The hit Los Angeles musical revue, Naked Boys Singing!, officially opens its New York production July 22 at The Actors' Playhouse, and there is surprise news: The show actually has a costume designer.
Carl D. White designed both set and costumes for the show, which celebrates nudity in sketches and songs written by 13 writers. Conceived and directed by Robert Schrock, with musical direction and arrangements by Stephen Bates and choreography by Jeffry Denman, Naked Boys began previews in Greenwich Village June 30.
"Everybody's always surprised to hear there are costumes -- there's quite a bit of costuming," reveals designer White, who doubles as a producer and triples as general manager. "Each of the guys has between four to seven different changes: Gym clothes and two full suits, including one for a strip tease so it rips away..."
White told Playbill On-Line "the guys are naked for 85 percent of the show, but when they're costumed they are in various states of dress and undress -- shoulder pads, jocks, boxer brief, or just underwear in classic white."
He said white underwear is of particular interest to women, who make up a large part of the audience. "I've chosen to go with fabrics that are nets or nylons, things you can see the body through," said White.
The original 16-song score includes such numbers as "Fight the Urge," "The Bliss of a Bris," "Muscle Addiction," "Nothing But the Radio On," "Members Only" and "Window to Window." A cast album of the Los Angeles production is available at the theatre.
The New York cast includes Glenn Allen, Jonathan Brody, Tim Burke, Tom Gualtieri, Patrick Herwood, Daniel C. Levine, Sean McNally, Adam Michaels and Trance Thompson.
The casting call for the show came with the disclaimer that "all types" were being considered and the musical is "a celebration of male nudity and is never pornographic or salacious."
Naked Boys Singing! is still running in Los Angeles. The Off Broadway production is scheduled to run indefinitely.
The revue's contributing writers are Stephen Bates, Marie Cain, Shelly Markham, Jim Morgan, David Pevsner, Rayme Sciaroni, Mark Savage, Ben Schaechter, Robert Schrock, Mark Winkler and Bruce Vilanch (the awards show writer who also appears on Whoopi Goldberg's "New Hollywood Squares").
The Actors Playhouse is at 100 Seventh Avenue South in Greenwich Village. Producers are Jamie Cesa & Carl D. White (The Last Session), Hugh Hayes, Tom Smedes and Jennifer Dumas.
Tickets are $45, or $65 for the first two rows. Call (212) 463-0060 for information.
-- By Kenneth Jones