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The Boys in the Band first premiered in 1968. Mart Crowley's play about a gay dinner party that careens off the tracks is now seen as a major turning point in the theater world, as well as the LGBTQ rights movement.
The play's frank discussions about queer life and identity were revelatory for the era, and some credit it with helping to spark the Stonewall riots the year after its debut.
However, because Boys premiered Off-Broadway, it was ineligible for the Tony Awards at the time of its release; although two of its actors, Cliff Gorman (Emory) and David Greenspan (Harold) won Obie Awards for their performances.
Now, over 50 years after its initial run, The Boys in the Band is Tony-nominated in the category of Best Revival of a Play, in which it will compete against the revival of another gay classic, Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song, starring Michael Urie.
Boys actor Robin De Jesus is also nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play, alongside out actor Gideon Glick, who portrayed the Truman Capote-inspired character of Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird.
While some of its themes may seem outdated to modern audiences -- particularly the intense self-loathing experienced by its main gay character -- Boys was a hit in its Broadway revival at the Booth Theatre. Directed by Joe Mantello, it starred Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington, Tuc Watkins, and De Jesus as the queer dinner guests. The Advocate interviewed all of the cast members for a 2018 cover story.
The play's forthcoming Netflix adaptation, starring the Broadway cast and produced by Ryan Murphy, is further proof of the play's enduring relevance. The film is expected to premiere in 2020.
Boys and Torch Song were far from the only notable LGBTQ Tony nominations. The Prom -- about a same-sex couple attending a high school dance -- received seven nods, including Best Musical, in which it will compete against the gender-bending Tootsie. Choir Boy by Tarell Alvin McCraney was nominated for Best Play. The Cher Show received three nominations.
Read the full list of Tony nominations at Playbill.