the boys in the band trailer

In 1968, playwright Mart Crowley made history when he premiered the Off-Broadway play The Boys in the Band, a drama that revolves around a group of gay men who gather for a birthday party in New York City. Hailed as a groundbreaking portrayal of gay life, the play was adapted into a feature film directed by William Friedkin in 1970, which was also considered a milestone in queer cinema as one of the first major American films to revolve around gay characters. Now, following a Tony-winning Broadway revival in 2018, The Boys in the Band is being brought to Netflix by Ryan Murphy. Watch The Boys in the Band trailer below.

The Boys in the Band Trailer

Ryan Murphy got the Broadway boys back together to star in a new feature film adaptation of The Boys in the Band, directed by Joe Mantello, who reunites with his Broadway cast including Jim ParsonsMatt Bomer, Zachary Quinto, and Andrew Rannells, as well as Charlie Carver, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington, Robin de Jesús, and Tuc Watkins.

The film takes on Murphy’s trademark high-gloss sheen, but the footage here looks very much like a play — it’s clear from the get-go with its one-location setting and heavy dialogue. I’m not sure what Murphy can bring to this play that Mantello’s Broadway revival and Friedkin’s 1970 movie haven’t already achieved, but the movie will at least bring in a sizable audience for its star-studded cast.

Here is the synopsis for The Boys in the Band:

More than fifty years after Mart Crowley’s play became an unexpected smash hit for putting gay men’s lives center stage with honesty and humor, THE BOYS IN THE BAND returns to the screen in a new adaptation that reunites acclaimed director Joe Mantello with the all-star cast of the Tony-winning, 2018 Broadway production.

In 1968 New York City – when being gay was still considered to be best kept behind closed doors – a group of friends gather for a raucous birthday party hosted by Michael (Jim Parsons), a screenwriter who spends and drinks too much, in honor of the sharp-dressed and sharp-tongued Harold (Zachary Quinto). Other partygoers include Donald (Matt Bomer), Michael’s former flame, now mired in self-analysis; Larry (Andrew Rannells), a randy commercial artist living with Hank (Tuc Watkins), a school teacher who has just left his wife; Bernard (Michael Benjamin Washington), a librarian tiptoeing around fraught codes of friendship alongside Emory (Robin de Jesús), a decorator who never holds back; and a guileless hustler (Charlie Carver), hired to be Harold’s gift for the night. What begins as an evening of drinks and laughs gets upended when Alan (Brian Hutchison), Michael’s straight-laced college roommate, shows up unexpectedly and each man is challenged to confront long-buried truths that threaten the foundation of the group’s tight bond.

The Boys in the Band hits Netflix on September 30, 2020.

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