There’s a new play on Broadway with megawatt star power that’s livening up the Theater Disrict. The Knick team went to check out a preview performance of The Boys in the Band, which opens May 30. Here’s why you’ll want to see this stylish revival.
Yes, it’s a Revival
Originally premiering Off Broadway in 1968 The Boys in the Band is Mart Crowley’s much lauded tale that centers on a group of gay men gathering for a birthday party at a swanky apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Decades before Angels in America, it was a shock to the New York theater scene for so candidly treating its characters. The Exorcist director William Friedkin turned the play into a movie two years later, introducing its groundbreaking themes to an even wider audience.
The ensemble cast is one of the major reasons tickets to The Boys in the Band are going so fast. Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons stars as Michael the party host, a lapsed Catholic and recovering alcoholic. Magic Mike breakout heartthrob Matt Bomer (who received a Golden Globe for The Normal Heart, opposite Parsons, Mark Ruffalo, and Julia Roberts) plays Donald, Michael’s friend (and former lover, we think. It’s never explicitly stated), who’s moved out of New York to undergo psychoanalysis. Zachary Quinto plays Harold, the aging—and none too pleased about it—birthday boy and seeming frenemy of Michael. Andrew Rannells rounds out the top billers as Larry, one of the friends. There are five other cast members who join the party: Tuc Watkins plays Larry’s older boyfriend; Robin de Jesús plays sassy Emory, another friend; Michael Benjamin Washington plays Bernard, the lone African American in the friend group; newcomer Charlie Carver plays an unintelligent stripper hired as Harold’s birthday present; and Brian Hutchison plays Alan, Michael’s straight (or is he?) college roommate who uninvitedly shows up, creating tension. As the evening progresses, and the partiers drink more, that tension only rises. Michael forces everyone to play a “game,” in which they call someone they’ve loved and tell them about it. It’s not fun, and, in between hilarious jokes, things do get ugly.
The Set is Swoon-worthy
The entire play, presented in one act, takes place inside Michael’s apartment. And what an apartment it is. Red velvet covers every surface of the two-story flat, with a sunken living room and glassed-in kitchen downstairs, and a bedroom, vanity, and bathroom (with a functioning offstage shower—yes it’s used) upstairs. It exudes sexiness, odd since its owner, Michael, is so uncomfortable with his own identity.
hereBoys in the Band is in previews until its official opening on May 30th. Get tickets .
After the show…
After the show ends, there are multiple unanswered questions you’ll want to discuss with your theater-mates. (Chief among them: how did nobody fall from the second story, which has no railing?) Head over to The Knick, just a few blocks away, for rooftop drinks atop Times Square at St. Cloud. There, you can dissect the inner meanings of this star-studded period-piece, drink in hand.