|The cast of Naked Boys Singing! Photo by Christopher Gilberts.
Conceived by Robert Shrock
Written by Stephen Bates, Marie Cain, Perry Hart, Shelly Markham, Jim Morgan, David Pevsner, Rayme Sciaroni, Mark Savage, Ben Scaechter, Trance Thompson, Bruce Vilanch, Mark Winkler
Directed by Christephor Gilbert
A review by Kate Barry
Entire contents are copyright © 2013 Kate Barry. All rights reserved.
Almost every single musical has a moment, character or something special that grabs the audience’s attention and makes people want to see it; the grander the musical shtick, the better the payoff for the audience. Naked Boys Singing! makes absolutely no effort to hide what big surprise the audience might have in store – pun fully intended. It’s pretty obvious what this show is about. And yet there are tender moments about the “things we go through to let our guards down” that leave an impression far after the initial shock of nudity wears off.
In his curtain speech, Pandora Productions producer Michael Drury states that this production was not only the most requested by audience polls, but this show also had a pretty long pre-production period, and that his company “finally have the guys to do it.” And how! Guest Director Christephor Gilbert and his ensemble have constructed a celebration of the human form and the freedom it possesses. Having very little expectation going into the show, I was tickled by the energetic song-and-dance numbers that only increased the campy fun.
The entire ensemble shines in every comedic opportunity before them. Giving it their all, these boys are here to entertain you and will stop at nothing to make sure that happens. Justin D. Moore holds his own in a tap routine called “Robert Mitchum” – homage to a time when men weren’t so scrawny and skinny. “Jack’s Song” and “Members Only” provided the strongest moments for the cast as a whole; clever and just raunchy enough, these numbers showcased the boys at their best. “Jack’s Song” ends Act One with the boys literally slapping their meat and at one point each other in a tap-like routine. “Members Only” opens the second act with a hokey choral number celebrating genetalia and all the phrases for it. Other strong performances belong to Jonathon Lee Porter’s simply melodious solo “Nothing But the Radio On,” and to Omicah House’s fabulous drag spectacle “The Entertainer.”
For all of its fun, the ensemble faced one very obvious challenge to overcome…and I speak, of course, about nudity. Each performer who graced the stage wore their nakedness with confidence like a costume. With that in mind, opening night provides many jitters, and it’s understandable for the expectation to literally bare all to wane on a performance. Even though lyrics might have been forgotten or stumbled on and some notes were hard to reach, the overall entertainment value was never lost in this show.
If you get an opportunity to see this show, I recommend it. It’s a one-of-a-kind musical revue by a uniquely gifted theatre company. And I think Mr. Drury summed it up best: “Not many companies have the cojones to do Naked Boys Singing!” which makes this play from this company stand apart from any other show.
Starring: Richie Goff, Omicah House, Sebastian Kearney, James Alexander Langteaux, Justin D Moore, Jonathon Lee Porter, Thomas Stoddard
Naked Boys Singing!
The Henry Clay Theater
August 1-5 and 7-11 at 7:30 p.m.
Pandora Productions at
604 South Third St.
Louisville, KY 40202