Naked Boys Singing'Is Full-Frontal Fun
By David Kaufman
Naked Boys Singing!' is every bit as full-frontally outrageous as its title implies. A new musical revue that features unabashedly lewd material, "Naked Boys" is a contemporary "Oh! Calcutta!" being put on by a "Full Monty" gang, sort of like a Chippendales glee club.
For the most part, the generic tunes sound like they might have been concocted for a makeshift theatrical event at a summer camp - especially with their accompaniment by a lone piano. But while some of the lyrics are genuinely clever, many of the numbers prove laugh-out-loud funny in surprisingly sophisticated ways.
As it's performed entirely in the nude by an eight-member ensemble with buffed bodies, the opening number "Gratuitous Nudity" says it all: "Tonight! Get ready for something risqué/Tonight! We throw inhibition away/Why even bother to make a fuss/when it's obvious to us/you're here to see/gratuitous nudity."
If each member of the cast gets the opportunity to strut his stuff with a solo number, Tom Gualtieri stands out with his tribute to Robert Mitchum, as do Daniel C. Levine with "Perky Little Porn Star," Glenn Allen with "Nothin' but the Radio on" and Trance Thompson with "The Entertainer."
A couple of more earnest love songs prove relatively dull. But between Robert Schrock's direction and Jeffry Denman's choreography, the entire two-hour show is staged with loads of charm and theatrical savvy.
Despite its recurring focus on the male member and an array of topics that can't be mentioned in a family newspaper, this is illegitimate theater that's really good, clean - if adult - fun.
It's bound to be a hit with gays, straights - and everyone in between.