Saturday, June 14, 2014

Boy Meets Boy

It's PRIDE month! Let's highlight some gay musicals!

Off-Broadway in the 1970's housed a string of musicals and revues featuring gay men. One of the more successful of these was Boy Meets Boy. Political in it's A-Political nature the show is set at a 1930's screwball romance where gay and straight couples intermingle freely. When American Reporter Casey O'Brien pursues a story on English aristocrat Guy Rose he's expecting a dreamboat. The real Guy is a "frump" who needs a Cinderella makeover. Once he's ditched the ratty hair and over-sized glasses he impresses the oblivious Casey. Guy's jealous ex keeps the pair apart till he has a last minute change of heart. There's also a scene set in a male burlesque club for those who find the Fred and Ginger aesthetic too chaste. The largest straight male role is the wacky best friend who exists mainly for comic relief. How political is that?

The Guide to Musical Theatre claims the original production ran 463 performances!

In 2012 the show was revived at London's Jermyn Street Theatre to positive reviews. The "retro" setting keeps the show from feeling as dated as some of the other shows I'll feature this week.

Background reading.
Photos from the original Off-Broadway production.
Review of the London revival.

Special thanks to this fantastic site on Queer Musical Heritage.

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