03 August 2007

Naked Boys Stop Singing

The Actors Playhouse, home to the long-running show "Naked Boys Singing," among other attractions, will shut down after 62 years on lower Seventh Avenue near Bleecker. A helpful reader wrote in to inform us that a steadily rising rent has forced the theatre out of business. It's only the latest Off-Broadway commercial theatre to go under.

The Actors Playhouse has never been my favorite downtown temple of Thespis. It's always been a bit shabby and unattractive, and it's fare has tended to the embarrassingly campy: shows with titles like "Howard Crabtree's Whoop-Dee-Doo," "The Property Known as Garland," "Making Porn" and, or course, the eternal "Naked Boys Singing." Not exactly the Provincetown Playhouse.

Of course, a theatre that has stuck around this long can also lay claim to its share of theatre history. Harvey Fierstein's "Torch Song Trilogy" began life there. And a number of actors who went on to fame did some early work there. The owner of the property is planning to turn it into something other than a theatre.

1 comment:

Robert Cashill said...

"Gutenberg! The Musical!" was a definite step up for the ramshackle theater, which will be missed.