Earlier this week, Netflix finally released the long-awaited trailer for its adaption of “The Boys in the Band,” based on a play of the same name. Set in 1968, the story follows a group of LGBTQ+ friends who are celebrating the birthday of one in the group. As the night goes on, the party very suddenly divulges into chaos, resulting in a turn for the worse.
The movie stars the 2018 original Broadway cast which includes: Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”), Zachary Quinto (“NOS4A2”), Andrew Rannells (“Falsettos”), Matt Bomer (“American Horror Story”), Robin de Jesus (“Tick, Tick … Boom”) and Tuc Watkins (“Black Monday”). The film also stars Charlie Carver, Brian Hutchison and Michael Benjamin Washington, who are relatively new to film. The production is directed by Joe Mantello.
“The Boys in the Band” was written by Mart Crowley, who unfortunately passed away in March, only six months away from the film’s upcoming premiere. Crowley staged the first production of the play on Off-Broadway in 1968, making the production one of the first plays to focus entirely on the lives’ of LGBTQ+ people. Soon after the debut, it was adapted for the first time in 1970. The play did not receive its Broadway debut until Apr. 30, 2018, 50 years to the date of the original premiere. The play ran from April 2018 to August of the same year, and it received much praise due to casting gay actors as LGBTQ+ characters.
“The Boys in the Band” revival received the Tony Award for best revival of a play. Upon the success of the play, Ryan Murphy (who helped bring the play back to life), made a $300 million deal with Netflix to make a film adaptation of the play. Also a part of the deal is “The Prom,” which will release later this year. The main difference between the two upcoming films is that “The Boys in the Band” film reunited the original Broadway cast, meaning it’s a direct adaptation from the stage play; “The Prom,” however, does not star its original Broadway cast.
Brian Hutchison took to social media to share his excitement over the impending release of the film. On an Instagram post, he said, “It’s been such a great ride for a few years with all of these guys. We raise a toast to [Crowley] … such a huge part of it 50 years down the road. Missing all the guys today as we do virtual press but look forward to sharing this beautiful film helmed by the extraordinary Joe Mantello. It was so much fun making — one of the great joys of my life.”
The majority of the cast have had very similar sentiments to this production. Perhaps the two who are most grateful for this powerful play are Andrew Rannells and Tuc Watkins. Rannells and Watkins play the couple Hank and Larry in the play; however, during the production, the two actors began a real-life relationship and are still together to this day.
“The Boys in the Band” marks the first to launch of many new film adaptations of Broadway productions, making theatre productions more accessible to the general public. “The Boys in the Band” arrives on Netflix on Sept. 30.