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Film Explores Groundbreaking Work

In 1967, Mart Crowley wrote a pioneering play, "Boys in the Band," a close-up look at a group of gay friends, which became a film a few years later. On March 16, Crowley and other participants from this ground-breaking work, take part in a panel discussion and Q&A following an Avon Theatre screening of the documentary, "Making the Boys," an inside look at the making of the play and film and their impact.Before writing the play, Crowley studied theater in college, though immediately after, he landed a very coveted film job, as a production assistant. He worked on such classics as "The Fugitive Kind," and "Butterfield 8" before becoming director Elia Kazan's assistant on "Splendor in the Grass." That's when he met Natalie Wood, the film's star, who became a close friend. She encouraged Crowley and introduced him to people who helped "Boys in the Band" come to fruition.

First staged off-Broadway in 1968, "Boys" played more than one thousand performances before heading to Los Angeles, where it won a Drama Critic's Award in 1969, and then to London. The film, directed by William Friedkin, was released in 1970.

As "Making the Boys" shows, in the late 60s and early 70s, the zeitgeist was altogether different, and homosexuality was basically a taboo topic. "Boys in the Band" was hailed for its courage and also assailed by some members of the gay community. Learn its history and controversy when Crowley and the documentary's producers, Doug Tirola and Susan Bedusa, show the film and give their insight. The evening begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit the Avon's website.

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