My 9 Naked Friends | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

My 9 Naked Friends 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Emerging Artists Project, at Turn Around Theatre.

The teasing title is a crock--or, as one character puts it, "The whole naked thing is just a ploy." Indeed, we're meant to be embarrassed by the idea of naked bodies, just as the ten palpably nudophobic actors are. Sure, it's OK to argue that nudity is not needed--but then don't put it in your title or ask an audience member to remove his/her shirt/blouse to inspire an actor to do the same. And don't make us feel silly for swallowing a phony premise.

Borrowing its plot from Jeffrey, its titillation from Party, and its inspiration from The Gong Show, this inept late-night revue concerns a shy young gay man with no gay friends who implausibly seeks advice from his straight chums on how to find a lover who can outlast the "three-date threshold." Lumbered with generic songs so ineptly written and delivered they spoof themselves, this lame staging by Becky Brett and lyricist Kevin Kosik assumes that perky sincerity is a surrogate for wit. The synthesizer tunes (by Kelly Beaman) and their lyrics exist in separate universes. The breathless revelations--that all the cute guys are gay, that straight men hate drag, that a flute player can give good oral sex, and that fantasies are fun--are obvious and bland. And though the cast are engaging and attractive, they perform as if they've just met backstage.

Even as part of the depressing trend of shows that double as advice columns, My 9 Naked Friends fails, pretending to address a gay man's fear of feeling without once mentioning AIDS. But then that would only sober up a script already sagging with padded anecdotes, gargantuan exposition, and DOA jokes.

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Lawrence Bommer

Agenda Teaser

Galleries & Museums
Monet and Chicago Art Institute of Chicago
November 02
Performing Arts
December 04

Popular Stories