The new film version will premiere on Netflix September 30, 2020
The Boys in the Band, the 1968 play by Mart Crowley has a storied past in gay culture as a groundbreaking depiction of gay life by presenting it unapologetically and providing the audience with some of the first three-dimensional gay characters ever portrayed.
The play, about a group of gay men gather for a birthday party in 1968 New York City, only to find the drinks and laughs interrupted when a visitor from the host’s past turns the evening upside down, premiered Off-Broadway on April 14, 1968, at Theater Four, and closed on September 6, 1970, after 1,001 performances. It was then produced as a feature film in 1970 directed by William Friedkin. In 2018, the play was revived with an all-star, all-gay cast. It was nominated for two Tony Awards, winning Best Revival of a Play.
That revival and that cast are now featured in a new film version directed by Joe Mantello that will debut on Netflix September 30, 2020. It is produced by Ryan Murphy p.g.a., David Stone, Joe Mantello p.g.a., Ned Martel, and Alexis Martin Woodall.
More than fifty years after Mart Crowley’s play became an unexpected smash hit for putting gay men’s lives center stage with honesty and humor, The Boys in the Band returns to the screen in a new adaptation that reunites acclaimed director Joe Mantello with the all-star cast of the Tony-winning, 2018 Broadway production. In 1968 New York City – when being gay was still considered to be best kept behind closed doors – a group of friends gather for a raucous birthday party hosted by Michael (Jim Parsons), a screenwriter who spends and drinks too much, in honor of the sharp-dressed and sharp-tongued Harold (Zachary Quinto).
Other partygoers include Donald (Matt Bomer), Michael’s former flame, now mired in self-analysis; Larry (Andrew Rannells), a randy commercial artist living with Hank (Tuc Watkins), a school teacher who has just left his wife; Bernard (Michael Benjamin Washington), a librarian tiptoeing around fraught codes of friendship alongside Emory (Robin de Jesús), a decorator who never holds back; and a guileless hustler (Charlie Carver), hired to be Harold’s gift for the night. What begins as an evening of drinks and laughs gets upended when Alan (Brian Hutchison), Michael’s straight-laced college roommate, shows up unexpectedly and each man is challenged to confront long-buried truths that threaten the foundation of the group’s tight bond.