When Naked Boys Singing! First Appeared Off-Broadway | Playbill

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From the Archives When Naked Boys Singing! First Appeared Off-Broadway The hit Los Angeles musical revue opened in New York July 22, 1999, and Playbill spoke to its costume designer (yes, really).

This interview as originally published in 1999.

The hit Los Angeles musical revue, Naked Boys Singing!, begins New York performances at The Actors' Playhouse June 30 and there is surprise news about the production: It has a costume designer.

Carl D. White designed both set and costumes for the show, which celebrates nudity in sketches and songs written by 13 writers. Conceived and directed by Robert Schrock, with musical direction and arrangements by Stephen Bates and choreography by Jeffry Denman, Naked Boys has its official opening July 22.

Some of the original cast members of Naked Boys Singing!

"Everybody's always surprised to hear there are costumes -- there's quite a bit of costuming," reveals designer Carl D. White, who doubles as a producer and triples as general manager. "Each of the guys has between four to seven different changes: Gym clothes and two full suits, including one for a strip tease so it rips away..."

White told Playbill "the guys are naked for 85 percent of the show, but when they're costumed they are in various states of dress and undress -- shoulder pads, jocks, boxer brief, or just underwear in classic white."

He said white underwear is of particular interest to women, who make up a large part of the audience. "I've chosen to go with fabrics that are nets or nylons, things you can see the body through," said White.

The original 16-song score includes such numbers as "Fight the Urge," "The Bliss of a Bris," "Muscle Addiction," "Nothing But the Radio On," "Members Only" and "Window to Window." A cast album of the Los Angeles production is available at the theatre.

The New York cast includes Glenn Allen, Jonathan Brody, Tim Burke, Tom Gualtieri, Patrick Herwood, Daniel C. Levine, Sean McNally, Adam Michaels and Trance Thompson.

The casting call for the show came with the disclaimer that "all types" were being considered and the musical is "a celebration of male nudity and is never pornographic or salacious."

Naked Boys Singing! is still running in Los Angeles. The Off-Broadway show has an open-ended run.

The revue's contributing writers are Stephen Bates, Marie Cain, Shelly Markham, Jim Morgan, David Pevsner, Rayme Sciaroni, Mark Savage, Ben Schaechter, Robert Schrock, Mark Winkler and Bruce Vilanch (the awards show writer who also appears on Whoopi Goldberg's "New Hollywood Squares").

The Actors Playhouse is at 100 Seventh Avenue South in Greenwich Village. Producers are Jamie Cesa & Carl D. White (The Last Session), Hugh Hayes, Tom Smedes and Jennifer Dumas.

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