Hangin' Out: That Naked Musical

Conceiver-creator Robert Schrock is trying to summon lightning to strike twice on much the same concept — stark-naked performers gamely crooning and dancing through songs — that took his Naked Boys Singing from a West Hollywood hit to an off-Broadway success. Here, 19 writers and musical director Gerard Sternbach, on keyboard, serve up a pastiche of almost two dozen ballads and up-tempo musical-comedy standards on themes of nakedness, sexual awakening, sexual arousal, body image and self-esteem. These are performed by three men (Eric B. Anthony, Marco Infante and Brent Keast) and three women (Heather Capps, Carole Foreman and Lana Harper) entirely in the buff, singing and prancing like nudists on a tropical beach to Ken Roht's choreography on and around small wooden blocks on a stage mostly defined by a lush upstage curtain. Like the remake of some very successful movie, it pales slightly when compared to the original, perhaps because it's trying to reinvent that earlier wheel. With a few notable exceptions (“Patron Saint” and “Work of Art”), the songs just don't have the wit and vigor of Naked Boys. It's slightly paradoxical that the company members, with varying ages and body types, some buff, some less so, are so comfortable in their skin, and so charming, that the impact of their nudity eventually wears off, exposing not their flaws but those of the musical itself. They are certainly all profiles in courage. Macha Theatre, 1107 Kings Rd., W. Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; thru Feb. 15. (323) 960-4443.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Jan. 9. Continues through March 15, 2009

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