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The Boys in the Band to premiere on Netflix, Wed. 9/30- Page 6

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HogansHero
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not what I said but, as they wouldn't have said in 1968, whatev's.

by all means don't give it any more time than you think it deserves. I think you are giving Mart Crowley's hatefest a nice run for the money. The Boys in the Band to premiere on Netflix, Wed. 9/30

Wayman_Wong
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''Zachary Levi was wrong for Harold but in all fairness, Leonard Frey in the original is hard to compete with. Z Levi didn't seem to know where to go and would sometimes just do a poor imitation of the original,''

Speaking of ''wrong'' actors, Zachary Levi isn't in ''The Boys in the Band.''

The actor playing Harold in the Netflix film is Zachary Quinto. 

Updated On: 10/4/20 at 03:55 AM
Jarethan
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I saw this show in Boston while I was in college.  I remember it being very powerful, and getting some education (at the time, I did not know anyone who was out, so it was an introduction to what it could mean to be gay in the late sixties / early 70s). 

Seeing the movie, the main thought that I kept returning to was...how much would that apartment cost in 2020.  I wanted to move back to Manhattan if I could live in that apartment.  Of course, aging makes me realize that I could never buy  something on a top floor with a circular staircase to the bedroom...but I could dream.

I am sounding snarky, but don't mean to be.  Given the passage of time, I still found it entertaining, but it did not have the power that it once had.  I know there are gays who are still in the closet, and there will always be people who like to 'abuse' their friends, and people who are self-loathing, and etc.   I just think it managed to be entertaining but not powerful, a little bit of a museum piece, in which the point of the work was still powerful, but the dramatization was less so.

Re the actors, most of the cast were fine in their roles; for me only Zackary Quinto stood out, which is saying something, since I don't normally like him.  I did not like Jim Parsons -- I guess I thought his self-hate was even more intense than in the production I saw years ago or in the movie (but that may be faulty memory); for me, I needed a little more than it was driven by the times and his Catholic guilt at being gay.   

I thought that Robin de Jesus came across too strongly, but I also thought that with Cliff Gorman in the movie and the person I saw in Boston.  So, I guess he performed it as intended by the author.  I guess his character just seemed like too much of a stereotype to me.  Maybe I needed a little more backstory on him as well.  Don't know why but Andrew Rannells didn't do it for me either...I think he overacted ever so slightly. Matt Bomer was fine, but I wanted more on him...why was he working as a janitor and why did he live with his parents.

So, here is my suggestion.  Maybe Ryan Murphy should take these characters and commission someone to write an 8 part mini-series, which would go deeper into the individual characters, their youth, the undoubtedly tough times they went through, their coming out...how this mixed bag of people became friends, etc.  Tone down the self-loathing, etc.  I bet it could be excellent.

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Jarethan, I agree with all of your thoughts. Like Bomer could just go model? Ha.  I wasn't sure about that backstory. I like it, but I found it more powerful on stage, for some reason.  

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I thought the original film was better for the first half of the play.  Wittier, zingier than in the new version.  But I thought the telephone scenes were better in the new one.  The original was played at fever pitch and went over the top.  This one was quieter, more realistic, and therefore had a greater dramatic impact

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goodlead said: "I thought the original film was better for the first half of the play. Wittier, zingier than in the new version. But I thought the telephone scenes were better in the new one. The original was played at fever pitch and went over the top. This one was quieter, more realistic, and therefore had a greater dramatic impact"

no x

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JBroadway
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Just watched the film last night. As I said earlier in this thread, my only point of reference for this was the recent Broadway revival. I've never read the play, never seen another production, and never saw the original film. Surprisingly, I ended up enjoying this more than the stage revival.

I find I have very mixed feelings about the material: I respect it as a historical benchmark in the theatrical cannon, and I think parts of it are dramatically compelling. But I feel like other playwrights have since explored these themes in more interesting ways. Again - I understand that those other playwrights were standing on Crowley's shoulders in many ways, but looking at the piece on its own merits, I don't necessarily think it's as resonant or distinct as the works that came after it. 

So I ended up being kind of underwhelmed by the play when seeing it for the first time. I think a 2nd viewing (via the film) helped me to appreciate it more, and I think I found the film more poetic and intimate than the revival. I loved the cinematic touches that Mantello added in to flesh out the world. 

Earlier in this thread, I went into detail explaining why I thought Jim Parsons was miscast in the leading role, and I stand by all of that. When I saw the show on Broadway, I thought it was a shame that the most meaty role went to the "wrong" person (in my opinion), while the rest of the roles struck me as well-cast, but not very meaty. I think this is where the medium of film really helps the piece. In this version, I really felt like all of the characters were memorable and fleshed out. I was particularly impression with Michael Benjamin Washington.

