"In the same way that Ragtime deals with issues that happened to African-Americans as a sad part of their history, Boys deals with some of the civil rights issues and personal issues of the gay community," he says. "We're still asking how we fit in or if we can love the same way as other people. But I think it's a mistake to call it a play about self-loathing gay guys, as has been done. I think it's a play about guys who are yearning to find love, to be involved, and find acceptance, and I think everyone leaves the party [in the play] with a different sense of themselves before the party started."
Hammond admits there is something of a generation gap in regards to the work. "When I talk to gay men over 45, they can quote lines from the play. It really means something special to them, and almost everyone has a story about it," he says. "But with a lot of gay men under 40, they'll say 'what's that play?' I always tell them it's something they really need to know about as part of their history and culture."
Having Crowley involved in the revival has been quite special, and a little daunting, says Hammond. "I definitely feel a responsibility to him, and I do think he's more Michael than any of the other characters in the play," he says. "But it's really cute how he'll go up to each cast member individually and say, "you know Larry is me" or something like that."
The actor will be on the stage in 1960s-inspired clothing, and Michael's wardrobe of designer sweaters is a welcome change of pace from the skintight garb he wore as Houdini. "When I got cast as Houdini, I knew part of what was going to make it fun was looking good in those costumes, so I just got into it. But the minute Ragtime closed, I went back to being Mister Pizza-and-Bourbon," he says with a laugh.