“Boys Will Be Boys” at the New York Musical Theatre Festival at the Studio Theatre (Closed July 24, 2013)

Book and Lyrics by Joe Miloscia
Music by Kenneth Kacmar
Directed by Joe Barros
Reviewed by Joseph Verlezza
Theatre Reviews Limited

Billed as an ‘Out-rageous Musical Revue,’ “Boys Will Be Boys” presented at the Studio Theater as part of the ongoing NYMF certainly lives up to its claim. Almost everything from concept, lyrics, characters, parodies and innuendos are completely over the top and as gay as one can possibly imagine. It is a fun romp very reminiscent in style to the gay revues produced in the 80’s and 90’s with constant sexual innuendo, musical theater parodies and sharp gay wit and slurs. There is nothing ground breaking or new except situations and language has of course been brought up to date. Most of the characters appear as stereotypes which wear thin after a short time and at times are offensive or annoying.

The cast is vocally competent and earnestly delivers every musical number with high energy and enthusiasm even when some of the material falls short. Two stand-out songs are the duet “I Want to Thank You” performed by Ryan Speakman and Seph Stanek – which is given an honest rendering accompanied by well balanced voices – and “Giant” which is interpreted and delivered by Mr. Speakman. This song may well be one of the finest gay anthems I have heard to date, being smart, sophisticated, timeless and emotional. This combined with Mr. Speakman’s clear, pure vocal tone and undeniable connection and focus makes a profound statement and provides a sincere look into the real world and unfortunate fears of the gay community.

It is campy, fun and probably entertaining to many but just falls a bit short for this critic who hopes for a better gay environment and representation in the NY Theatre scene in the future. This product can certainly find its roots on Fire Island or in Provincetown and possibly downtown but might have trouble staying afloat mainstream.