The biggest turnaround, for me, was Matt Bomer and his character. When I saw the show on Broadway I couldn't help but think "what the hell was he doing here? Why did Matt Bomer accept this nothing role?" or alternately, "why does this role feel so bland and forgettable in the hands of Matt Bomer?" I thought the character totally disappeared into the background onstage. But in the film, subtle shots here and there really made him feel like a constant, grounded presence throughout the party. 

 

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noradesmond
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Wayman_Wong said: "''Zachary Levi was wrong for Harold but in all fairness, Leonard Frey in the original is hard to compete with. Z Levi didn't seem to know where to go and would sometimes just do a poor imitation of the original,''

Speaking of ''wrong'' actors, Zachary Levi isn't in ''The Boys in the Band.''

The actor playing Harold in the Netflix film is Zachary Quinto.
"

Yes I confused my Zacharys! Apologies. I have corrected my post. 

Updated On: 10/5/20 at 06:25 PM
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Holy p*uck!  Never again am I not giving something a chance.  Disregard my earlier post when I first sat to watch this remake and turned it off 15 minutes in. 

2 words: Jim Parsons. This is his shining hour. What a gift of a role for an actor. Many will never get this. I re-started the film intentionally erasing the memory of the 1970 version. Once I did that, I was watching a brand new film and what a ride. I laughed and I did something I never did with the original: I cried. A few times. I watched earlier today a doc of the original and director William Friedkin even admitted he regrets not toning down Emory’s campy persona.  Gorman was still playing it for the last row in the balcony as were a few others in the film. Robin DeJesus’ Emory in this new one honored that intention and it worked. I will say, this new remake is much better acting wise. Joe Mantello brought the level to suit the film medium, which I admit the original didn’t do so our memory is of a more broad acting style. To me, this new remake is a true representation of the work.

I loved this and the extended post-party sequence let kus breathe.  The original 1970 ended with an overhead shot of Michael and Donald hugging behind the couch so you still felt trapped.  We now were able to get outside for air. 

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morosco
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Spoiler.

 
Click Here To Toggle Spoiler Content

We never learn what Alan wanted to discuss with Michael. What do you guys think he wanted to talk about?

 

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morosco said: "Spoiler.

 
Click Here To Toggle Spoiler Content
We never learn whatAlan wanted to discuss with Michael.What do you guys think he wanted to talk about?

"

It’s intentionally left open-ended.  Mart Crowley intended it that way.  The original actor Pete White says people still ask him to this day that same question and he tells them he does not know.  Robert Moore, the play’s original director, told him to play it: 50% of the audience thinks Alan is gay and 50% of the audience thinks he’s straight.  As written, you yourself take away your own assumption.  

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theatre is at its best when it doesn't answer more questions than it needs to.

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BrodyFosse123 said: "morosco said: "Spoiler.

 
Click Here To Toggle Spoiler Content
We never learn whatAlan wanted to discuss with Michael.What do you guys think he wanted to talk about?

"

It’s intentionallyleft open-ended. Mart Crowley intended it that way. The original actor Pete White says people still ask him to this day that same question and he tells them he does not know. Robert Moore, the play’s original director, told him to play it: 50% of the audience thinks Alan is gay and 50% of the audience thinks he’s straight. As written, you yourself take away your own assumption.


I think Crowley was trying to break away from the structure, which started as an effective dramatic device in Williams' Streetcar or in some sense Miller's Salesman, but had been reduced to an empty formula by various other playwrights: X character behaves in odd ways that create complications, drama ensues, then X's past history is dramatically revealed to explain everything, and the plot is resolved somehow. It obviously came out of the psychotherapy moment that was big at the time, and, again, used artistically, it could be very effective But it had become an empty trick, essentially the mid-20th century form of the "well-made play."  I think Crowley was rightly saying "Enough of that."

The problem for me is, Crowley doesn't discard the device. He brings it in, then refuses to follow through. I can't help thinking of Chekov's argument "If in the first act you have hung a pistol on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don't put it there." 

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It doesn't matter whether Alan is gay or not. What matters is Michael's desperation to out him, and Parsons was sensational at charting that and paying it off. He is magnificent in the role. He delineates his alcoholic decline and truly earns to complete meltdown. In general, I went with every new characterization in this update...except for one. I didn't but Quinto. He felt hemmed in by the brilliant, deeply odd performance of Leonard Frey who seemed to delight in how gay he was allowed to be on film in the 70s.

