New York, 1968. A year before the tragic events of Stonewall, being out and proud in the Big Apple was dangerous. The members of the LGBTQ community gathered in private parties, where they could express themselves without having to fear consequences. In this context, Michael (Jim Parsons), a spendthrift and alcoholic screenwriter organises a party to celebrate his friend Harold’s birthday (Zachary Quinto). To rise to the occasion, the “boys in the band” get together, presenting a whole panel of existential dilemmas: While Donald (Matt Bomer) appears to be having an identity crisis, Larry (Andrew Rannells) is portrayed as an eternal seducer. He lives with Hank (Tuc Watkins), a professor who just left his wife. The diner party is also liven up by Bernard (Mochael Benjamin Washington), a quiet and timid librarian who falls for Emory (Robin de Jesús), an extroverted interior designer. As a birthday gift, Harold receives the services of a candid escort, interpreted by Charlie Carver (Desperate Housewives). When Alan – Michael’s ex-college roommate – barges in uninvited and confronts the party-goers about secrets kept for years, the group’s balance is threatened.
This new project is directed by Joe Mantello (Hollywood) and produced by Ryan Murphy. The latter – who is openly gay – became a master of representing the queer community on-screen, with the different characters of his horror anthology series American Horror Story, or with Pose – a project focusing on the New York Ball Room scene in the 1980s. Ryan Murphy said on Instagram in 2019: “Everyone on the cast was out and proud! We felt so honoured to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mat Crowley’s play.” The Boys In The Band is an adaptation of a play by the American playwright, written in 1968. When it came out, Crowley’s work became a real cultural phenomenon, resonating with the restrictive climate that was ruling over New York City at the end of the 1960s. The project was also made in a movie in 1970 by William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist) with the same cast as the original Broadway play.
The Boys In The band, available on Netflix on the 30th of September.