Produced by Ryan Murphy and directed by Joe Mantello, The Boys in the Band on Netflix reunites the entire Broadway cast of the Tony Award-winning revival of the play by the same name. While the production may seem like another dip into the Murphy stable of men with dark hair and strong jaws, the casting actually carries quite a lot of significance.
Mart Crowley's original play about gay men debating life and love at a birthday party is lighthearted, and therefore rare in retrospect. It was originally produced in 1968, a year before the Stonewall Riots. It depicts gay culture in a world without the turmoils or the triumphs of gay rights movement, and years prior to the AIDS crisis.
In fact, over a third of the original cast members, as well as the play's original director Robert Moore, sadly passed away in the '80s and '90s from AIDS and AIDS-related illnesses.
The new Boys in the Band cast is significant because all of the actors are openly gay — which is unfortunately still somewhat rare in Hollywood and on Broadway, even when it comes to stories by and about gay men. But since Crowley's play has become representative of the generation of LGBT talent lost in the AIDS crisis, it is additionally heartening to see this new generation of queer actors take up the mantel.
They're also pretty famous in their own right, if I do say so myself. Here's who plays each of The Boys in the Band.