The last time “Naked Boys Singing” ran in the ATL, it was anything but smooth sailing. The production was temporarily shut down by the Atlanta Police Department. 12 years later, the tune-filled production is back hoping to steer clear of trouble. Georgia Voice caught up with openly gay performer Anthony Masorotto and the man responsible for the new engagement, Tim Evanicki, to dish about the musical and its balls-out sensibility.
How did you get involved in the show, Anthony?
I saw an audition notice. I went into a general open call then we had some singing auditions. After a call back and a round of cuts, we had to come in in groups of five for a completely nude version of it. I got cast later that day. It was very exciting.
Were you familiar with the show?
I had heard about it. Living in New York, it was always one of those shows I had always wanted to see. I knew it was kitschy but I didn’t know the story or the songs. I knew it was going to require nudity, singing and dancing.
Do you have a favorite number?
We all have solos and group numbers. My solo is “Perky Porn Star.” I love doing it. It’s so out there, with its subject matter. It’s non-PC but funny and light. It’s also a dance number, with very high energy. I have a blast doing it. I also love the opening – it’s fun to see the audience react to seeing us nude the first time. We don’t ease into it; there’s no taking our clothes off. We are naked from the start and we are hoping the audience is ready to take in what we are showing them.
Were you hesitant about the nudity?
It’s always been on my bucket list to be in a show that involves nudity in some capacity. There is something so liberating and freeing about being naked in front of people without it being sexual. I didn’t expect my first nude experience on stage to be a show where I am nude the majority of the show. I was a little nervous but excited about the opportunity.
What is the show’s appeal?
Naturally musical theater has such an appeal for the gay community. This show has vignettes geared for a gay audience – one in a bathhouse, one about an erection in a locker room, situations that gay men have been put into.
Is this cast mixed?
No. This cast is completely gay.
Tim, how did you decide to bring this back?
I took over the Parliament House in Orlando last year and it’s the first show I did. I wanted a show that would put butts in seat. In the process I met (creator) Ronnie Larsen and we sat down and thought this show had legs. We realized that there hadn’t been productions in most cities in 10 years. We picked Atlanta because we thought it was a great market. We didn’t know when we picked it, it had been shut down (before) but the tone of the community has changed quite a bit. I wrote a show, “Bathhouse: The Musical,” that played Atlanta in 2007.
Is this a new version?
The show has not changed much, but we have tried to modernize it with some of the references. There aren’t many costumes to change up but we want to change the look. The hook is the nudity but most people after the first number don’t notice it anymore. The people we hire don’t just look good – they have to be good at singing and dancing.
“Naked Boys Singing”
January 4 – 22, 2017
1105 Euclid Ave., Atlanta, GA 30307