overturn it if they want to. Yes, such a flip could create judicial chaos. Does anyone watching our current politics think that chaos isn’t exactly what they want?

  • gaycuckhubby

    I watched it when I was 16. Hated it. Left me feeling depressed and worried about being gay. Probably kept me in the closet an extra year or two.
    I should watch it now as an adult with a vetter grasp of queer history

    • misterjack

      I first saw it in my early twenties with much the same reaction. But I love it now. I saw a stage version where the lead, Michael, was played much more sympathetically and it changed everything.

    • Rambie

      I too seen this when I was first coming out to myself, at about age 16/17. It shocked me too lucky the group of friends that I watched it with were older gentlemen who lived those years and helped me from jumping back in the closet. Also back then RENT was new on Broadway, though it’d been out a few years off Broadway.

  • alc2018

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/63838ca56778f9a32f23a2ec1eeea0056120341eadb79d9f81d8d372209723bc.jpg everyone knows I should’ve had the lead I’m much more -ya know, that way…

    • misterjack

      Silence, you bumbling booby!

    • Tom Furgas

      A perfect example of what Gore Vidal called “the fag villian”.

  • misterjack

    I’m turning on, and you’re just turning.

  • Edmund Allin

    Much rather have a revival of Seven Husbands for Seven Brothers. Oh, wait…

    • Gerry Fisher

      YAY-yes!

  • Ish

    Good god why. A great period piece. But it’s not 1968. Booo.

    • SkokieGuy [ChicagoAdjacentGuy]

      This is what I wonder. Will they do it as a historical period piece or update to make relevant? I have to believe (and hope) it will be contemporized.

      Also, Connie Casserole Here!

      • Gerry Fisher

        I considered “what would it be like to update it?” I wasn’t able to imagine that. I mean, how would they weave marriage, child rearing, social media, HIV-undetectable/PrEP, more integration with straight society, the decline of gay clubbing, etc, into or around that story? It would be “Looking,” wouldn’t it?

        • gaycuckhubby

          I think it should remain as is. As a period piece

          • Gerry Fisher

            Agreed. I mean, they’d be breaking into a dance at a gay club, and a bachelorette party would be taking place in the background. /s

        • SkokieGuy [ChicagoAdjacentGuy]

          I don’t know. That is one of the many reasons I am not a Broadway playwright. But to do it ‘as is’ without any updating or modern context seems odd.

    • CPT_Doom

      I think, even without any updating, it could be done much better. We don’t know who’s playing which character, but Emory is the most problematic, because Cliff Gorman (who was straight in real life – he and his wife actually nursed Robert L Tourneaux, who played the cowboy, in his last days) played him as a pathetic stereotype. Take the same lines and put them in Jim Parsons’ hands (who killed me in the Normal Heart) and I think you’d have a completely different character. I also think they should highlight the Hank & Larry relationship, because their debate about monogamy vs. an open relationship could occur during a Dan Savage lecture today.

  • Rex

    Saw the film many years ago and found it far from uplifting. Depressing, actually. I’ve been wanting to watch again, but just haven’t. I’m wondering if having a better understanding of my gay self would make a difference in how I view it.

    • gaycuckhubby

      Same here.

    • Gerry Fisher

      For me, I see it as “the reason why Stonewall *had* to happen.” To break out of the rut–the horrible oppression and its effects on the characters’ self esteem–depicted in this play.

    • HeyYouKidsGetOffMyLawn

      It’s like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf for me. Couldn’t take my eyes away from it when I watched, but don’t know if I can watch it more than once.

      • Gerry Fisher

        Ughhh…that’s a rough one.

      • Charlie 2001

        Thanks, that is a very interesting observation. I didn’t even want to watch the clips above. My BF says Virginia Woolf is his favorite movie. I will have to ask if he saw TBITB. It will be interesting to see if this show is a hit. I will definitely give it a miss.

        • Galvestonian

          GAWD, I remember seeing Virginia Woolf at a theater in the round in New Hope, Pa. back in the 70’s — amazing performance, I felt that I was actually sitting in their living room and wanted to take them home at the end of the performance so that we could ‘work it all out’ as if they were real people instead of actors.

          • Steve Teeter

            When I was a senior at Berkeley High School, my friends and I had the audacity to actually stage Virginia Woolf, in a full production. I played George, and I had no business playing that part. I was totally closeted, even to myself, and had no clue what it was like to be in even a short relationship, to say nothing of a long marriage. But at least I had a blast.

      • TrueWords
        • Frank McCormick

          Michael: What’s more boring than a queen doing a Judy Garland imitation?
          Donald: A queen doing a Bette Davis imitation.

          • Lumpy Gaga

            “I adore cheap sentiment.”

          • Jeffrey

            “Detest” I believe

          • Lumpy Gaga

            BITB-ized version.

        • Mrs. Councillor Nugent

          Taylor riffs Davis from Beyond the Forest. National Lampoon’s Animal House riffs this when the dean’s wife barrels up in the station wagon to the Delta House, precisely as Taylor does returning from the roadhouse.

          • TrueWords

            I know the movies and the constant references which have been done in many instances…

            I used to watch all these old movies with my grandpa who thought they were “high drama”…he used to teach me the subtle use of language to skewer someone and leave them clueless

          • Mrs. Councillor Nugent

            When Burton goes into the storeroom to get the phony shotgun, the swinging light bulb riffs off the fruit cellar scene in Psycho.

      • TrueWords
    • CPT_Doom

      Here’s a tip – only watch up to the point Harold arrives (although he has some of the best lines). If you stop the moment Michael takes his first drink, it’s a lovely tale of a group of friends assembling for a party. It really depicts well both how gay people create their own families, and how we can only be completely comfortable in a setting where we’re the majority.

