Matt Crowley’s play The Boys in the Band, one of the first cutting-edge American dramas about homosexuality that premiered Off-Broadway in 1968, will be adapted into a film for Netflix. Ryan Murphy, who recently announced that he will do similar duty for the Broadway musical The Prom, has announced that he will produce a film version of The Boys in the Band for the streaming platform.
The Boys in the Bandreceived a hit revival on Broadway in 2018. The cast of that production, which included Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Matt Bomer, Charlie Carver, Robin de Jesus, Tuc Watkins, Michael Benjamin Washington and Brian Hutchison, will all appear in the film production. Directing the adaptation will be Joe Mantello (Wicked) who helmed that 2018 revival. Filming for the Netlfix production will commence in the summer of 2019, toward a 2020 release.
Ryan Murphy is well-known to television audiences for being one of the creative minds behind such series as Nip/Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story, and American Crime Story. Murphy was Emmy-nominated for directing the 2014 HBO adaptation of another important gay stage drama for the screen, Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart (which won the Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie. Murphy has also won Emmys for Outstanding Director of a Comedy Series (Glee), Outstanding Limited Series for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and both Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series and Outstanding Limited Series for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
An important benchmark in the evolution of gay theatre, The Boys in the Band tells the story of a group of gay men who have come together to celebrate the birthday party of one of their group’s members. This gathering of such distinct and strong personalities leads to an evening that starts out as a barb-trading game of humor and devolves into a drunken evening of unyielding honesty and bitter truths.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia, and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com.
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