In 1968 New York City - when being gay was still considered to be best kept behind closed doors - a group of friends gather for a raucous birthday party hosted by Michael (Jim Parsons), a screenwriter who spends and drinks too much, in honor of the sharp-dressed and sharp-tongued Harold (Zachary Quinto). Other partygoers include Donald (Matt Bomer), Michael's former flame, now mired in self-analysis; Larry (Andrew Rannells), a randy commercial artist living with Hank (Tuc Watkins), a school teacher who has just left his wife; Bernard (Michael Benjamin Washington), a librarian tiptoeing around fraught codes of friendship alongside Emory (Robin de Jesús), a decorator who never holds back; and a guileless hustler (Charlie Carver) hired to be Harold's gift for the night. What begins as an evening of drinks and laughs gets upended when Alan (Brian Hutchison), Michael's straight-laced college roommate, shows up unexpectedly and each man is challenged to confront long-buried truths that ...
Did You Know?
In "The Boys in the Band: Something Personal," a behind-the-scenes making-of documentary that accompanied the release of the 2020 film version of Boys in the Band on Netflix, playwright Mart Crowley says that he originally based the character of Harold on his close friend Howard Jeffrey, who was a dancer and choreographer in movies including Funny Girl, Hello, Dolly!, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and The Turning Point. Jeffrey was the dance coach for Natalie Wood during the filming of West Side Story; that is where he met Crowley, who was working as Wood's personal assistant. Crowley dedicated the original 1968 play to Jeffrey, who died of AIDS in 1988 at the age of 52. In the documentary, Crowley says, "Howard was, as [Harold] is in the play, the truth-teller, the demolisher of all pretension. And Howard could always read me that way, and not let me get away with anything. I resented that at times, bitterly, and we had many fights about a lot of things. But in retrospect, I learned more from him about myself than I did from anybody." Crowley also clarifies, "I would say, pretty much, that Michael, the lead in the play, is based on me." See more
Michael goes to the Midnight Mass and does not genuflect when he enters the pew. See more
What I am Michael, is an ugly pockmarked Jew fairy, and if it takes me a little while ro pull myself together, and if I smoke a little grass before I can get up the nerve to show this face to the world, then it's nobody's goddamn business but my own.
Written by Harold Arlen
and Ted Koehler
Performed by Jim Parsons See more