      • gaycuckhubby

        See.. thats where it doesnt work for me. I can be completely me and completely comfortable in non queer spaces

        • teeveedub

          I don’t want to project too much onto a total stranger, but my guess would be that some of the comfort that you experience in non-queer spaces is because of the work that people did pre- and post-Stonewall.

          Perhaps it’s best to think of Boys in the Band as a semi-historical document, a snapshot of a time and a sensibility that was part of the way that we got to where we are today.

          • gaycuckhubby

            I agree 100%
            And am so grateful for those that came before. It’s hard for me to relate to the characters but I can appreciate them.

    • Jeffrey

      It was 1968 (the play) and many of us who weren’t born yet can’t relate to how hard it would have been. To try to imagine how depressing it would have been to be gay in that place in time. Look how far we’ve come and that’s the uplifting part.

      • Jeffg166

        I was born in 1948. When I saw the movie I thought that’s not me. Who are these people? I know they still exist. They might enjoy it.

      • I’d much rather someone finally do a film version of Giovanni’s Room or The Charioteer. We have some good pre-Stonewall gay lit that is more deserving.

        • Jeffrey

          Or As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann. It is one of the most brilliant gay books, in my opinion.

      • Galvestonian

        It was even tougher in the 50’s.

    • Michael White

      I saw it as I was struggling to come out. I thought OMG what a miserable life I will have. Then I met a few a friend who was well adjusted and happy who helped me in a positive way. My life has been wonderful. I was just speaking with a 32 yr old coworker who had never heard of Boys in the band. His gay experience has been so different than mine. Each with a different set of challenges and struggles with being gay. Life is amazingly what one makes of it

    • another_steve

      Reading or viewing the play today, one needs to see it as a period piece. A sort of historical record of how things were for certain gay men pre-Stonewall.

      • Pablo Sánchez

        …certain self hating gay men…

        • jixter

          There weren’t too many options other than self-hatred and shame back then. It was woven into the fabric of everyday American life. The words ‘fag’, ‘faggot’ and ‘queer’ were commonly used everywhere and without apology. Not everyone could run away to New York or Los Angeles and disappear into the world of the theater and ‘the arts’. Most of us had to stay in place and deal with the cards we’d been dealt in life.

    • My bf and I were having this discussion last night, I feel it’s a pretty dressing film – poignant, yes; thoughtful, definitely, but not the most uplifting story and characters. He loves the dialogue and the depth of characters. If this is well staged, I think if could be an important revival – mostly because too many have forgotten our past.

      • There are certainly some scenery chewing roles in the play and the actors will certainly have a lot to work with.

    • leo77

      I don’t think that’s an unreasonable reaction to it. It is depressing, the second act is harrowing. I think it’s an important time capsule though. I am curious to see how it will go over today, I suspect there’s going to be backlash from those who can’t imagine a world different from their own lived experiences today. These are not Will and Grace gays, these are complicated, deeply conflicted men.

      • Jeffg166

        They are the version the Christian Right wants the world to believe who we are even today.

        • David Walker

          I think “desperately” should be between “Right” and “wants,” because they know they’re lying and the sheeple need to hang on to the bullshit. I’d say most people know better, but not enough people and even they don’t get the “2nd class citizen” status.

    • Nic Peterson

      Watched it as a gayby back in 89. Wondered out loud as I left the room what those queens would do if they had some real problems. Couldn’t finish watching it and never picked it back up. Most of the men assembled for the viewing would succumb to any number of horrifying illnesses over the next 7 years.

    • teeveedub

      I remember seeing the movie when it first came out and I was about 17. I sneaked into the theatre, praying that no one would see me. Yes, it was depressing. But it was also confirmation for me that other gay people existed. To a small-town kid in an information vacuum who had never ever met an openly gay man, it was validation of some sort.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      I think you should. I already posted (in the wrong thread) that I hadn’t watched it in 30ish years until last night, and what a difference a few decades make!

  • fuow

    Makes sense – we’re rapidly fading back into pre-Stonewall America.

    • gaycuckhubby

      Yes. In many ways. But societal acceptance is Leaps and Bounds from where it used to be. Gay men today don’t tend to have these large external families of choice like we used to.

      • fuow

        That depends on where you live, how old you are and how badly you’ve suffered for being out.
        I’m too big, too ugly, too strong, too wealthy to be attacked but I know a few young women and men in this state who exist solely within the same gay/lesbian/transgender/ally network I knew in the early 1970s.
        Societal acceptance may, in some parts of the country, be there but for those of us living in much of the country, it’s bad and it’s getting much, much worse.
        Wait until the Supreme Court decision on the Colorado hate-ery case. We’ll see then just how much we’ve lost to the hate driven christers.

        • gaycuckhubby

          Good points

      • AandDinIndy

        Really? That’s a pretty generalized statement. I might agree for older men/women but from what I see in Indy the younger crowd still has individuals seeking the shelter of the city and like minded people that will become their adopted family. We have already felt the pinch of the Pence regime here and now we are dealing with the fallout from the Trump Presidency. Parents are again unashamed to throw their children out for being gay.

        • MichaelJ

          “…Parents are again unashamed to throw their children out for being gay.” That may be true — I really don’t know — but it is a generalization that applies to only some families.
          And compared with 50 years ago, a much greater share of families are now aware of and to varying degrees accepting, if not warmly welcoming, gay people in their own families and communities. These families will not revert to being unashamedly anti-gay.

    • Rambie

      True and some parts of the country more than others.

  • JoeMyGod

    Is it really a “Broadway revival” if the original ran Off Broadway? How does that work with the Tony Awards?

    • Gustav2

      Wait, you mean there are rules for these things?

      • Ernest Endevor

        And they’re very strictly enforced. The League of Broadway Producers regulate contracts. Only Disney makes contracts outside their requirements.

