And the Band Will Play On

News   And the Band Will Play On
 
The Boys in the Band, Mart Crowley's "period piece" about pre-Stonewall Manhattan gay life, turns out to be not only revivable but extendable.

The Boys in the Band, Mart Crowley's "period piece" about pre-Stonewall Manhattan gay life, turns out to be not only revivable but extendable.

Its first New York revival since its original 1968 gig concludes Aug. 3 at the WPA Theatre off Broadway, but it will bounce back three days later into an open-ended run at another OB theatre, the Lucille Lortel. All but one of the WPA cast will make the transfer.

Jeff Woodman, who plays Donald, had a prior commitment--a play with Lynn Redgrave--and his role is in the process of being recast. Otherwise, the cast will stay the same: David Drake as Michael, James Lecesne as Emory, David Greenspun as Harold, David Bishins as Hank, Sean McDermott as Larry, William Christian as Bernard, Robert Bogue as Alan and Scott Decker as Cowboy.

Other WPA productions which have made successful leaps to the Lortel are Charles Busch's Red Scare on Sunset and Robert Harling's Steel Magnolias.

While The Boys in the Band was still previewing for its WPA resurrection, Alyson Publications pitched a post-performance cocktail party at the Morris Healy Gallery for author Crowley. (The company has just released 3 Plays by Mart Crowley. Two of the four living members of the original cast attended: Tony-winning Cliff ("Lenny") Gorman and the play's black actor, Rueben Greene. The latter has kept a low-profile in recent years but keeps his hand in acting-wise; recently he appeared as the stage manager in a Jersey production of Our Town. Two other who are alive and acting are Lawrence Luckinbill, who had his own show going at Lincoln Center at the time of the reunion party (Jon Robin Baitz' A Fair Country) and Peter White, who's active in West Coast TV.

AIDS claimed the other five: Kenneth Nelson (Michael, the venomous party-host), Frederick Combs (Donald, his best friend and conscience), Keith Prentice (Larry, the straight-seeming partner of the divorced Hank), Leonard Frey (Harold, the birthday boy) and (Robert LaTourneaux, his birthday gift).

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