The Boys in the Band are back—and more famous than ever.
The groundbreaking play The Boys in the Band, which first premiered Off-Broadway in 1968, is coming to The Great White Way next year to celebrate its 50th anniversary with a star-studded production.
Matt Bomer will make his Broadway debut along with other out actors Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, and Jim Parsons who will portray the flamboyant group of friends who have gathered for their friend, Harold’s, birthday party.
Rounding out the cast will be Robin de Jesus, Brian Hutchison, Tuc Watkins and Michael Benjamin Washington. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “the role of ’Cowboy,’ a hunky hustler presented by one of the guests as a gift to birthday boy Harold, remains to be cast.”
The revival will be directed by Joe Mantello and produced by Ryan Murphy and David Stone. News of Murphy possibly bringing The Boys in the Band to Broadway was announced when the TV auteur optioned the rights to the play back in June.
“The significance of The Boys in the Band cannot be underestimated,” said Murphy in a statement. “In 1968, Mart Crowley made theatrical history by giving voice to gay men onstage, in this uncompromising, blisteringly honest and wickedly funny play.”
“The play was groundbreaking in its exploration of how gay men treated each other and how they were made to feel about themselves. And while some attitudes have thankfully shifted, it’s important to be reminded of what we have overcome and how much further we still have to go.” Stone added, “Everything has changed. And nothing has changed.”
When it premiered off-Broadway in 1968, audiences were stunned by its unadulterated look at pre-Stonewall gay life. By the 1980s, both the play and William Friedkin’s 1970 film version were rejected by the LGBT community as perpetuating gross gay stereotypes. More recently, it’s been embraced both for its humor and for chronicling the emotional hardship of being gay in a world that has no use for homosexuals. As Michael famously says in the show, “Show me a happy homosexual, and I’ll show you a gay corpse.”
Crowley actually wrote a sequel, 2002’s The Men from the Boys, which takes place 30 years after the original.
The new Broadway production will begin a limited 15-week engagement on April 30 running through August 12, with an official opening date to be announced.