    • Ernest Endevor

      It wasn’t produced on Broadway so technically it’s a new play. Off-Broadway work is not eligible for the Tonys and doesn’t count. Same is true for the Torch Song revival, just as it was for Little Shop of Horrors. Off-Broadway houses stop at 499 seats, e.g. the Little Shubert. To classify as Broadway, a house must hold 500 seats or more. Plus all the contract provisions are different and there’s much more money involved, though nowadays small plays with a couple of actors are being budgeted around $800,000. M. Butterfly is a revival because its first production was on Broadway.

  • Mike

    I love The Boys in the Band. The original cast was perfect. The new cast has all the usual gay suspects, but I can’t imagine which ones will play which parts.

  • Gerry Fisher

    It makes me cringe. Yet, it has huge historical relevance. I almost wish they could add on another act: the two main characters reuniting in the 90s, two old men reflecting back. Perhaps that’s another play altogether.

    • JoeMyGod

      There was a 2002 sequel titled “The Men From The Boys” in which the characters reunite.

      • Gerry Fisher

        Cool! Now *that* I’d be really interested in seeing.

      • I did both shows in repertory. The sequel is MUCH better, though not as quotable.

        • Gerry Fisher

          The quote that Joe put into a comment is pretty damned amazing.

    • Mark Née Fuzz

      I couldn’t even get through the clip without a major cringe attack.

      • Gerry Fisher

        LOL…so it’s not just me.

  • JackNasty

    The Boys in the Band was an embarrassing staged display of self-loathing and negative stereotypes. I won’t be going to its revival.

  • Rocco

    I remember seeing that when I came out, it scared me so much I wanted to go back in!

    • gaycuckhubby

      It kept me from coming out.

  • Mark Née Fuzz

    Didn’t like it the first time I saw it. Suspect I’d like it less now.

    • gaycuckhubby

      I think I would like it more now. back then there was little gay representation and I felt the need to identify with these characters but I didn’t.

  • I played Bernard in repertory theatre in both Boys in the Band and the sequel Men from the Boys. It was really cool playing the same character 20-something years apart on different nights. You never knew what was going to happen on that stage, especially when we had to eat store bought lasagna every night for two weeks.

  • alc2018

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/409f3f3177ad31ce5a1632162a5ab6a363ca98fa1cc8cbb96b649724e85c5a39.gif got make sure my outfit is together when Andy Cohen does his lame talkshow around this one, hat -check, party horn -check

  • Barry William Teske

    I am proud to be a of witness to this treasure.
    It made me stand up gayer.

    • j.martindale

      At a time when being actively gay was still against the law, and for many of us there was NO gay community that we knew of, seeing gay men come together in friendships and ongoing relationships rather than truck stop bathroom quickies was encouraging. To see gay people with wit and humanity facing the difficulties of life together was also encouraging. The people were flawed, of course–which is as it should be. That makes this play much more believable and helps it withstand the test of time. Perfect people (and really happy people) are a rare commodity. But these guys showed some strength in the face of adversity. I think the play is quite defensible.

  • HeyYouKidsGetOffMyLawn
    • HeyYouKidsGetOffMyLawn

      (and yes, I know he’s Canadian)

      • narutomania

        Everyone knows that Canadians make the best Americans!!

  • PeedeResistance

    Unfortunately, this is from the same self-loathing era as ‘The Children’s Hour,’ which features the even more horrendous line ‘I feel so ….sick…and DIRTY…’ in reference to the mere suggestion of an expression of lesbian feelings between Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn. MacLaine said in an interview: ‘Willie [William Wyler, the director] cut the scenes that indicated we were lovers, where I’m brushing Audrey’s hair, for example. There was no physical touching. I think he got afraid of it.’ ‘Boys in the Band’ is a period piece which is dated in the worst possible way (the attempt to normalize hateful homophobia and pathologize all gay men); I’ve seen it within the past five years and it is not worth reviving.

  • blackstar

    Love the Camp .. before Gay Bars were Gay Bars!

  • DaddyRay

    It is a great cast – can they use them to do another play instead. (count me in as not a big fan of Boys in the Band)

  • j.martindale

    I saw this film just as I was in the throes of leaving my wife and coming out. It was tremendously powerful to someone who had been in the closet for over 35 years. Some people will find it depressing, but it IS honest.

    • gaycuckhubby

      Honest to the characters experience? Absolutely.
      But not to mine.

      Congrats on coming out btw! 🙂

    • Butch

      Are we clones? That sounds just like my story. I’m wondering if this version will be somehow updated or stick with the original.

  • alc2018

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fd478e47720f3219fcd80a5a31edb72aa8d535dab4a804c098ab7845e695c574.jpg not digging this up again, -must be a slow week and a huge influx of unemployed ghey actors again!

  • Rex

    I do applaud using gay men to play gay characters. Now, let’s use this same ensemble to do a romantic comedy or a musical, just so I can escape into fantasy for 90 minutes.

    • gaycuckhubby

      Trump’s America should produce a lot of good new queer work

  • Leo

    Cultural relic? Eh, period pieces are in and it’s relevant in this period of intense cultural division mirroring the early 70s. Limited run is smart. Cast looks good. Best of luck to them.

  • loosevowels

    thank god they are all creations of someones imagination and do not exist in real life

  • JoeMyGod

    Andrew Rannels brought down the house at Broadway Backwards this year.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ev6_S1kP9M

    • gaycuckhubby

      I saw somewhere recently that his memoir will be published soon.

