Off-Broadway's The Boys In The Band, a revival of Mart Crowley's landmark 1968 comedy/drama about urban gay life, will hold a special benefit performance Monday, Oct. 14.
Proceeds will go to the Actors' Fund Of America, which provides financial assistance and social services to members of the entertainment industry. With national headquarters in Manhattan and regional offices in Chicago and Los Angeles, the Actors Fund offers counseling, substance abuse and mental health programs, nursing home care and retirement housing, as well as vital grants for food, rent and medical expenses, to members of the entertainment industry.
Crowley's play is about a group of gay men who hire a hustler as a birthday present for their friend but wind up spending the night of the party airing their pleasures and miseries. One of the first plays to deal with contemporary life among homosexuals openly, Band went on to become a 1000-performance hit in its original production.
Acknowledged or not, the play served as spiritual father to everything from Party to Love! Valour! Compassion!. Nevertheless, the play's reputation went into decline in the 1980s as an overly negative and stereotyped view of gay life. Directed by Kenneth Eliott, the new production seeks a contemporary re-exploration of the characters.