Thanks to strong response to the addition of gay porn star Jeff Stryker to the cast of Off-Broadway's Peep Show, the actor will stay with the show two extra weeks, through July 19. Stryker joined the cast of Ronnie Larsen's All-Male Peep Show June 23 in a role specifically written for him. He was originally scheduled to leave the open-run production July 5.
Tickets are on sale at $50, plus "special front-row seats" for $75. Producer Caryn Horwitz notes that for their money, patrons get to see Stryker do a complete strip show, then run up the aisle and "offer audience members a close-up view of his beautiful body."
Here's the back-story:
Peep Show just wasn't happening. Ronnie Larsen's follow-up to his Off-Broadway cult hits, Making Porn and Ten Naked Men, was a change of pace, in that although it still dealt with the world of pornography and adult entertainment, this time his gaze fell on female strippers and topless dancers.
No one cared. Larsen had developed a following at the Actors' Playhouse, but the following was specifically gay, and used to seeing gay themes (and nude men) at the theatre for the past two years. Producer Caryn Horwitz told Playbill On-Line, "While we were doing female, people constantly said, "We want the boy plays! We want the gay plays! People were mad we had girls there. So we decided to bring in the boy show as well. The girls never took off the way the boys immediately took off. So in late April we ran two versions of the show in rep, and then changed to all-male in May." Now the show is aptly titled "Ronnie Larsen's All-Male Peep Show."
As Horwitz proudly puts it, "The famous purveyor of sleaze comes back again with all boys, boys, boys! It's a new play about go-go boys and the men who love them."
Currently starring in Peep Show are Anthony Albanese, Adam Beckworth, Robert Young, Chris Mosello, Mark Wright, Tony Trbovich, Jeffrey Middleton, Mark Leneker, Joe Moretti, Steve Hunneschagen star. Designing Peep Show are Gerard Macmillan (set), Brian Aldous (lighting).
Oddly enough, Peep Show isn't the only distaff drama to go all-male in a current Off-Broadway incarnation. Dan Goggin's internationally famous musical came back to New York, June 13, retitled Nunsense A- Men! and featuring -- you guessed it -- all men. Stranger still, this isn't the first time Nunsense went macho. Nov. 1997, a Brazilian troupe traveled to the Theatre at St. Clements and did their all-guy version in Portuguese.
As for Ronnie Larsen's Peep Show, the original version opened Mar. 31, following the Mar. 1 close (after 175 performances) of 10 Naked Men. Prior to that, Making Porn played 16 months at the same theatre. Making Porn was Larsen's second play; the first was Scenes From My Love Life, which he directed in Chicago (the world premiere), L.A., Palm Springs, Sacramento, San Diego and Manhattan.
A look at the Times Square sex industry, Peep Show is, according to Larsen, "about the dancers, the customers, the owners. I spent a lot of time interviewing various people involved in that world, and it is really quite interesting... The world of peep shows can be extremely raunchy on the surface...but the people who operate in that world are complex."
And what is the prolific Larsen writing now? The stage version of his film, Shooting Porn, which is gearing up for a July 15-Aug. 15 tryout at Boston, MA's Lyric Stage.
For tickets and information on Ronnie Larsen's All-Male Peep Show at Actors' Playhouse, 100 7th Ave. South, call (212) 239-6200.
-- By David Lefkowitz