  • Gerry Fisher

    OT/Tangent: I was an English major at Boston University between 1979 and 1983. My senior year, we studied a Broadway play unfamiliar to me at the time: “Torch Song Trilogy.” I remember one classmate berating the play as being too common; he said that it reminded him of shallow sitcom humor. The professor said that he felt that that was deliberate: to take a controversial subject (jeez, it starred a drag queen and depicted butt f&cking on the stage) and wrap it around a familiar, safe format for digestion by the masses. I had just started to come out a year earlier, and studying that play in school was…stimulating. I saw the play in Boston a few years later, and the movie came out in ’88.

    The amazing thing is that the time between the movie version of Boys in the Band and the debut of Torch Song Trilogy off Broadway was 10 years. A *lot* had changed in that decade.

    • Jeffg166

      I loved Torch Song. To me it was real. Boys in the band was a real Debbie downer play I didn’t related to at all.

      • I saw the film version of Torch Song in a theater the weekend I had just come out to a couple of friends. A much better film imho. Also, the commentary track is one of the few I’ve ever heard worth listening to. (Harvey if nothing else, tells GREAT stories. The commentary is almost as interesting as the movie. The other one, btw, is John Waters talking about making Hairspray…takeaway…the more bizarre some detail is in the movie the more likely it is to have been based on something that actually happened in Baltimore at the time.)

        • Paul

          Thanks for mentioning that. I’ll have to rent it, just to hear the commentary, and see dear Charles Pierce one more time, of course. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9966c5c4a30339dca363105d0623d721fd07ac533282ae9a8523570289c42cc7.jpg

          • Pierce kills in that. You MUST listen to Harvey’s commentary. One of the things that he’s most proud of in the film is showcasing Pierce who was rather old at the time and no longer with us. There are generations of drag performers for whom there is little to no film documentation. Also he tells stories on Pierce which are hilarious. Yes, you need to rent that (libraries usually have it as well). Pierce had a late career boom from that film including an appearance on Designing Women. And of course being in the play version helped Estelle Getty land Sofia on Golden Girls. (She wasn’t available for the film plus the studio needed at least one name in the production.)

        • Jeffg166

          I saw a road show of the play and it was magical. The movie cut a lot. If you get to see a good production of the play it is very good.

  • Michael McReavy

    A favourite movie of mine. Love the camp dialogue and Frederick Coombs’ ass.

  • liondon#iamnotatraitor

    Kevin Spacey will play the angry closet case.

  • Tom Furgas

    A friend of mine has a distressing abundance of gay skin magazines from the 1960’s. I looked over some of them and told him I hated them; “the bad old days”. Why anyone would want to remake a film from the dark ages of gay sensibility is beyond me. Let alone why anyone would want to act in it. Or watch it.

  • As long as audiences can keep this play in the context of when it was written, it should be worth seeing.

  • Tom Furgas

    Now if only someone would finally make a film of “The Front Runner”!

    • greenmanTN

      I used to think that too, but now I’m tired of The Fag Dies At The End movies.

      I’d like to see a movie of The Dreyfus Affair by Peter Lefcourt, a comedic novel about a star baseball player caught kissing a teammate on a department store security cam, chaos ensuing.

      Or a movie of Blue Heaven, an amazing gay-themed Wodehousian farce, or its sequel which parodies Trump as “Peter Champion.” The timing is perfect for that one.

      • TuuxKabin

        I can go for that.

      • Smokey

        The Charioteer by Mary Renault would be good to see dramatized.

        • TuuxKabin

          The Last of The Wine, a most memorable read. Thanks. I’ll check out The Charioteer.

      • Actually I think Blue Heaven should be a musical. I love that book. I’m not sure it’s aged well but that was a great book for me to read so soon after coming out. That was so much more like me and my friends than BITB.

  • Shakesbear

    A favorite line that I have quoted often: “There’s one thing to be said about masturbation: you certainly don’t have to look your best. “

  • Jerry Kott

    This reminds me of the days before we started to realized that there is a difference between Laughing at someone and Laughing with someone.

    • TuuxKabin

      And, thankfully, we still have that difference.

  • Gigi

    This was a bit before my time but I found it a few years ago online. I’d love to see this on stage!

  • SaintMike

    I have never liked this show. Maybe for it’s time it was groundbreaking and relevant but now it just reeks of self-loathing. With friends like that….

    • Dayglo

      “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?” is another “feel good” play.

  • Chris Gardner

    I always hated the movie. So depressing and mean-spirited. I hope the revival will be more upbeat.

    • alguien

      every time i watch that movie, i always imagine that they’re all going to get together the following weekend and do it all over again.

      • gaycuckhubby

        Exactly!

        • LeeCMH

          It was a difficult time.

          The self-loathing was ever present and devastating.

          It was; however, the world in which we lived.

          I am glad very young people are receiving messages of acceptance.

          Even many of us old people have finally given-up those old days of fear as culture grows more accepting of us.

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    Doubt I could sit through the self loathing.

    • LeeCMH

      I’ll tell you, it was very difficult then. In that time, gay people learned how to hate gay people before their own sexual desires awaken.

      I was a terrible conflict, both interpersonal and intra-personal.

      • Johnny Wyeknot

        I know. I was there and I was damaged by it.

        • LeeCMH

          I,too, sport scars from that era.

    • Dayglo

      Exactly. You’d need to view it as an historical set piece. Pain, degradation and ceaseless self-loathing are okay if you’re a Log Cabin Republican.

      • LeeCMH

        Back in the 60s many of us fell into that trap. There was all hatred and no acceptance.

        Ironic, the only folks like left, after 50 years are LCRs and their ilk.

      • Johnny Wyeknot

        My younger partner might be able to see it as a historical piece. But not me. I don’t want to re-live the worst period in my life.

        • LeeCMH

          I respect your choices. There are many historic depictions I really avoid due to the old suppressed pain they release.

          For example, I am hesitant about the new documentary about the election last year, 11/6/2016 for the same reasons.

