The most important thing is the castle: Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto.
Warden: Joe Mantello
I’m happy to say that Kondo Man, my Ottoman fantasy in the sky on top of the Nakatomi Tower in Century City, is finally ready before it becomes habitable. I can’t say that all the little details like the caryatids holding the safe at the home cinema, which I wear in many of my famous film costumes, have been brought to a level of detail that a woman with my refined taste would expect. The one closest to the kitchen entrance in front of the maid, I have to be in the king’s ball gown and face to face – my musical adaptation of Titus Andronicus – strangely enough looks like Bugs Rabbit in the role of Brünnhilde of What’s Opera Doc? The ceilings of the bathrooms, inspired by Tiepolo, are also unfinished and the fireplace and the staircase have no elegant balustrades inlaid with mother-of-pearl and turquoise.
I told Fyer, the guy who carries the boxes, he can make two trips. This man is so devoted to me!
I managed to get an apartment, but there are still boxes and garbage cans everywhere that tease me while I try to sort out the contents, while I’m just exhausted from living in this time of the coronary virus. It didn’t help that the people of Gucci harassed me for weeks with threats of lawsuits related to a rather unfortunate incident on the Santa Monica pier. Fortunately, Fager and Hellmann, my lawyers, are familiar with these unpleasant trials and have promised that all this will be resolved and that nothing of substance will reach the press. I’m used to periodic negative publicity – it’s one of the evils of being a star my size – but I wish it weren’t, because I’m preparing to launch my latest entertainment project. The details are still being worked out, but I should be ready to announce them in the coming weeks.
Although the interior isn’t quite to my liking yet, the electrician has been able to finish the wiring of the home cinema, so that I can watch films in relative comfort. I walked in, sat down on one of my newly ordered sofas, poured myself a drink in a comfortable Pina Coladas pot offered to me by Esenia, my new cook and barmaid. The full remote control, programmed to control lighting, TV, streaming services and the large curtain, worked well, although the curtain ran into a misplaced extension cord that made me climb a nearby Esprito before the deep purple velvet could burst. But in the end, everything was ready, and I browsed through the lists on Netflix to see which new films were for sale. I highlighted a recent remake of The Boys in the Band by ubiquitous Ryan Murphy for Netflix as part of his lucrative streaming contract.
Boys in the band started their lives as a play by Marth Crowley, which premiered in 1968. It was the first play to be staged in New York City that looked unabashedly at the contemporary urban gay scene and its inhabitants, allowing the gay author to tell the true story of a relatively hidden gay world that was part of New York City in the late 1960s. The play, which started a year before the Stonewall riots and the birth of the modern gay rights movement, caused a sensation. In the end, the homosexual spectators were presented on stage as they were, and the direct spectators got a glimpse of the subculture they knew almost nothing about, because it was hidden from view by the customs of the time. Today’s gay public has some problems with self-hatred, violent gambling and accidental dropping of words that are now considered insulting. However, the game was written at a different time for a different audience and is a milestone in the development of American gay culture. After all, the movie Boys in the band was recorded in 1970, when most Broadway actors re-released their roles, and this version is the most watched.
In 2018 The Boys in the Band will be reborn on Broadway with a limited edition of famous actors, all openly gay in the entertainment industry and with the public. (The original cast of 1968 was a mix of street people and gays). I had the chance to see the production and enjoyed some very good performances that went beyond the ridiculously outdated design concept that made Michael’s New York apartment in the 60s look like Malibu Barbie’s dream home in the style of the 80s. In the blink of an eye the actors were reunited after a rehearsal for a remake of the film, which was to be released fifty years after the original. Joe Mantello, the great New York director and director of the Broadway Revival, has also directed and fortunately, with the extra realism that the sets and locations allow, created a world that actually resembles the late 1960s in New York City.
The opening installation introduces us to several boys who go through their daily lives before meeting each other in the house of Michael (Jim Parsons) for Harold’s birthday (Zachary Quinto). Guests include Michael’s old friend and beloved Donald (Matt Bomer), Emory the Fairy (Robin of Jesus), the experienced librarian Bernard (Michael Benjamin Washington), the quarrelling couple Larry (Andrew Rennelles) and Hank (Knock Watkins). This mix includes Michael’s injured straight Alan (Brian Hutchison) and Cowboy (Charlie Carver), a stupid crook who is an evening gift for Emory Harold’s birthday. The boys are dancing and fighting. Mysteries are buried, motives are not always what they seem, and different kinds of love are clumsily expressed or silenced. In the first act the guys in the band are the best in their class, when the stakes are lower and daring and hilarious insults are thrown. The second act, about a sadistic phone game, is less fortunate (and looks like a discarded sequence from Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), but that’s the nature of the original material, and I’m sure it played a little differently for an audience fifty years ago.
Equally remarkable are the performances, which over the months have been refined by the lives of the characters on the stage of the Cabin Theatre. Jim Parsons, playing against his Sheldon type, conveys Michael’s neurosis, but also the underlying hostility towards himself and the world that makes him such a difficult man. We also understand that the world has done a lot of damage to him by not accepting him as he is. Zachary Quinto gets the best lines like Harold and enjoys each and every one of them. Robin of Jesus, just like Camp Emory, steals all the scenes with hysterical rule readings and company games. The film ends with another montage of all those who have survived a long journey by daylight at night and return to their lives. It got me thinking about what happened next. Stonewall should somehow free these men, but it is likely that HIV will destroy them ten or two years later.
If you are interested in the history of homosexuals, if you want to know how life has changed in the past fifty years, or if you are a fan of one of the artists, then The Boys in the Band is worth seeing. It is not perfect, but it functions as a work of time, a historical document and a bridge between generations of homosexuals and the new generation, telling the story of the old generation with respect and conviction.
Cheeky neighbors. Matt Bomer naked. Someone left the cake outside in the rain. Nosebleeds. Excessive alcohol consumption. The grass is smoking. Gratuoso Martha and Wandella. A poster with gifts. Swimming through the matches.
To find out more about Mrs Norman Maine, read our introduction, visit her full catalogue and follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/missvickilester.
Mrs. Norman Maine, originally from Seattle Washington, a land of fog, coffee and flying salmon, was born as an adult, like Athena, from Andy’s mind at a difficult time in his life, shortly after moving to Alabama.