Boys Will Be Boys is Naked Boys Singing with a cast about half the size (no pun intended), a girl among the boys—and not a trace of nudity. If that sounds not at all like NBS, then think again. Both are musical revues filled with plenty of R-rated double entendre lyrics, both shows feature a young, attractive cast, both include a same sex love song (and a serious song or two thrown in for depth), and like Naked Boys Singing, Boys Will Be Boys is a heck of a lot of fun, even with clothes on.


This “OUT-rageous New Musical Revue” now gets its Southern California Premiere in an all-around terrific production at Santa Ana’s Theatre Out, under the expert direction of Frankie Marrone, who has also choreographed the shows pizzazzy dance sequences.

Since every revue, however plot-free, must have a premise, Boys Will Be Boys sets itself up as a “fun-raiser” to benefit the Ishmael Gonzalez Fund To Fight Gay-D-D, short for Gay Attention Deficit Disorder, and stars five of GAY-D-D sufferer Ish’s dearest friends (Bobby, Jane, Luke, Tyler, and Willson) celebrating the fabulousness—and pitfalls—of being gay.


The Boys’ opening number, “Our Opening,” sets the tone, with just about every dirty play-on-the-word-opening imaginable. Other double entendre delights include Luke’s “Balls” (“My father took me to the tennis courts, so this firebrand could try her hand at sports…”), Tyler’s “Somewhere Obscene” (“We’ve cock rings and a collar, and a few toys in between. Amyl-nitrite fills our lair, someplace obscene…”), Willson and Jane’s “Marry Me Anyway” (“You’re not the kind of a boy I ever thought I would find. But marry me, baby, if you don’t mind…”), and Bobby’s “Some Gay Boys” (“Some boys are the height of vain, built the biceps but not the brain. But some gay boys ain’t me…”).

Boys Will Be Boys isn’t all camp, however, and several songs touch on the more serious aspects of gay life. Luke’s “Giant” is a moving memorial to the victim of a fatal gay bashing and “Happy And Gay” has the male quartet harmonizing in minor chords about every gay man’s deepest hope—simply to live life happy and gay. On a more cheerful note, there’s a boy-to-boy love song, “I Want To Thank You,” performed by Luke and Tyler.


With libretto and lyrics by Joe Miloscia and music by Kenneth Kacmar, quite a few of Boys Will Be Boys’ songs are clever takeoffs on musical theater standards, with a strategic number of notes changed (to protect the writers from lawsuits?). “Someplace Obscene” recalls Little Shop’s “Somewhere That’s Green,” “Some Gay Boys” sounds a lot like Gypsy’s “Some People,” and Willson’s tribute to Viagra “You Lift Me Up” has more than three title words in common with Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up.”

Boys Will Be Boys also features the funniest climbing on a piano sequence ever (executed by Theatre Out favorite Andrea Dennison-Laufer), Abe and Mary Lincoln, boys in choir robes and drag, and some loser-free Bingo thrown in for audience participation.

There’s not a weak link in Theatre Out’s cast, with a boy for every taste and a girl for those whose tastes run that way. Twink lovers will go for Luke (Jared Ryan Kaitz), Tyler (Bryan White) will be just the boy for farm boy fanciers, Bobby (Dustin Thompson) will win over those who go for the outrageously funny boys, Willson (Alex Mohadjer) is sure to have bear cub-lovers howling, and Jane (Dennison-Laufer) will have lesbians and straight men vying for her affection. All five are first-rate singers and terrific comic entertainers, with Mohadjer and Dennison-Laufer in particular posssessing voices that need no amplification whatsoever.

Musical director Stephen Amundson provides snappy musical accompaniment on the piano. David C. Carnevale deserves high marks for his production design, from the show’s American Legion Hall set to the cast’s rainbow colored costumes, constructed by Joey Baital. (Special snaps go to Bobby’s mini-wedding dress and platform “glass” high heel slippers.) Kara Kessener is stage manager.

It’s been a fine season of shows for Theatre Out, including three standout musicals—Tick, Tick … Boom!, Zanna, Don’t!, and now, Boys Will Be Boys, thanks to which Gay-D-D sufferer Ishmael Gonzalez has good reason to smile—if he can just stay focused, that is.

Theatre Out, The Empire Theatre, 202 N. Broadway, Santa Ana.
–Steven Stanley
October 16, 2010
Photos: Bill Boland

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