Naked Boys Singing! is the international smash hit musical comedy revue featuring 15 original songs, a troupe of six sexy guys, and no clothes–and it’s opening at the King’s Head Theatre in Islington this month. Sounds like a good plan for a night out, so we asked producer Peter Bull, between recent rehearsals, to tell us more.
What is Naked Boys Singing! all about, it sounds like our kind of show?
Naked Boys Singing! is a traditional American Vaudeville-style campy musical revue that features 15 original songs, six gorgeous and talented actors – and no clothes! A winning combination if ever there was one.
Can you tell us about the writer and when and where it was first performed?
Naked Boys Singing! was conceived and directed by Robert Schrock, with a team of writers contributing music and lyrics. It debuted at the Celebration Theatre, Los Angeles in 1998 as a way to increase waning ticket sales at the gay and lesbian playhouse. It was the first show to acknowledge candidly that it featured nudity for its own sake, without explanation, justification or apologies. The opening number was, and is, called “Gratuitous Nudity”. Some audiences were astonished to discover that, when the actors are relaxed, uninhibited and enjoying the situation, nudity is remarkably unshocking. The show transferred to Off Broadway in 1999 where it is still running.
We understand there’s lots of great songs about all sorts of very gay things? Can you tell us more?
Gay men will identify with songs like “Muscle Addiction”, “Fight the Urge” (about unwanted, badly timed erections!) and “I Beat My Meat” – which has an hilarious double entendre.
And even circumcision gets its own song?
There’s a wildly funny song called “The Bliss of a Bris”, sung by a Jewish boy. Nothing in this show is sacred!
Which are your three favourite songs from the show and why?
My three favourites are probably “The Naked Maid”, “Perky Little Porn Star” and “Nothin’ But the Radio On”. Each is hilarious in its own way.
Finally how do you go about finding six sexy actors who can sing – and are happy to take their kit off?
We put a casting call out on Spotlight and they applied to audition by the hundreds. Director Carole Todd and Musical director Aaron Clingham had a tough time whittling them down to our cast of six. We could have cast the show several times over. The final casting features a sexy, funny and talented bunch of guys who the audience will love.