When Birthday Parties Go Bad

The Boys in the Band is the catty gay version of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The 1968 off-Broadway play (which ran for 1,001 shows) takes place in an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where a motley group of gay men is holding a birthday party for friend Harold. The mix includes a lapsed Roman Catholic alcoholic undergoing psychoanalysis and a couple who can’t agree about monogamy. An empty-headed prostitute in the wane of his youth is served up as a present. As the men drink, their fears and old desires pool and moil, and the evening culminates in a dare: Call your true love and confess over the phone that you love him — or her, as the case may be.

Forty-two years after its debut, the Rising Action Theatre (Sunshine Cathedral Campus, 1480 SW Ninth Ave., Fort Lauderdale) is restaging The Boys in the Band under Tony-nominated director Michael Leeds and claims to be posing a question to today’s gay audiences: Have we changed, or are we still stuck at that birthday party in 1968? It runs through December 12: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $35, or $60 if you buy the dinner package. Call 954-561-2225, or visit risingactiontheatre.org.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Nov. 5. Continues through Dec. 12, 2010

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Penn Bullock