Producers optimistic about appeal of ‘Naked Boys’

Even if “Naked Boys Singing!” at the Onyx closes tomorrow (which is not likely), the off-Broadway musical already holds a special place in Las Vegas theater history. It’s the first nonunion off-Strip production in more than a dozen years attempting an open run.

When co-producer Michael Morse is asked how long he thinks the show will last, he says, with no trace of irony, “Forever!”

His optimism is almost understandable. The original production of this small-scaled revue opened in New York 10 years ago and remains a hit. It features 16 numbers sung by gay characters in a multitude of awkward, humorous, sad and celebratory situations.

“It’s not just about nudity,” explains actor Mark White, a 1997 graduate of Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts. “It’s more about emotional vulnerability.”

Co-producer Jimmy Emerson grabbed the Las Vegas rights for the Onyx when he found out no venue on the Strip wanted to deal with the male anatomy.

Under the banner of Starr Pro Productions and Rack Media, the 96-seat Onyx Theatre originally announced in June a three-week engagement at 10 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. The songfest is in its fifth week, and has added a 3 p.m. Sunday matinee. That’s an unusual achievement in a town where tourists and locals alike don’t seem to believe that theater exists beyond Las Vegas Boulevard.

“We had no illusions,” Emerson says. “We knew this would be tough. But we decided not to panic. We figured, since the show has been so successful in so many places, why not Vegas?”

The Texas native was a part of “An Evening at La Cage” with Frank Marino for about two decades. He knows the difficulties of getting people in theater seats.

“I saw ‘Naked’ in January in New York, and 90 percent of the audience was women,” he says. “And I realized that we would have to tap into the bachelorette market. Even though we don’t have much of an advertising budget, we’re trying to get the word out with rack cards, visits to wedding chapels, and getting local concierges to see the show. What’s fun about this for women is that they can enjoy looking at naked guys, knowing that the guys aren’t really interested in them. And it’s all wrapped up in musical theater, so they can feel OK about it.”

Despite Vegas being a tough-sell town, Emerson thinks success is within reach. He says they need to sell 40 seats each performance to break even.

Morse notes: “We’re not an Equity home, but we pay our actors, and I think we have what I call Broadway moments. And for $30, we’ve hit our mark.”

Are the performers comfortable doing the Full Monty?

White, a Las Vegas resident for 22 years, has no doubt.

“I was never a naked sort of person,” he says. “I don’t sleep naked, I don’t walk around the house naked. But it didn’t take long before I and the rest of the cast didn’t even think about it. And I take better care of my body now. I have to make sure I’m comfortable looking at myself so that I can be comfortable having others looking at me.”

5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
U2 in Vegas through the years
U2 in Vegas through the years
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Black Tap In Las Vegas Makes This Instagram-ready Golden Knights Shake (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre Premieres Until December
‘Until December’ debuts at ‘Ballet & Broadway’ season finale (Carol Cling Las Vegas
Celebrate The Golden Knights With Knights-inpired Latte Art (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single Ramsey, who shot to fame after a viral video of him yodeling at an Illinois Walmart surfaced, just debuted “Famous.” “If I'm gonna be famous for somethin'/I wanna be famous for lovin' you/If I'm gonna be known around the world/I wanna because of you, girl” Mason Ramsey, “Famous” It’s been quite the rush to stardom for the 11-year-old, who appeared on The Ellen Show and performed at Coachella earlier this month. “I’d been to Nashville a few times before, but never thought something like this would happen. It’s a dream to sign with Atlantic and Big Loud.” Mason Ramsey “I loved recording ‘Famous’ and can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala. (Janna Karel Las Vegas review-Journal)
"Hamilton" Fans Line Up Overnight At Smith Center To Get Tickets
"Hamilton" fans line up overnight at Smith Center to get tickets. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 concerts to see in Las Vegas this week
You can visit the speakeasy in The Mob Museum's basement... if you know the password
6 new foods hitting movie theaters in 2018
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Car Show celebrates 21st year
The Stray Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Elvira and Mitch Polzak make appearances the 21st Annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend car show at the Orleans hotel and casino on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like