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Events » Arts Events

50 years in 50 weeks: 2002's stages

by Jim Provenzano

Mart Crowley at New Conservatory Theatre Center in 2002
Mart Crowley at New Conservatory Theatre Center in 2002  

Celebrating 40 years of presenting new and acclaimed LGBT-themed stage works for local audiences, New Conservatory Theatre Center in October 2002 premiered Mart Crowley's The Men From the Boys, his sequel to the historic The Boys in the Band. The darkly comic look at the lives of several gay men —and one straight man— made theater history.

While Crowley's sequel didn't gain the acclaim of his earlier play, it still offered a touching look at the five men who had survived since 1968, with a few younger new characters.

In Richard Dodds' October 24 article, Crowley said, "I think that when people write dynamic and inflammatory works, they have some inkling of what they're doing. I speak from experience."

A few weeks earlier, NCTC premiered the commissioned stage adaptation of my 1999 debut novel, PINS, about a gay high school wrestler. Dodds also wrote the advance interview for that play.

While the shows ran in adjoining theaters at NCTC, and the settings are vastly different, I like to think that many gay writers like myself owe a debt of gratitude to Crowley, who died in 2020, two years after the acclaimed Broadway revival of Boys, and only a few months before the release of the film remake with the revival's cast.

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