They look pretty good for 400. Especially without their clothes on.
Naked Boys Singing!, the hit Los Angeles musical revue, turns 400 in its New York incarnation June 19 at The Actors' Playhouse. The nine gentlemen have been stripping down and suiting up since their opening July 22, 1999.
With the anniversary, there is a mostly different set of boys to shake their groove thang -- and everything else -- in the buff. Joining original New York Boys Tom Gualtieri, Tim Burke and Patrick Herwood are Stephan Alexander (Rent), former Mr. Key West Eric Dean Davis, Richard Lear (original Marvin in the Falsetto's Trilogy), George M. Livengood (The Who's Tommy), Robert McGown and Luis Villabon (A Chorus Line).
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 casting call for the show came with the disclaimer that "all types" were being considered, and that the musical is "a celebration of male nudity and is never pornographic or salacious." 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 is currently appearing Off-Broadway).
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 $50-$35 or $65 for the first two rows. Call (212) 463-0060 for information.
* Surprisingly, Naked Boys Singing! does have 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, opening July 22.
"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.