Metro Weekly

Zachary Quinto, Jim Parsons and Matt Bomer to star in The Boys in the Band

Andrew Rannells, Robin De Jesús, and Tuc Watkins also star in a limited Broadway run of the landmark gay play

L-R: Zachary Quinto (Digitas Photos), Jim Parsons (Dominick D), Matt Bomer (Gage Skidmore)

Zachary Quinto, Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, and Andrew Rannells will all star in a limited Broadway production of The Boys in the Band next year.

The landmark 1968 play, about a group of gay men who gather in a New York City apartment for a friend’s birthday, is being directed by Joe Mantello (Take Me OutAssassins) and produced by TV mogul Ryan Murphy and Broadway regular David Stone (WickedNext To Normal), Playbill reports.

Mart Crowley’s comedy drama, which was adapted into a film by William Friedkin in 1970, shocked audiences when it first opened with its frank depiction of gay men living openly.

Despite criticism that it depicted its characters, who get drunk and expose the cracks in their relationships, as narcissistic and shallow, it drew acclaim for daring to showcase gay lifestyles at a time when it was still considered taboo.

“The significance of The Boys in the Band cannot be underestimated,” Murphy said in a statement. “In 1968, Mart Crowley made theatrical history by giving voice to gay men onstage, in this uncompromising, blisteringly honest, and wickedly funny play.

“The play was groundbreaking in its exploration of how gay men treated each other and how they were made to feel about themselves,” he continued. “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.”

The cast also includes Robin De Jesús, Tuc Watkins, Brian Hutchison and Michael Benjamin.

Currently confirmed roles are:

  • Quinto as Harold, whose birthday it is, and who bemoans the loss of his youthful looks and inability to attract younger men
  • Parsons as Michael, Harold’s “frenemy,” host of the party and an alcoholic
  • Bomer as Donald, who is attempting to spurn the homosexual “lifestyle”
  • Rannells as Larry, a fashion photographer with multiple sexual partners
  • Watkins as Hank, Larry’s boyfriend who “passes” as straight and was married to a woman
  • De Jesús as Emory, a flamboyant and “effeminate” friend
  • Hutchison as Alan, Michael’s straight college friend who shows up unexpectedly to tell Michael something
  • Benjamin as Bernard, an African-American man who pines for the wealthy white man who lived in the house where his mother worked as a maid
  • The role of Cowboy, a blond prostitute given to Harold as a present, has yet to be cast.

The play will have a 15-week run at the Booth Theatre on Broadway, starting April 30. Ticket information has yet to be announced.

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.