The boys are back in town!
Rehearsals have begun for the Broadway revival of The Boys in the Band, Mart Crowley’s groundbreaking drama in which a group of gay men gather for a birthday party in 1960s Manhattan.
Matt Bomer and Charlie Carver will make their Broadway debuts in the 50th anniversary production alongside Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Jim Parsons, Robin de Jesus, Brian Hutchison, Tuc Watkins, and Michael Benjamin Washington.
The cast commemorated their first rehearsal Friday with a group cast photo, shared on the show’s official social media accounts with the tagline, “The party is just getting started…”
Many cast members also shared the photo on their socials. Carver jokingly called labeled it “first day of Band practice,” and Rannells wrote, “This is going to be fun.”
When the play 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, The Boys in the Band has been embraced both for its humor and for chronicling the emotional hardship of being gay in a world that has no use for homosexuals.
The Broadway revival, directed by two-time Tony winner Joe Mantello, is being produced by Ryan Murphy and David Stone. It was announced last June that Murphy had optioned the rights to the play.
“The significance of The Boys in the Band cannot be underestimated,” said Murphy in a previous statement. “In 1968, Mart Crowley made theatrical history by giving voice to gay men onstage, in this uncompromising, blisteringly honest and wickedly funny play.”
“We’ve come so far in the last five years,” says Quinto in the show’s trailer, “and yet there’s been this explosion of backward and harmful thinking and political ideology that’s swept our country. We’re responsible for standing up, being acknowledged and celebrating ourselves and our community.”
“We have to be reminded of how our freedom didn’t [always] exist,” Crowley adds. “We can’t lose it.”
The Boys in the Band begins previews April 30 and opens May 31 at the Booth Theatre for a limited run through August 12.