Some Wonderful, Old, Gay Gossip


At the Tribeca Film Festival last week, I met one of my icons, Mart Crowley, who wrote The Boys in the Band, the landmark 1960s play about a bunch of East Side gays having a party that leads to fight, tears, and line dances. I pop up in a documentary about the importance of that work (It’s called Making The Boys) and was thrilled to use the premiere as an excuse to gab with Crowley about his illustrious past.

Some tidbits I learned that night:

*Crowley once wrote a movie script for Natalie Wood, whom he worked for, in which she’d play twins, one of them a lesbian. Wood was all excited to do so, but Daryl Zanuck pulled the plug on it, and not because he wanted them both to be lesbos!

*Crowley also wrote Bette Davis‘s sitcom pilot The Decorator and included the role of her gay assistant, to be played by Paul Lynde. It ended up being a real female (played by Mary Wickes).

*Carol Channing was once desperate to do an all-female version of Boys in the Band. Crowley, who didn’t think that play was a girl’s best friend, declined.

*Crowley has written a sequel to Boys, but it hasn’t been produced in NYC yet because producers feel, “Who wants to see a bunch of old queens?” Please! I’d even pay!