Composers and their stage works 

The Boys in the Band

Mart Crowley

Comedy Drama 2 acts.

M9 (20s-30s, 1 Black). An apartment.

Michael, a homosexual, has invited a number of friends to a birthday party for Harold, a clever, thirty-something dark, lean Jew with a penchant for pills and pot. Other guests are Donald who, like Michael, is undergoing psychoanalysis and is the nearest to a real friend that Michael has; Emory who is the only one who is a blatantly obvious screaming queen; Hank who has left his wife and children to live with Larry and Bernard, a tall Negro.

As his present for Harold, Emory has rented a blond, drop-dead-gorgeous rent-boy, Cowboy. While waiting for Harold and his live present to arrive, the boys joke and bitch with each other, calling each other "she" and refer constantly to gay icons like Rita Heyworth, Gloria de Haven and, of course, Judy Garland. It becomes obvious as the drama unfolds that they are a seriously disturbed group of individuals with perhaps Bernard being the most stable and Michael the nastiest. Like the others, he is scared about growing old and losing his looks. He has travelled the world but is permanently in debt and tries to assuage the problem with alcohol. His drinking makes him hostile and even nastier and brutally abusive to the dumb, harmless Cowboy.

Eventually the full force of his anger turns on Alan, a 'straight' friend of his. Alan, has rung up wanting to see him: he has quarrelled with his wife. Though anxious about the outcome, Michael agrees to his joining them. Alan is unaware that at the party he has joined he is amongst homosexuals - apart from the obvious Emory whom he assaults for being a freak.

Michael tries to organise a "game" of telephoning people they most love, part of the object of which is to induce Alan to confess that he, too, is one of them. Michael fails miserably. Alan goes, leaving behind him the debris of the party.

ISBN 0 573 64004 1