FOF #2830 – The Boys in the Band Spills All The Hot Tea

Feb 24, 2020 · 2005 views

Carl Menninger and the Windy City Playhouse cast of The Boys in the Band. Photos: Michael Brosilow (Carol Fox and Associates).

In the mid 60s New York Times theater and film critic Stanley Kauffman laid down the gauntlet asking the era’s most famous gay playwrights why they wrote plays with heterosexual characters that “distorted American women, marriage, and society” and avoided writing about gay men like themselves.

Hollywood screen writer Mart Crowley responded by writing “The Boys in the Band” a gay dark comedy which featured mostly gay actors playing gay roles in a brutally honest show that laid it all on the line, from their self loating and racism to their love and resilience.

The Tony Award winning play was then turned into a major motion picture released in theaters a year after the Stonewall Riots.

“The Boys in the Band… is not a musical.” Original poster for the 1970 film.

50 years later, the play was brought back to Broadway starring some of your favorite gay Hollywood hunks, and then turned into a film again for Netflix.

Now here in Chicago, the Windy City Theater is taking a whole new look at the legendary play, creating an immersive experience that puts you in the middle of the wild party.

Today— Windy City Playhouse’s The Boys in the Band director Carl Menninger joins us take a look at the play and the film, and its influence on popular culture and queer liberation.

What were gay bars like in Technicolor?

Why did the actor who played the Cowboy try to implicate Robert Wagner and Christopher Walken in the death of Natalie Wood shortly before his own death from AIDS?

How The Boys in the Band helped inspire the Rocky Horror Picture Show and open the doors for 20th Century Fox to green-light Star Wars.

Get tickets: Windy City Playhouse’s The Boys in the Band

Featured Film: Boys in the Band: Amazon

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