“The Boys in the Band,” that landmark Stonewall-era movie based on a pre-Stonewall play by Mart Crowley, is the focus of a documentary in circulation. And playwright/screenwriter Mart Crowley will be at the Avon Theatre in Stamford to discuss “Making the Band” after a screening.
The making of the movie, the first with an all-gay cast of characters (and practically all-gay cast), has quite a back story, as you can imagine. Connecticut Post entertainment writer Joe Meyers, a favorite colleague of mine, will host a Q&A with Crowley as well as the documentary’s producers after the screening. (UPDATE: Crowley has cancelled, but Crayton Robey, the director of the film, will be there instead.)
“Give me librium or give me meth!”
I can’t think of a more perfect host — Meyers’ knowledge of film and stage is unmatched.
“I’m not a steal. I cost twenty dollars.”
The evening begins 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 16. More info here.
And remember: “It’s not always the way it is in plays. Not all faggots bump themselves off at the end of the story!”
I posted earlier that this would be a “making-of” film, but this piece isn’t really about the play and movie’s genesis as much as it’s about its impact.
The off-broadway play was a huge hit, running five years with two national touring companies. It’s core audience was straights. The film that followed wasn’t a big hit, and its stars suffered a backlash as actors, and yet its influence is felt today.
Two surviving cast members in the film (a third surviving cast member has dropped out of sight) explain the prejudice they faced in Hollywood as a result of appearing in the film. They say their co-stars were bitter about the years of hardship that followed.
A writer on After Elton put it well: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we all benefit from the courage of early pioneers, but very rarely do the pioneers themselves get rewarded. On the contrary, often they get totally screwed, at least in the GLBT movement.”