One Of The Boys In The Band, 1968

Larry Luckinbill, at home in Palm

Springs.

Larry and his wife, Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, with my family, last Thanksgiving, in Palm Springs.

I’m forever the PR person. I couldn’t help myself. When I heard that my pal, actor Larry Luckinbill, was going to the opening night of Boys in the Band on Broadway later this month, I jumped at the chance to tell the press. The minute I issued a media alert, every Broadway writer called me to interview Larry.

Larry is one of three actors who are still alive from the original production of Boys in the Band. Larry played Hank in the original workshop (January, 1968), then the Off-B’way production that followed it (March or April, 1968), then the London company (late 1969), followed by the shooting of the film in NYC (1970), at Hy Brown’s studio (affiliated with CBS).

The others, who are still alive, are Peter White (who played Alan), and Mart Crowley, the author. All of the other actors died of AIDS except for Cliff Gorman (Emory) who had a brain disease.  All of the original production crew–including the producers–died of AIDS.  The original director died of AIDS.

Larry said it was a 60’s-70’s-80’s epidemic.  “And it was so bad in part because gay folks were so targeted, and therefore so closeted.  Epidemics thrive on ignorance and lack of information–and the gay population was generally hidden away from general notice.  Now, it’s all different–but it’s instructive to go back and look and see what misery closeting and isolating and turning whole groups of humans into pariahs makes.”

Larry was the first actor to say yes to being in it. Mart Crowley (writer) and Larry met when they were both in college. Larry said the play was a powerful agent for social change and social justice during the Off-B’way run. He saw the effect it had on people, including his conservative, Roman Catholic, Southerner parents.  It confirmed for him, “What an actor’s mission should be–to search out and appear in work that has the potential to change lives in some positive way,”

He has spent the last two days doing interviews with print, broadcast, and internet media. More to come. If you Google Larry’s name, you will start to see the interviews appear. The press loves Larry, and Larry loves them. This is such a nice experience.

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