Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer, Andrew Rannells, Tuc Watkins, and the rest of the cast of the upcoming Broadway production of Matt Crowley’s The Boys in the Band got together for a photo shoot and shot a featurette talking about the play’s significance and what it means today.
From the producers about the play:
“The significance of The Boys in the Band cannot be underestimated. In 1968, Mart Crowley made theatrical history by giving voice to gay men onstage, in this uncompromising, blisteringly honest, and wickedly funny play,” said Ryan Murphy. “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.”
David Stone adds, “Everything has changed. And nothing has changed.”
Tickets for the 15-week revival are on sale now via Telecharge
Matt Crowley’s groundbreaking 1968 play”The Boys in the Band” will be revived for a limited Broadway engagement for it’s 50th Anniversary and will bedirected by two-time Tony winner Joe Mantello. and starring five openly gay actors: Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Matt Bomer, and Tuc Watkins.
The cast will also include Tony nominee Robin De Jesús as Emory, Brian Hutchison as Alan, and Michael Benjamin Washington as Bernard. The role of Cowboy remains to be cast.
Not to spoil the 50 year old plot line but in The Boys in the Band, an affluent, thirty-year-old gay man named Michael has invited a number of his homosexual friends to his stylish New York City apartment for a birthday party honoring their gay Jewish friend, Harold. The group includes Donald; Michael’s present lover; Emory, a portrait of the effeminate gay stereotype; Hank, once married and the father of two children but now living with Larry; Bernard, a gay black man; and a male prostitute who is Emory’s birthday gift to Harold. Michael’s former college friend, Alan, who is married and hostile toward homosexuals, crashes this party. Alan soon recognizes the stereotypical Emory as a homosexual, is offended by his behavior, and punches him; however, Alan is later surprised to discover that the others also are gay, especially Hank, who Alan thinks is heterosexual. The action of the play culminates in a party game that Michael designs; each guest must telephone the one person he truly believes he has loved and confess his deepest feelings. Michael intends for this game to reveal Alan’s latent homosexuality, but Alan’s telephone call goes to his wife. The play ends with Harold characterizing Michael as a gay man consumed by self-loathing.
The production marks The Boys in the Band’s Broadway premiere. Originally scheduled to run for five performances at a small Off-Broadway venue, the play became an overnight sensation, and—after transferring to a bigger theatre—ran for over 1,000 performances. The show went on to have an acclaimed run in London and was adapted into a film by William Friedkin in 1970. But it never played on Broadway.
The TBITB is scheduled to play the Booth Theatre April 30–August 12, 2018.
The production is being produced by Ryan Murphy and veteran Broadway producer David Stone.
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The witty new comedy, The New Normal, has been the center of attention lately, determined to tell an authentic story of two men who love each other on their often comedic journey to start a family. The NBC sitcom is such a hit, as of today a full season has been ordered for the series. One of the show’s stars, Andrew Rannells, in a recent interview discusses gay stereotypes, the comparisons to Modern Family, and how/if sexuality is involved in acting roles.
When asked about if he felt is character, Bryan, was a well developed character that defies gay stereotypes in comparison to past gay characters, Rannells feels that there’s more to a gay person than being “fabulous”:
America is warming up to the idea of gay characters — and not just as a sassy gay person, but being a person. A real character. And that’s just what’s so fun about this show. Certainly we are a gay couple, but we get to do a lot more than just that.
I obviously get to be quote-unquote “fabulous” in terms of my outfits, but Bryan has a lot of heart and a lot of strength. It’s nice to get to play that; it’s nice to get to play someone with sass but also a lot of smarts and sincerity. To have the opportunity to show all of that is really fantastic. To completely strip all the sass away would be equally untrue; there’s a certain amount of sass and glamour that goes along with being gay. There’s a certain amount of fabulousness that is needed or wanted. But running around being fabulous day-to-day isn’t every moment of your life.
Rannells also observes that they are telling a different than the multifaceted ABC hit sitcom Modern Family:
We’re telling a different story. This show has a different tone, and I’m happy to say that we’re showing a very romantic side to this couple, which is great. It’s really thrilling to get to do. Justin and I have filmed some really great scenes together that are real, honest, flirtatious and sexy — Yes, we’re going to be more affectionate, but it takes nothing away from what they’re doing.
As the subject about a gay actor in a straight role vs a straight actor in a gay role, Rannells feels that it’s about doing the job, not so much sexuality:
Which is very strange to me. I mean, it’s like any acting job. I’ve played a lot of straight characters, too, and if I had been denied those because I was gay, I would’ve been pissed. It comes down to who’s best for the part, so I get that. But it is refreshing for me, as a homosexual, to play these gay characters. It’s nice to get to play somebody who’s a little bit closer to who you are.
Check out the full insightful interview here. And don’t forget to check out The New Normal tonight at 9:30/8:30 central.
You know this question is it too gay or is it hurting the LGBT community has come up and will repeatedly do so for however long the show stays on the air. But in all honesty, does it matter? Of course it does. We want our characters to be portrayed in a realistic light. Show the good bad or whatever else makes that character real.
And star of the show, Andrew Rannells feels that this is a valid question as well. However, he feels the premise of the show is more than a gayy person with gay characteristics:
“I certainly understand. As a homosexual, having watched gays on TV be portrayed, sometimes it’s really great and sometimes it’s just a punch line. I think Ryan and [co-creator] Ali Adler are very cautious about that. And I can tell you, going forward, they’ve given me in particular some real range with this character.”
Both Adler and Murphy have stated as much in previous interviews. Adler specifically states that the point of the show is not politics, but rather showing real people going through real obstacles.
We’re not intending to be political –We intend to be an emotional and character-driven show, and these are very personal stories that are very relatable regardless of gender or sexual orientation. It’s about your humor, I think, and your ability to be self-aware.”
And Andrew also discusses his co-star Justin Barthas’s ability to also bring a realistic and honest portrayal of his character to life, despite the fact that Justin is straight:
“He’s not looking for any pats on the back. So often, when straight actors play homosexuals, they get, ‘He’s so brave. That was such a brave decision for him to play this part. What a brave role.’ And to me that seems like bullshit, because if a part is good, it’s a good part.”
So yes we want to see real characters. Do you, fellow readers, feel like The New Normal has been doing an honest portrayal of a gay couple?