          Regarding Boys…, I am able to handle the difficult memories as it helps me appreciate our culture today, even with its problems.

  • LeeCMH

    For people my age, this play can bring back memories of a time long gone.

    For young people, it could be a learning experience about how we lived so long ago.

    Yes there is plenty of self-loathing. Many, many gay people of the day absorbed the universal message of hate against gays and themselves. Perhaps the message can help young people today appreciate better our current time and the importance of the acceptance we enjoy today.

    • gaycuckhubby

      Well said

    • rextrek

      Good Message – shame the LCR’s will Never Listen – the Assholes that they are…

      • LeeCMH

        I suspect LCR is just a veneer to cover their true allegiance to the capitalist god.

  • alc2018

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/84ddb48b29a749a19752386fa8c9107ef3cdb1c1b62770a6b716aedcd6371b25.jpg I would’ve come back from the dead if anyone had asked me to be in it, just sayin’ at least I would’ve made a decent cocktail..

    • LeeCMH

      Yes, Paul would make a good Emory.

  • rextrek

    I would assume they are NOT doing a “period” piece and doing this in the time the movie was made? ..or will they write it to fit today’s LGBTQ community?

    • LeeCMH

      I vote for keeping the exact same script.

      The memories of old can be painful, and the message difficult for young folks, but it does depict very well that moment in history.

      I always like to see positive messages relating to gay folks, so please, produce a new play with the current message, but call it something else.

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      By the way, it started out as a play.

  • Clair

    Give me Love! Valor! Compassion! over this self-loathing period piece any day of the week!

    I was lucky to see LVC on Broadway with original cast. That had a better impact on my coming out. Greg Louganis sat in the row in front of me. I had just read his autobiography and all I could barely say to him was “I really liked your book”. Later that evening, I was having a bite at Sam’s bar nearby and there was Nathan Lane, by himself, having a drink. Again, tongue-tied, I mumbled “Really enjoyed your performance”. He was gracious enough and said “Thank you”. Ahhh the Broadway experience for a young man visiting from Oklahoma…

    • AmeriCanadian

      Thanks for sharing your memories. I freeze up too when I run into a famous person unexpectedly. I come across as incoherent and mentally unstable. It’s SO embarrassing.

      • Yes, but the rule in NYC is to be cool and not gush. You can also tell when they want to be noticed and when they don’t. Once I was on the 1 train and realized that the woman sitting next to me with her cap pulled down over her face was Beebe Neuwirth. She didn’t seem to want to be bothered so I didn’t say anything to her or stare. (Maybe she was coming home from a bad rehearsal. We’ve all been there.) I once got on an elevator at work and Liza Minelli was there. Other times I engaged. I used to live on the same block as Mark Lynn Baker while he was in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Nice guy, btw. I was always on my way home from NYCO and we used to be in the Pine Tree Deli getting our apres-show snacks. That’s just life in NYC. I think celebrities like living there because we give them some space and mostly let them have relatively normal lives.

        • AmeriCanadian

          Loved Linn-Baker in Perfect Strangers. He does strike me as being nice in real life. Now Bronson Pinchot? No.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Not gonna lie, that’s a production I would love to see. While the story is dark and jarringly brutal in its bitchy and catty ways, it’s still a powerful snapshot of a time gone by, when gay men were still angry at the world and each other for their many hypocrisies and closeted excuses. While not everyone’s taste, it does speak to an era of gay history that many either want to forget or choose to believe never existed.

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      I take it you didn’t have to live through it.

      • Jean-Marc in Canada

        I’m on the other side of 55, I remember a good portion of those days, albeit as an out teenager fucking older men. So yeah, I know of what I speak.

        • Johnny Wyeknot

          Ah. Okay. 1952 here. When I first started dating I dated older men who were exactly like the characters from this play. Most were alcoholics and all were bitchy.

          • LeeCMH

            Horrible thing oppression does to people.

          • Johnny Wyeknot

            I was always glad I was in the stonewall generation who came out of the bars and into the streets.

          • LeeCMH

            Absolutely!

            It was that generation that built the infrastructure we exercised for the decades to bring about a better society.

            They are the WWII generation for gays.

          • Jean-Marc in Canada

            I can’t argue that. Most of the men I fucked around with were, as you say, drunk, angry and bitchy queens. As I said, it’s a snapshot of an era, I didn’t say I had fond memories of living it.

        • LeeCMH

          The moment in time the play depicts does involve some pain, but it helps me appreciate today.

          Today, people in the office know I am gay and have a partner. They even ask about him. Back then ( in my case mid 70s ) I had to lie to coworkers about girlfriends and female sexual interests just to keep my job.

          Now, I move through society as a gay person. Back then, I hid in the shadows along with most of the rest of the gay folks of the day.

          • Johnny Wyeknot

            Report during intermission.

          • Even when I came out in the late 80s I knew not to acknowledge people I knew from bars, parties or hook-ups when I saw them on the street. Too much to explain awkwardly and I didn’t want to cause them trouble at their jobs. It was horrible even then and I’m not the least bit nostalgic.

          • Paul

            I remember those days too. I was terrified the first time I went to a gay bar (1975, the original Stud, on Folsom) and kept anxiously looking at the door. Finally the handsome older man (probably 25) who was cruising me asked why I kept looking every time the door opened. I told him I was worried someone might see me in a gay bar and figure out I was gay. ‘Ah’, he sagely replied, ‘But then you’d see THEM in a gay bar as well, wouldn’t you?’ From that moment on, I’ve never been worried about who I might run into

          • LeeCMH

            I had the same epiphany around the same time.

