The Making of "The Boys in the Band"

Artful Thinking Organization is proud to present the newly released documentary MAKING THE BOYS at the Art Theatre of Long Beach on Thursday, June 23rd!

On Thursday, June 23rd Artful Thinking's Out at the Movies is proud to present MAKING THE BOYS at the Art Theatre of Long Beach, CA.

Before Prop 8, Milk or Will & Grace, before the AIDS epidemic, gay pride parades or the Stonewall uprising, The Boys in the Band changed everything. MAKING THE BOYS explores the drama, struggle and enduring legacy of the first-ever gay play and subsequent Hollywood movie to successfully reach a mainstream audience. Beloved by some for breaking new ground, and condemned by others for reinforcing gay stereotypes, The Boys in the Band sparked heated controversy that still exists four decades later.

When Mart Crowley's play The Boys in the Band opened off-Broadway in 1968, humanity hiccupped. Never before had gay men been depicted as humans and beings, carousing onstage together in all their humor and foibles and sadness—like real people. Two years later William Friedkin's film adaption hit theaters and closeted men secretly lined up to get inside, while those coming out said it gave them the courage to claim their identity.

"This is such an important moment in America," says Robey. "I thought, 'Why haven't I heard about it?'" Robey spent the next several years working on the project, which is also very much an expose on Mart Crowley, and those fireworks have resurfaced in the completed film. The Boys in the Band is so controversial among gay and straight people," says Robey. "It made homosexuality visible. Gay people left their wives and children to be a part of this new world.. People had seen nothing like this before; it was like a rock concert."

Featuring anecdotes from the surviving cast including Robert Wagner, and filmmakers, as well as perspectives by legendary figures from stage and screen, MAKING THE BOYS traces the behind-the-scenes drama and lasting legacy of this cultural milestone.  More important, as the film shows and Robey stresses, is how The Boys in the Band  influenced gay culture forever. In addition to Crowley and a roster of gay pioneers like Edward Albee and Terrence McNally, out celebrities like Andy Cohen and Cheyenne Jackson talk about the movie's influence on their own lives and careers. If there's a message to Making the Boys, it's the importance of understanding where we came from and to never forget the fragility of freedom.

The film is packed with insightful interviews, period images, on stage clips from the original Off-Broadway and London West End productions of The Boys in the Band and side trips into the impact of the original play and the movie which followed (and how one led to the other) on the lives of all of the major participants, the evolution of modern gay rights and American culture in general that the result is as close to an essential historical document as on objective viewer could ask.

Forty years ago, homosexuality meant you were a pervert, a child molester. It was taboo and against the law. Then, in 1968, someone wrote a play and it introduced audiences to homosexuality; the culture, the tribe, the life that people were not aware of. Young kids saw it, heard about it; it gave them hope that they could find that, that they could do and be anything they wanted. They were not alone. It was a great signal and message. We are part of something larger."

A Crayton Robey film.

CRITIC'S PICK! "Captivating and entertaining...sometimes you don't have to go very far into the past to be amazed at how drastically things have changed. Making the Boys is fascinating recent history and a fascinating personal story as well." - Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times

View a trailer here:

Showtime: 9:00PM      Tickets: $10.00 in advance  

 $11.00 at the door       Call: 562.438.5435

Advance tickets are recommended. 

Art Theatre of Long Beach is located at 2025 E. 4th St., Long Beach

Artful Thinking Organization is a Long Beach, California based 501(c)(3) non profit that engages in artful activities related to educating the public about HIV/AIDS and Breast Cancer as well as providing prevention program information on these two very important health issues through community based events.     

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