The original show, written by Mart Crowley, hit the stage, off-Broadway, in 1968. The play had done what no one dared to before, showcase the lives of gay men, just as they were. With the characters being based off Crowley and his friends the realness that was portrayed was something truly unique. Of the original actors, six were gay, while the other three were played by straight men. They were advised not to take the roles however, for fear of blacklisting themselves. Thankfully they didn’t head the warnings and gave the world something incredible. The show was adapted into a feature film in 1970.
The play was revived on Broadway in 2018 for the 50th anniversary with an all star cast, but this time the entire ensemble was comprised of out gay men. The show was a huge success, even taking home the Tony Award for best revival of a play. Now the same broadway cast has come together with director Joe Mantello and adapted the show to a Netflix film.
The all star cast includes Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer, Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver, Robin de Jesus, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington, and Tuc Watckins.
The cast is remarkable in their roles, and Jim Parsons shows a side of himself Big Bang Theory fans won’t recognize.
Admittedly I have never seen the play or original film, but the Netflix adaptation was well worth the watch and has made me excited to now see the original.
The entire movie is set over the course of a night when seven gay men come together to throw their friend a birthday party. However, the enthusiasm is short lived when the night is interrupted by Michael’s (Jim Parsons) old college roommate, and straight friend, Alan (Brian Hutchison). Instantly were thrust to sit through one of the most uncomfortable and petty birthday parties.
The actors are able to change their entire personas from being who they are, to being who the need to be so the straight man in the room can be comfortable, which is both brilliant and a little sickening at the same time. While watching the film has shown how far we’ve come as a society in accepting queer culture, it also highlights variables that we still, unfortunately, see exist today.
While the show is a dramedy, the comedy is less laugh out loud, and more a tool to emphasize an intense issue. While you may chuckle and some of the snarkier quips, the dialogue is beautiful and tragic as you watch Michael (Parsons) and Harold (Quinto) continuously insult each other because they are not ok with who they really are.
There is a behind the scenes feature, also on Netflix, that I encourage you to watch. The feature details the current film, with interviews from the cast, but also discusses the original show, Stonewall, and stories from the creator Mart Crawley.
Mart Crowley passed away on March 7th, 2020.
The Boys in the Band is a must see and is currently available to watch on Netflix.
About The Author:
Briana Phipps is a host, producer, and scheduling coordinator for AfterBuzz TV. She is currently the host for Teen Mom News Weekly and is your go to for all things Broadway! Whether you want to discuss intense TV dramas, the latest reality scoops, or the best guilty pleasures to watch she’s got you covered!
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