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Photo: Maria Vartanova

Theatre Review: TotoToo’s Boys in the Band at The Gladstone—until 10.19.19

By Samara Caplan and Laura Gauthier on October 11, 2019


By Samara Caplan and Laura Gauthier. Laura and Samara spend their days as non-profit unicorns and fill every spare minute exploring the world of musical theatre as BFFs (that’s Broadway Friends Forever).

When ToTo Too Productions announced their season of shows for this year we were very excited for everything they had in store, but we have to say The Boys in the Band definitely topped the list. For the last week we have been talking non-stop about how excited we were to get to see this show on stage and couldn’t wait for opening night.

Photo: Maria Vartanova

The Boys in the Band may not be a show you’ve heard of, and if you have, you may not know much about it. The show isn’t often performed, though most recently it was revived in 2018 on Broadway for a limited run to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the show. With a star-studded cast (including Andrew Rannells, Zachary Quinto, Jim Parsons and Matt Bomer) the show even won a 2019 Tony for best revival of a play and is being adapted into a film with the Broadway cast, set to be released in 2020.

Photo: Maria Vartanova

The play, by Mart Crowley, centres around a group of men celebrating a birthday in a New York City apartment one evening. As the night goes on, things start to go a little haywire with a surprise visit from an old college friend and more and more drinks being consumed. In it’s time (1968) the play was considered groundbreaking for unapologetically telling the story of gay men and the struggles of their lifestyle in that era. With each character representing a different story, struggle and truth about what it meant to be a gay man in New York in the ’60s.

It was truly one of the best stagings we have seen in local theatre to date.

The production, put on at The Gladstone Theatre, brilliantly displayed Michael’s apartment. With details as small as a blow dryer being accurate to the decade the show is set in, you are transformed into that era for a full two hours. It was truly one of the best stagings we have seen in local theatre to date.

With standout performances by the entire cast (of 9!), the relationships, emotions and challenges of the story come to life. There are moments of levity, but it definitely is a show that leaves you thinking about the serious subject matter.

The witty, emotional and honest play shows how far we have come in the last 50 years but also bears a good reminder that we still have a long way to go.

Boys in the Band continues at The Gladstone Theatre until Saturday, October 19th. Shows are October 10-19 at 7:30pm, October 12 and 19 matinees at 2:30pm. Tickets range between $24 – $40. The show runs about two hours with intermission.