Film will expose 'Naked Boys'

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NEW YORK -- In the grand tradition of "Dreamgirls" and "Funny Girl," the long-running off-Broadway musical "Naked Boys Singing!" is coming to the big screen as a full-length feature from Funny Boy Films.

The bare posteriors of the 10-member cast are being preserved for posterity at Los Angeles' Hayworth Theatre, where shooting is set to be completed this week. The nudity-filled feature will be accompanied by a behind-the-scenes documentary, which will be released as a separate DVD or as a bonus DVD feature.

Robert Schrock, director of the original production, is helming the 16-song review, with Troy Christian handling the feature's digital video direction and choreography. The gay-themed project is produced by Kirkland Tibbels, who took on similar duties bringing David Drake's one-man show "The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me" to the screen in 1999.

Since opening at L.A.'s Celebration Theatre in 1998 and moving to its current New York run the following year, "Naked Boys Singing!" has played in more than 20 countries and toured theaters around the country -- and not without controversy. The Milwaukee Gay Arts Center production of the show, featuring such original songs as "I Beat My Meat," "Perky Little Porn Star" and "Nothin' but the Radio On," was closed by the local vice squad last year. Similar shutdowns occurred in 2004 in Atlanta and in 2003 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Original L.A. cast member Vincent Zamora is part of the ensemble cast, which also includes Andrew Blake Ames ("The Assassination of Richard Nixon"), Jason Currie ("The Bible: Search for the Truth"), James Hodges, Joseph Keane, Anthony Manough (Broadway's "Jesus Christ Superstar"), Joe Souza, Kevin Stea ("Madonna: Truth or Dare"), Phong Truong (London's "Jerry Springer: The Opera") and Salvatore Vassallo ("Gigli").

Tibbels said that after his Funny Boy producing partner Sterling Zinsmeyer introduced him to the project in 2004, it took a year and a half to lock down film rights, largely because of the dozen-plus writers who created the show. They include Schrock, two-time Emmy Award winner Bruce Vilanch, Stephen Bates, Marie Cain, Perry Hart, Shelly Markham, Jim Morgan, David Pevsner, Rayme Sciaroni, Mark Savage, Ben Schaechter, Trance Thompson and Mark Winkler.

The screen version will feature a restaged version of the play, Tibbels said, and new arrangements of the original songs.

Funny Boy Films' productions include 2004's "Latter Days" and this year's "Adam & Steve."
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