I don't think Mantello is the film auteur that Friedkin is. But he brought something else to the piece: insider knowledge. Friedkin was an observer of a culture.  It was almost an anthropological view of a certain subset of gay men in the late 60s. Mantello, with his entirely out cast, was able to pull from within to tell this story. It was most obvious in the party games sequence. There seemed to be delight from some of the men in daring to play this game...until it turned sour. That was masterful.

And then...the line..."If we could just not hate ourselves so much." For a brief moment, it felt like we were no longer in the movie, but watching the actors recognize what came before and mourn for those men. The cutaway to Matt Bomer and his single tear felt really healing. Ugh...now I'm sounding ridiculous. Suffice it to say, I very much enjoyed this version, just as I very much enjoyed the 1970 film. I like Boys in the Band. Those men don't make me sad. They existed and because of that, we have what we have now. 

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Jim Parsons, physically, is not your leading man type but will always be a leading man character.

I would love to see him as a Joker type or evil in James Bond or nasty in a Marvel film.

He certainly has his own mannerisms that invade all his characters but, so what?

Just watched Ratched and the brilliant Judy Davis. I thought her Judy Garland took over totally and belonged inside Nurse Bucket.

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Deadline.com has done an extensive and fascinating interview with Joe Mantello. The two-time, Tony-winning director reveals what he's learned from directing Mart Crowley's play onstage and onscreen; addresses how his film version differs from the 1970 by William Friedkin, and spotlights the special moments he believes his cast brought to ''The Boys in the Band.''

https://deadline.com/2020/09/joe-mantello-boys-in-the-band-netflix-interview-ryan-murphy-jim-parsons-broadway-1234583539/

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Parsons as the Joker is an inspired idea. A bond villain might not be bad, either, but I'd love to see his interpretation of the Joker.

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Newfest film festival (nyc LGBT film festival) is happening this week and it’s all virtual this year. I saw they have this q&a panel for BOYS IN THE BAND movie with Joe Mantello, Tuc Watkins, and Brian Hutchison. It’s tonight at 6pm and it’s free. Thought a few of you may be interested in watching.

https://newfest.org/event/boys-in-the-band/

Updated On: 10/19/20 at 08:52 AM
theblackumbrella
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I think this was said earlier, but Parsons started out on a certain level and just maintained that intensity. When Zachary Quinto’s character says “he’s turning, he’s turning”, it felt more like a narrative shift telling us that things are about to go south. Sure Parsons starts drinking and what have you at that moment, but he should’ve started off being less caustic as to give a gradient to his vitriol.

Emory was so loud in the beginning. Every time he laughed it was full mouthed and almost reminiscent of Fran in “The Nanny”. I was thankful for the second half which rounded out his character from being a full blown caricature.

Also should note this film version is my first interaction with the material.
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Emory was so loud in the beginning. Every time he laughed it was full mouthed and almost reminiscent of Fran in “The Nanny”. I was thankful for the second half which rounded out his carácter from being a full blown caricature.

I suggest not watching the original 1970 film adaptation featuring the entire original 1968 Off-Broadway cast.  Greg Gorman’s original Emory makes Robin De Jesus’ Emory in this 2020 version shy and soft-spoken.  Even William Friedkin, who directed the 1970 film, regrets not toning down Greg Gorman’s performance for the film as he was still playing it for the last row in the balcony.  

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I watched the film again last night. I still think this cast worked better on stage but overall I really do enjoy this. DeJesus, I still feel, was robbed of the Tony for her performance however what I saw at the Booth Theater did not translate to film. Don’t get me wrong, he’s very good in this but it’s a totally different performance.

I love how Mantello kept the two men making love at the end (which was the final image we saw on stage). I remember just how beautiful that was live and thought it was so powerful, after the 2 hours we’d just witnessed.
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Cliff Gorman

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Jordan Catalano said: "I love how Mantello kept the two men making love at the end (which was the final image we saw on stage). I remember just how beautiful that was live and thought it was so powerful, after the 2 hours we’d just witnessed."

I watched the netflix film with a friend who didn't see the play on Broadway and he thought that was Zachary Quinto and Charlie Carver making love! I don't blame him for thinking that since I thought the way Mantello directed this on Broadway was much better.

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Oh that’s interesting. Didn’t even occur to me that it could be confusing, since I knew who it was from the stage. I’ll have to take a look again!
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Don’t know how this could be confusing to anyone watching the 2020 film. In the extended montage at the end of the film, we clearly see Larry and Hank in the bedroom so when the sex moment is seen in silhouette, the room and it’s occupants has already been clearly established. The last shot of Quinto and Carver is both riding in a taxi cab and Carver resting his head on Quinto’s shoulder.

Anyone confused simply was talking and not paying attention.

The stage version doesn’t include this extended ending so we are aware that Hank and Larry are in the bedroom as we saw them entering it, etc.