Naked Boys Singing!
I’ve always firmly believed that the worlds of nudity and music should never collide, the only exception being when I’m in the shower giving a loud, off key rendition of My Heart Will Go On. Singing well requires relaxation and confidence, two qualities I usually lack when in the buff. And God help the man who tries to serenade me while we are naked and getting frisky. Honey please, save it for the gay men’s choir.
So it was with a bit of trepidation and prejudice that I went to see Naked Boys Singing a long-running musical popular with horny old men and peroxided Jersey housewives alike. Now in its 10th year, what began as a kicky little show downtown has moved on up to the New World Stages Theater, with no signs of slowing down.
The show is a prime example of truth in advertising; Naked Boys Singing is exactly what you get. At just over an hour long, the show is a musical comedy revue, a presentation of songs about nudity, penises and masturbation, often witty, sometimes cheesy, but always sung with gusto and good spirit.
The cast of 10 undressed men are uniformly talented; and identically hung as well; all ’growers not showers’ apparently. I also couldn’t help but notice how very trimmed their pubes were. There must be some anti obscenity law regarding on stage pubic hair, because every one of these dudes were similarly shorn almost to the skin. Waxing can’t be that popular.
The majority of the cast had sculpted bodies and smooth beautiful skin. Once the novelty of watching bare-assed men gallivant on stage wears off, the show rests on the material, and here’s where NBS is quite hit or miss. There were some genuinely enjoyable numbers, such as Perky Little Porn Star and Members Only. Then there was the maudlin Window to Window and pointless The Entertainer. I just don’t want to see a naked guy in a sequined hat giving jazz hands. The highlight of the show was the Muscle Addiction sequence; funny, well choreographed and insightful.
I wasn’t really sure who this show was intended for. With its chirpy Pollyanna take on nude dudes it seems far too mild to be of interest to most gay men. There were several bachlorette parties in the audience, and I wondered if these suburban ladies would get all of the campy remarks and gay ’in jokes’. Some of the references in the show- Deanna Durbin anyone? - were so dusty as to be distracting. The show is a bit of a time capsule, though which time period is a bit unclear.
The cheerful, handsome cast members (and their members) were all certainly giving it their all and having a great time on stage. That enthusiasm helps keep the show moving, as the numbers do become somewhat dull and repetitive. At least 2 of the actors I saw perform were over the age of 40, so I don’t know how accurate it is to call them ’boys’. Watching NBS was like viewing some kind of Bizarro world summer camp production on a massive dose of GHB.
Fluffy and frothy, I found it weirdly interesting and totally non-erotic. Some of these guys were hot and gorgeous with killer bodies, every inch of themselves exposed. (If you’re gonna have a hot boy on stage dammit, show me everything!) Nakedness is our natural state of being, and these gentlemen certainly seemed comfortable in their own skin. After a while you sort of forget that they are in their birthday suits and just focus in on the lovely singing and cheesy comedy.
Naked Boys Singing is not a fantastic show, but it’s fun and harmless, and certainly unique. And do you really need a reason to see a cute stud prance around in the buff? Didn’t think so. You may not be aroused, but you will almost certainly be amused.
For more visit the naked boys singing website.
New World Stages
340 West 50th street btw 8th & 9th Avenues
For Tickets: 212-302-4848
Fridays at 10:30pm
Saturdays at 6pm
Saturdays at 10:30pm