          • I was in college when I first started going out. You are right. Mutually assured destruction was what kept us safe. I couldn’t tell without outing myself which I wasn’t about to do. I suspect that’s much more dangerous these days since so many people are out and social media and all that. We used to be able to keep our lives separate. That must be incredibly difficult to pull off in the 21st century.

          • LeeCMH

            Oh yes, I recall the awkward public encounters.

    • Natty Enquirer

      You want to see anger, try reading Crowley’s A Breeze From the Gulf.

      • Jean-Marc in Canada

        I have and yeah, THAT’S anger. Dad is bad enough, but Mom is just….

    • Steve Teeter

      Maybe it’s good that we remember that time. There are powerful forces around that would love to push us back to it.

      • Jean-Marc in Canada

        Indeed, sometimes we need to reminded just how fragile the rights of minorities can be, especially when so many younger gays seem complacent.

  • Jacob

    There are more gay actors then this lot you know. Many of them much more talented. Oh wait, money.

    • loosevowels

      sadly at the cost of a ticket for a show the average theater goer want to see something like HELLO DOLLY with Ne Ne Leaks, & Rosie O’Donnell as Rizzo than some unfamiliar actor with talent

  • Chris Davis

    What’s up next? A stage version of that equally wretched movie CRUISING?

    • gaycuckhubby

      Starring Franco

      • Johnny Wyeknot

        They couldn’t get away with the fist-fucking bar scene today. Nobody would believe it.

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    I preferred Boys in the Sand. 🙂

    • LeeCMH

      And in the sand of history they remain.

    • Dayglo

      Let’s also not forget those Andy Warhol/Paul Morrissey films of that era – “Flesh” “Trash” and “Heat.” Joe Dallesandro was a huge gay sex symbol.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=shhAFDhGryo

      • Ernest Endevor

        One of his sons works for a local plumbing company. He was here and we had a long chat about his dad, of whom he’s very proud. I didn’t ask how he felt about his father being at one time the most coveted peen in Christendom as it seemed somewhat pushy since we were talking about heat-pumps.

      • Johnny Wyeknot

        I loved all those movies … and still do. There’s Also the Dracula one.

  • Clair

    Slightly OT but does anyone remember the Off-Broadway play “Party” which I saw in 1995 during what seemed to be Broadway’s revived obsession with nudity on stage. The premise was a group of seven gay men having an apartment party and they end up playing “Strip Truth or Dare”. It was described as “Boys in the Band” but naked and a happy ending.

    While the script is paper-thin and the dialogue forgettable, this newly out gay young gay man enjoyed what was simply a theatrical excuse for a striptease.

    • Johnny Wyeknot

      Yes. I thought it was a breath of fresh air.

  • Natty Enquirer

    I don’t see any way they can put this on except in huge quotes.

  • Tiger Quinn

    I came out in 1995 @ 25 – I always recognized the need for the gay stories, Torch, Boys, Angels…..but they all just seemed so god damned depressing when I wanted to revel in being gay.

    • Ben in Oakland

      We had to see the darkness to know there was light.
      I came out right about when you were born. I was happy to see BITB because I was happy to see anything that showed our lives. But I saw it only twice, and realized that everything could be, and should be, better than that.

  • Gene Perry

    Nice play, but VERY dated. Wonder how a 2018 audience will react? Retro-chic?

    • LeeCMH

      One reaction could be, “wow, I can better appreciate our current world.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      ‘Member that time all the faggots gave up drinking, tricking, running up debts and hating themselves?

      No, me neither.

      • ECarpenter

        @Lumpy – Oh, honey, if you live your life by these tired and debunked old stereotypes, it must be a very sad life.

        • Lumpy Gaga

          Hm. I guess faggots never gave up calling people “Honey”, either.

  • Jeffg166

    A rather old chestnut to dig up.

    • SDG

      Agreed… how much of this is, at all, relevant?

      • LeeCMH

        I submit all history is relevant.

        The Elephant Man is very difficult to watch with all its depictions of scorn for a disfigured man.

        It is; however, relevant as we have knowledge of history to guide us today.

        • AmeriCanadian

          Too bad we don’t seem to ever learn from history.

          • LeeCMH

            It is. Much of history is uncomfortable. The information is difficult to process.

            But process we must if we want to build a better world.

        • SDG

          Sure, but will it speak to an audience under 60?

  • Statistics Palin

    A certain straight Catholic bitch whose name, I believe, was “Legion,” once said that “The Boys in the Band” was her favorite gay movie. I told her that my favorite straight movie is “Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

    • SDG

      “Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf”, straight movie? The original story was supposed to be about a bitchy gay couple.

      • Ernest Endevor

        It wasn’t.

        • SDG

          Vito Russo, in the “Celluloid Closet”, thought it was.

          • Ernest Endevor

            Not according to Albee. Im surprised Russo would repeat that. I think the idea is kind of homophobic (we imitate straight couples; we drink too much; we’re sexual predators), and if that’s too strong a word then let me say that it smacks of ’60s liberals displaying their sophistication.

          • SDG

            I could be wrong… I distinctly remember it… I will have to watch it a again, I could be totally wrong…. especially, of the author said…

        • SDG

          Sorry, I totally f’ed up on this one. Wrong movie. 🙁

      • Statistics Palin

        My point was that if you like seeing us miserable, we like seeing you miserable.

      • Lumpy Gaga

        Albee personally denied that theory, FWIW.

      • Steve Teeter

        No it wasn’t. Proof? The younger couple, Nick and Honey, have to be able to believe that the older couple, George and Martha, really do have a biological child, a son. If they are all really disguised gay couples then that is impossible, and the whole plot structure of the play collapses.

        Nope. This one won’t fly.

        • SDG

          Sorry, Wrong movie. 🙁

  • Lakeview Bob

    Stellar cast. Stupid idea. Too dated, hateful and sad. We need gay shows that are uplifting.

