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The Boys in the Band party it up in first look at Ryan Murphy-produced Netflix film

Entertainment Weekly logo Entertainment Weekly 8/21/2020 Nick Romano
Robin de Jesus et al. standing in a room: Netflix © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Netflix

Let's return to New York City's Upper East Side in the year 1968 on the night a group of nine gay male friends gathered for one evening of birthday frivolity that devolved into a Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?-esque game of true confessions. It's The Boys in the Band, the acclaimed stage play, only it's been adapted as a film with producer Ryan Murphy for Netflix. Here's a first look.

Netflix released the first batch of images from the movie version of the production originally penned by the late Mart Crowley.

Joe Mantello, who appeared in Murphy's Netflix series Hollywood, directed the 2018 Broadway revival and he now, too, directs the film.

Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer are posing for a picture: Netflix © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Netflix a group of people on a stage: Netflix © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Netflix

The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons, The Sinner's Matt Bomer and Brian Hutchison, NOS4A2's Zachary Quinto, Black Monday's Andrew Rannells and Tuc Watkins, Teen Wolf's Charlie Carver, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's Michael Benjamin Washington, and In the Heights stage actor Robin de Jesús all featured in that Broadway bow, which won a Tony in 2019 for Best Revival of a Play. They all return now for the film, as shown in the first-look reveal.

Robin de Jesus et al. standing in a room: Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto, and more actors from the Broadway revival return for the movie. © Netflix Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, Zachary Quinto, and more actors from the Broadway revival return for the movie.

Parsons portrays Michael, a screenwriter hosting a birthday party for Harold (Quinto). Donald (Bomer), Michael's former flame; Larry (Rannells), a commercial artist who lives with school teacher Hank (Watkins); Bernard (Washington), a librarian; and Emory (de Jesús), a decorator, are all guests of this shindig. The group also hires a hustler (Carver) as a gift for the night. Then Alan (Hutchison) shows up. The unexpected arrival of Michael's old college roommate challenges each of these men to confront long-buried truths that threaten to untangle their tight-knit bond.

Jim Parsons, Brian Hutchison posing for the camera: Netflix © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Netflix Robin de Jesus, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Joe Mantello, Mart Crowley, Zachary Quinto, Charlie Carver, Tuc Watkins, Andrew Rannells, Brian Hutchison posing for a photo: Netflix © Provided by Entertainment Weekly Netflix

The original play, which debuted Off Broadway in 1968, featured cliché depictions of gay men, but it remains revolutionary for the story's portrayal of gay relationships at a time when homosexuality was taboo in the country.

The film bears more poignancy now in light of the death of Crowley, who passed away this past March after a heart attack at the age of 84. "We all stand firmly on the shoulders of that play," Murphy said.

The film will premiere this Sept. 30 on Netflix.

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