Ryan Murphy Bringing “The Boys In The Band” To Broadway

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

Ryan Murphy has a golden touch on television, with hit series like Glee, American Horror Story, Feud, Scream Queens and American Crime Story. Now the super-producer wants to tackle Broadway, and he’s chosen a gay classic for his first effort.

The New York Post reports Murphy has optioned the rights to Mart Crowley’s The Boys in the Band, which recounts one evening in the life of a group of gay men in 1960s New York.


It’s not Murphy’s first time directing a gay play: In 2014, he received kudos—and Emmy awards—for his adaptation of The Normal Heart. In fact, the Post’s Michael Riedel suggests Jim Parsons, who appeared in Heart, could play Emory, Band’s flamboyant interior designer. (We imagine other Murphy players—Matt Bomer, Cheyenne Jackson and Zachary Quinto—could round out the cast.)

Boys in the Band received positive reviews last year when it was mounted in London, but reaction to the show has evolved almost as much as the public’s feelings about homosexuality. 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.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.