Just Us Boys, a comedy about the backstage goings-on of gay chorus boys in a Broadway musical, gets a full production Off-Broadway June 20-30 following developmental readings and a workshop in recent years.
The Genesius Guild is presenting Frank Stancati's comedy — inspired by real experiences — at The American Theatre of Actors in midtown. Thomas Morrissey, Genesius Guild's artistic director, helms. The cast includes Joe Gulla (of TV's "Lost"), Davis Kirby (Thou Shalt Not), Justin Greer (Seussical, Annie Get Your Gun), Gerard Gravellese, Ludis Schnore and Jeffrey Todd.
Stancati originally wrote the show as a vehicle for himself, but as rewrites continued his character no longer resembled him "and he was too old to play it," according to production notes. This is Stancati's first major play; he's penned one-acts up until now. Just Us Boys was developed through the Genesius Guild's programs.The not-for-profit company provides a forum to create, develop and stage new works.
Stancati spent years as a chorus boy in such productions as Panama Hattie starring Ann Miller, and tours of Sugar Babies, Sugar, Annie and The Unsinkable Molly Brown, as well as the Broadway run of Sugar Babies and European runs of 42nd Street and Cabaret.
The play is set backstage at a musical called Depression and serves a slice of gay life: Dance captain Anthony is taking a break from love; best friend Peter is salty and spars with narcissistic Joey; swing Mike has only dated women, but swings into a relationship with reluctant Anthony. Sam is the only straight man in the chorus, and he's wooing the leading lady. Stage manager Ray is never seen, but always heard in monologues over the microphones. The show is billed as coming from real backstage experiences. The chorus boys' lives and loves disastrously intertwine — and they have a show to put on. Doug Katsaros (Guardian Angel, Abie's Island Rose) composed the music for the fake show playing off stage in Just Us Boys.. Tickets are $15. The American Theatre of Actors is at 314 W. 54th Street. For information, call Smart Tix at (212) 206-1515. Visit genesiusguild.org.
— By Kenneth Jones