Still going to the theater and being forced to image that the gentlemen singing are wearing absolutely nothing? Well, starting tonight you can free yourself of those chains as Naked Boys Singing, the nude musical, opens a brand new run at The Kirk Theatre at Manhattan’s Theatre Row.
The show, which has played in eight countries on three continents since opening in Los Angeles in 1998 is now under the direction of director-producer Tom D'Angora—once a performer in the Provincetown production of Naked Boys—who has restaged the entire show and promises to deliver top-notch talent, a brand new ending, and plenty of buck-naked guys singing their hearts out.
We caught up with D’Angora to find out more.
OUT: So, this is a new production of a show that just closed? How does that work?
Tom D’Angora: Yes, this is a new production of Naked Boys, even though the other one just closed. Naked Boys Singing is an all-male, naked musical comedy revue. It started in 1998 in Los Angeles and a theater that was going under, the artistic director came up with the idea as an effort to stir up business. And it was a super hit there and then they moved it to New York City in July of 1999 and it played its final performance of that production in January. I just took it over for my production.
You’ve got a history with the show…
I’ve been doing the production in Provincetown for 10 years. I was in it in 2001, it was one of my first gigs. I was 22. It was the third or fourth production ever, and the New York production wasn’t even two years old yet. I was one of the boys and that was the summer the there was a blue law saying you couldn’t have nudity within a certain number of miles of any church—and we were across the street from a Unitarian Church. In Provincetown, everything is within a mile of everything. We were given a cease-and-desist telling us to stop performing and we just ignored it and doubled our schedule. It ended up being this big fight that got on the national news and we ended up winning the case and the nudity laws were changed in Provincetown because of it. In 2007, I became a producer.
How did you go from being a performer to working behind the scenes?
I did a one-man show in 2005 about a super homo like myself, obsessed with D-list celebs and stalking them to the point of friendship. I performed that for two years. After that I was like, I think I’m done. I had handled a lot of the producing of that show and I liked it. But I thought if I did it for another show, instead of having to go on stage, I could sit backstage with a cocktail.
What are you looking for in cast members?
They have to sing a lot, of course. After they reveal it and you see these very blessed boys, what’s going to keep you there for the rest of the show? Plus if they were really bad, nobody would let me get away with me. If gorgeous men with giant penises sang out of tune for an hour, I’d be crucified.
How do auditions go?
They don’t get naked until the call back. I give them music and ask them to learn a couple songs, and then they come back and then it’s time. They take their clothes off and sing again naked. Nine out of 10 times, they always sing twice as well as they did earlier.
Once these guys get on stage, do they ever get a little too much attention?
I had a priest obsessed with me in 2001. He came to the show 100 times and every time brought a $100 bill and asked me out to all these dinners. He paid for my headshots.
In 2009 two of the P-Town boys fell in love. They showmanced. Before we even had opening night, they were hooking up and they’re still together. The boys get lots of presents. We had one female fan who made Barbies of all the boys.
How do you feel about the new home for this production?
It’s more intimate. I’m thrilled that it’s at The Kirk at Theatre Row. You’re not going to miss anything with the way these seats are. I’ve always believed that this is a fun, comedy show. It just needs to be what it is, it doesn’t need to be giant. We’re doing staging that we couldn’t do in the old stage. And there’s something fun about bringing a bit of nakedness back to 42nd Street. It’s a little too cleaned up for my taste.