Late yesterday, one of the most prolific voices in LGBT playwriting was silenced al too soon. Columnist Michael Musto tweeted out that The Boys In The Band playwright Mart Crowley had passed away at the age of 84. According to Musto, Crowley passed away after a heart attack.
RIP, Mart Crowley, author of the groundbreaking gay play The Boys in the Band. He was Natalie Wood's assistant and told me she encouraged him to write the play. He nabbed a Tony when the all-star version came to Bway in '18 and the movie version of that will come out this year. pic.twitter.com/ntNF9F5krn
— michael musto (@mikeymusto) March 8, 2020
The openly gay Crowley was known best for The Boys in the Band, a landmark moment for both the theater and the LGBTQ community. The show broke new ground with its 1968 off-Broadway debut, showcasing the life, love, and of course the drama of a group of tight knit gay men and the lives that they were living. The storyline followed a group of gay men in New York City as they gathered in one home for a birthday party. After the Stonewall Rebellion, the play went on to become a feature film directed by William Friedkin in 1970.
The film finally made its long-awaited Broadway debut for its 50th anniversary with an all-star cast that included Andrew Rannells, Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer as well as Charlie Carver, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington, Robin de Jesús and Tuc Watkins. The play had a 15-week limited engagement, going on to snag a Tony Award for “Best Revival of a Play”. The entire cast is getting back together (courtesy of Uber-producer Ryan Murphy) for its second film adaptation for Netflix, which is currently filming.
Tributes are starting to come in, including from members of The Boys In The Band cast, including actor Andrew Rannells;
📸 “Mart Crowley. Kind. Smart. Hilarious. Generous. I feel incredibly fortunate to have spent so much time with him. He will be greatly missed and always loved.”
andrewrannells | 08.03.20 pic.twitter.com/mZKRrZzHsk
— Andrew Rannells Updates (@AndrewRannells) March 8, 2020
The Boys In The Band premieres on Netflix in 2020