Zachary Quinto co-stars in the 50th-anniversary production of Mart Crowley’s The Boys in the Band.
With film and television credits that include the J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboot, American Horror Story and the forthcoming thriller Hotel Artemis, Zachary Quinto joins a star-studded cast in the seminal play about a group of gay men who gather for a birthday party that takes a series of wildly dramatic turns.
Beyond its historical significance for the LGBTQ community, what drew you to The Boys in the Band? It’s the people who are involved. I’ve worked with [producer] Ryan Murphy before. His commitment to holding up a mirror to audiences with this production to show how far we’ve come and how much further we have to go was a real cornerstone of my interest. And then, of course, the cast— so many of whom are great friends of mine. There’s a lot of interconnectivity.
The cast is entirely comprised of openly gay actors and helmed by out director and two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello. How do you think this creative team feeds into the ethos of the project? It’s where the social relevance comes into play. The original cast did not have the luxury that we have to stand up authentically and maintain a high level of opportunity. We owe them for the sacrifices they made for our freedom. This production represents a group of men who have made the decision to declare themselves and are still working in many fulfilling ways. The cast represents that for all the LGBTQ kids who are a part of this continuum.
You portray Harold, the birthday boy for which everyone has gathered. Having recently celebrated your own milestone birthday, do you identify with the themes of aging that emerge from the script? Aging is a unique process for everybody. For Harold, the birthday represents a moment of transition. He feels a dwindling sense of vitality and is fighting to hold on to it. Of all the characters, Harold is perhaps the most connected to his authentic self, using his wit and sharp tongue to comment on the world around him.
Personally, I’m working all the time to embrace getting older: to grow and learn, to remain curious and active, and to stay engaged physically and intellectually. I value the wisdom that comes with age. I’m entering my 40s with a lot of gratitude and a strong sense of ambition.
Through Aug. 11, The Boys in the Band, Booth Theatre, 222 W. 45th St., boysintheband.com