|The Boys in the Band|
Perhaps a more apt title for this hilarious and unrelentingly biting examination of gay life in the late 1960's would be Mean Boys. The Plastics, a few blocks over, could learn a lesson or two these fellas who may have written the book on cruelty. Really, watching this tightly directed (by genius Joe Mantello), superbly acted piece must be what it feels like to open a time capsule. You can laugh ruefully at the silliness of a time past, maybe even missing it a little, and maybe a little regretfully. But then, as you look more closely, you may recoil at the horrifying realization that times may change, but people never really do.
The pink-tinged mirrors that make up the walls on David Zinn's ultra-mod bachelor pad never allow this band of boys a place to hide - the ultimate see and be seen set up, where one can primp and re-style as needed, but also where one cannot get away from himself. Wealth and status pervade every detail in the setting from the marble base table and the room sized velvet covered sectional to a closet filled with expensive sweaters and an impressive row of designer shoes. Were this a modern day tale, the decor might be a little different in color and the clothes more up to date, but change out the turntable with a cutting edge digital device, and probably a huge curved-screen Smart TV, and this could be today. It's the perfect setting for observing a surprise birthday party.
|Zachary Quinto and Charlie Carver|
|Robin de Jesus, Michael Benjamin Washington,|
Andrew Rannells and Jim Parsons
|Matt Bomer and Jim Parsons|
|Jim Parsons and Matt Bomer|
The Boys in the Band definitely shows us where we've been and how far we've come. The play's scathing commentary on the destructive nature of many in the gay community, and the sobering final tableau of self-loathing are a powerful reminder of how much further we still have to go.
(Photos by J. Kyler, J. Marcus)