Mart Crowley, author of the 1968 landmark play The Boys in the Band, has died at the age of 84. Crowley’s death was first reported by Michael Musto on Facebook.
Wrote Musto: “RIP, Mart Crowley, author of the groundbreaking gay play The Boys in the Band. He was Natalie Wood’s assistant and told me Natalie encouraged him to write the play and abetted its happening. Depicting a hilarious gay party that turns sour, it came out before Stonewall and the faithful and delicious movie version came out after Stonewall. Mart nabbed a Tony when the all-star version came to Broadway in ’18 and the movie version of that will come out this year. From everyone who’s ever looked like they’ve been rimming a snowman, cheers to the wonderful Mart.”
Deadline reports: “Crowley, who was openly gay, was known best for The Boys in the Band which was a watershed moment for Broadway and the LGBTQ community. The play debuted Off-Broadway in 1968 and broke ground as one of the first plays to give a depiction of gay life. The drama followed a group of gay men in New York City as they gathered for a birthday party. After the historic events at Stonewall, the play went on to become a feature film directed by William Friedkin in 1970.”