    • Jeffg166

      The cast will bring the public in. A new play with them in it would do the same.

  • Kevin Perez

    Syler/Spock? Save the Cheerleader, save the Federation!!

  • David Walker

    I watched it again last night, owing to the reaction the post of the announcement. Why does a play have to be “uplifting”? “I go to the theater to forget” or “I go to the theater to be entertained” or “At these prices, I better leave the theater a happy person.” Bullshit. And there’s the “we’re not like that” crowd or “it’s stereotyping us.” That’s what “Cruising” did.

    What I still see is a bunch of gay men, each with his own quirks, each with his own approach to life that keeps him out of jail. Pre-Stonewall, people. It was the same year, and, like many gay New Yorkers, probably none of the characters would have visited that watering hole, or admit it if they did. Stonewall was an incredibly bold and ennobling event. Even if we didn’t know about it at the time, it changed us. “Boys” is before that. “Boys” is still in the “be gay and get arrested” era. It is painful to watch, I think, because that particular era doesn’t exist anymore and we all know that at some level it still does. I was drafted in 1968 and thrown from consideration because they asked and I told. Now, we serve openly; then, it was sufficient reason to keep you out of the military…out of pretty much anything. It still is.

    So, yes…the bitterness depicted was real. And I thank Mart Crowley and the boys for showing me some gay men at the time. I thought it was devastating as a drama…I still do. We are not all alcoholics. We are not all bitter former ice show skaters. Nor are all of us hustlers, nelly queens, or fashion photographers. But they are all legitimate characters and the play is a remarkable part of our history and our heritage.

    • LeeCMH

      Very well said.

      .

      • David Walker

        Thank you.

    • CanuckDon

      I would hope that a current rendition of the play (not that I think one is needed) would honour the mind of Mart Crowley and keep the characters, dialogue, and timing as what was intended. I don’t know much of the history of the play…particularly, the reason Crowley created it. Was it to make a play with all gay characters and this is how he saw them? Or was it to make a statement of their damaged psyches?

      From Wikipedia…” In the 1995 documentary, The Celluloid Closet, Crowley explained, “The self-deprecating humor was born out of a low self-esteem, from a sense of what the times told you about yourself.” The question is did Crowley have that sense of self-awareness back when he wrote it.

      • David Walker

        In the ’60s, there was a strong aversion to anything gay in the theater. I forget if it was Stanley Kauffman, but one of the critics accused Edward Albee of writing gay characters and then changing gender in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” That created even more of a stir, with Kauffman then writing something along the lines of “Why don’t they write their own plays with their own characters?” So Crowley did.

        Crowley has also said that each of the characters is a part of himself. And remember…in 1968, homosexuality was still considered an illness by the American Psychiatric Association. It’s not all that hard to foster low self-esteem when even science is against you.

        • LeeCMH

          The government sponsored “clinics” even performed pre-frontal lobotomies on gay people — for being gay.

          I think the last one was performed around 1970.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      We are not all alcoholics. We are not all bitter former ice show
      skaters. Nor are all of us hustlers, nelly queens, or fashion
      photographers.

      But we did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  • Ernest Endevor

    Some of the actors in the original, very modest, off-Broadway production were told by their agents that should they appear in it they’d need to find new representation. Nobody wanted to be associated with ‘that kind of play’. When I was a kid I worked with a couple of them. At that time all the soaps were produced in NYC. So there was a whole population of really handsome gay men who had recurring roles in them while reckoning themselves to be stage actors. Thinking that no one would ever hear of it, some of them were in it. It seems hard nowadays to grasp how very risky it was to even appear to publicly acknowledge your sexuality. Then lightning struck and the rest is history. Might be interesting to know what happened later to them. I know Bobby leTourneau went to jail for a while. Cliff Gorman did very well. I wonder how many of the others are still with us. The two men I knew are both dead.

    The work itself is that old American favorite the ‘closed room’ play. Characters get in a room and talk, often through the night, and often while drinking large amounts of booze. Come morning-light truths have been told, lives have been changed, and the audience feels better for it. Virginia Wolfe is essentially the same play as is Bus Stop. Seen today as a discussion of social isolation and the formation of ghettos, this might be interesting. The corrosive effect of ‘humor’ adopted as a shield, for example. The effect of liquor and camp on the ability to love. The play’s subtext invites a more stark reading, but it’s usually swamped by the – really very good – gags. Remember, when this appeared, ‘fag’ and ‘faggot’ were the put-downs of choice by most theatre-folk. That would include such current favorites as Streisand and Elliot Gould. It was the temper of the times. Think of when Stritch did a ‘gay’ voice in her last show and what that was. (No one thinks more highly of her than I. In fact I once threw up on her. Long story) So I can see a case to be made to look at this again. I see from comments here that it’s almost as polarizing now as it was then. “I’m not that kind of gay.” Really, nobody was. Well, maybe Roy Cohn. The play is an abstraction.

    When I was last involved in casting we were looking for a young man around the age of 27 for a story taking place between 66 and 77. We saw some extremely well-trained young actors but they just didn’t look believable. We looked different then: we were skinnier and hairier. I see from this cast they haven’t let such considerations intrude. Broadway has turned into summer-stock. TV and movie people stop by for a few months to get nominated for this and that, and move on. There’s been a consequent diminishment of the talent we get to see.

    • LeeCMH

      I read Bobby ultimately became the hustler he depicted. He was in and out of jail. Ultimately he died of AIDS on Rikers Island.

      Not verified.

  • There’s a documentary about the play and subsequent film version. I saw it at the Quad back in 2011 the playwright was there (with…ED KOCH!) and answered questions from the audience. It was more interesting than seeing the film again. I think Edward Albee’s assessment of the play/movie is correct. It was a play about gay men tearing each other apart that made straight people feel better about their own lives. If that’s what being gay was like pre-Stonewall then I’m glad I wasn’t around then. Ouch.

