Naked Boys Singing!

Ibsen may be the father of modern drama, but I don't recall him writing any play with eight nude men dancing in a line, their genitalia swinging in unison. That aesthetic revolution has been left to impresario Robert Schrock and his Naked Boys Singing!, an evening of song and dance from the unclothed. The musical's first act begins with "Gratuitous Nudity," a number that openly acknowledges the evening's intentions. It starts coyly, with all eight men in discreet poses, then bursts into dramatic exhibitionism as the actors open their stances, hold up their hands, and begin singing and performing in the altogether. It's the first of 16 numbers, some of them surprisingly clever—especially "The Bliss of a Bris," which, well, figure that one out for yourself. The evening is all in good fun, and anyone looking for Naked Boys Sinning! is in the wrong theater.

Thirteen different writers contribute to the production, a celebration of being gay and sexually inclined. While amusing enough on its own terms, the show goes a little limp in the second act. The novelty of the nudity wears thin, and the songs become repetitive. The one serious number, "Window to Window," seems out of place the first time, let alone reprised. Still, the show hovers happily above the merely exploitative, even in a song with the hummable chorus "I beat my meat!"

Details

Naked Boys Singing!
The Actors Playhouse
(where else?)
100 Seventh Avenue South
239-6200

Trance Thompson and Daniel C. Levine, by the way, win the play's unspoken big-dick contest—both seem to have the largest cast members. Tickets are $45, with up-close seats going for a Broadway-ish $65. It should be noted, however, that none of the actors' penises reach the second row.

 
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