Matt Bomer hits Broadway

A Fabulous Revival of The Boys in the Band

BY: Claire Connors

Fifty years ago, something very important happened in theater. The curtain went up on the off-Broadway production of the queer drama, The Boys in the Band, and things were never the same. It’s hard to imagine it now, but Mart Crowley‘s play came out in the pre-Stonewall days, when most men were still deep in the closet and fear of being outed was a real and terrifying possibility. Needless to say, this groundbreaking play, well, broke a hell of a lot of ground.

It takes place in Michael’s New York City apartment, where a birthday party is being thrown for Harold. The guests are a mixed bag of by-now stereotypes—the bitchy, the slutty, the flamer, the closet-case—but at the time, these were characters that straight folks barely knew or even understood. This play opened an important window into what it was like to be young, horny, and gay at a time when free love was considered ok for everyone but them.

Ripe for a revival, we can thank producer Ryan Murphy, creator of such great television as American Horror Story and Feud, for bringing the landmark play back to Broadway this spring. Wicked and Take Me Out director Joe Mantello will helm the talented cast of mostly gay-identifying actors. Emmy-award winner Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory) is the party-master, Michael, Zackary Quinto (Star Trek) is the bitter, aging Harold, Matt Bomer—making his Broadway debut—is the conflicted Donald, and Andrew Rannells (Girls) plays the promiscuous Larry. They will be joined by Robin de Jesús as Emory, Brian Hutchison as Alan, Michael Benjamin Washington as Bernard, and Tuc Watkins as Hank. The role of the shirtless and witless Cowboy has yet to be announced but we’re hoping for Zac Efron. Hey, we can dream, can’t we?

The Boys in the Band is scheduled to run from April 30th to August 12, 2018 at the Booth Theater.