    • LeeCMH

      Those were some very difficult times for us.

      • Thank you. Your bravery made it easier for all of us that followed.

        • LeeCMH

          Thank you.

          .

  • BarbWire

    Of course, every single actor in this revival is gorgeous. So there will be that – but as Harold, the birthday boy, who says “What I am, Michael, is a 32 year old, ugly, pock marked Jew fairy…” who’s going to play him? I’m thinking Parsons, with his naturally sarcastic Southern twang. This play has the interesting ability to be both a dated period piece and timeless. I performed in this play when I was in college and back then (1974) it was still a revolutionary piece of theater, especially to an audience in Oklahoma. The audience laughed with the characters, not at them. And it does explore their humanity, even though its view of being gay is sad and lonely. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t have attracted all this attention for 50 years.

  • Puckfair52

    I must have seen this 8 times then saw a horrible production at the Lortel Theater The men from the Boys.
    I found them all representational of segments of the culture starting to end when I started exploring the Porn Theaters & The Village 17 year old ! They seemed the tweedy sweater Julius Crowd!
    The Street & leather queens aren’t represented and the Gay Activist Alliance not yet arrived!
    It is literally like a pregnancy this film came out 9 months after Stonewall! And the the play the year before!
    Most are dead. Peter White ALAN still alive is 80. Ruben Green still alive but not to be found Laurence Luckenbill also still alive he’s 82!

    I always thought this was a great dissection of who we were each character an incomplete person an element of the whole. AH well as Beverly Leslie says… it Smells of Gin & Regret..
    To this day I Still utter Life’s a god damn laugh riot (pause) You remember life?

  • JWC

    Was a young man just taking my fledgling steps in a small rural town. Why “Boy’s in the Band ‘ ever played there or why my slightly older STR8 brother (still is) insisted we go.I viewed the piece as hauntring and sad. Years later, with many experiences behind me, I watched it again, with more maturity, At least this time , a movie about gay life and times is played by acrors who, for the moast part are gay

  • Pablo Sánchez

    I think it is hard to watch self hating gays no matter what time period they live in.

  • Ronald Reagan is Dead!

    I am so over Zachary Quinto , he’s bitter and nasty.

    • peterparker

      And judgmental about guys who use PrEP.

  • loosevowels

    the best thing about seeing this movie for me , it helped shape me into the Individual I am today

  • Ben in Oakland

    Always important to remember THIS classic from BITB:

    You are a sad and pathetic man, Andrew.

    You are a homosexual and you don’t want to be, but there’s nothing you can do
    to change it. Not all your prayers to your God. Not all the analysis your money
    can buy in the years you have left to live. You may one day be able to know a
    heterosexual life. If you want it desperately enough. If you pursue it with
    fervor with which you annihilate. But you will always be homosexual as well,
    Andrew. Always, Until the day you die.”

  • Lumpy Gaga

    Just watched the movie last night. Who’s the guy on the far left in the JMG article pic?

    • Michael McReavy

      I believe that’s Mart Crowley who wrote the play.

      • LeeCMH

        My thought too.

  • andrew

    I don’t see any reason why that 1970 movie should be revived. Most of those Boys In The Band were a collection of bitchy, self loathing characters. Gay men have come a long way in the last 47 years. There is no need to revisit that horror.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      They all have issues. Money. Sex. Mating up. That hasn’t changed.

      Deep-seated, real self-loathing over one’s sexuality? That’s mostly Michael’s problem in this play.

    • Del Sam

      Not in every place. In my area, they pretty much act the same way. Love to tear others down as much as possible to mask their own shortcomings and insecurities. Which is exactly why I just keep to myself and avoid all contact with them.

  • Galvestonian

    Oh my, this takes me back … a little sad, a little bitchy but definitely innovative for the time. Good trashy lyrics that are really memorable and quotable. Yas, we really did talk that way back then.

  • Lucien

    The play opened Off-Broadway in 1968, and was the first play I saw after moving to NYC in 1970. I was nineteen years old, and had just come out. The play’s depiction of gay men as unremittingly sad and self-loathing scared me to death.

    Watching these YouTube vignettes forty-seven years later makes me cringe. Gay life in the 21st century is not what it was in 1968, and I hope the production team has sense enough to present this play as a museum piece.

  • ECarpenter

    I worked in a theater which showed this for a week – I saw it two and a half times a day. We used the lines of the play around work (it was a very pro-gay work environment, odd for the time). At the same time, I was a member of the local Gay Liberation group, which had started a year before.

    I’ve always liked the timing of the movie release; it was a pretty accurate documentary of the lives many gay men had lived in the 50s and 60s, and were still living, but lots was beginning to change.

    Like so many things deeply embedded in their own time, there’s no way for younger men to understand this movie as it was seen then. Younger men have grown up in different times, and the surrounding culture has changed too much to fully understand the sanctuary aspect of that party, and the parts of the party dynamics that are outside the apartment.

    I think a young gay man living in Russia or parts of Africa might understand more of this movie than a young gay man living in the West. No man in the West now fears standing “too close” to another man when the cops are around, for example. If you’ve never felt that fear, it’s just a historical reference, not a gut-wrenching sensation.

  • e jerry powell

    They haven’t cast Cowboy yet. Interesting…

  • ECarpenter

    Also keep in mind that this is the gay world that the Republicans, the Catholics, Evangelicals and other bible-thumpers want to force us back into. The religious bigots are succeeding in Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa and South East Asia – they could succeed here if we’re not vigilant.

  • Distingué Traces

    Really? It’s such a period piece — but have we now reached the point where it’s history rather than just being dated?