No 'Naked Boys Singing' for Republicans

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - The producer of an off-Broadway musical called "Naked Boys Singing" accuses the Republican Party of censoring the entertainment available to convention-goers.

The adults-only musical -- starring eight naked men -- was among the shows offering discounts to convention-goers though the New York City Visitors & Convention Bureau. But a few days ago, the show was dropped from the list of discounted theatrical offerings.

Martian Entertainment, the show's producer, said the Republican National Committee on Arrangements refused to offer the show's discount to delegates and "asked that the show be removed" from New York City's official tourism website.

"The censoring of entertainment, food and cultural options provided by New York City for the conventioneers is a waste of a great opportunity for encouraging diversity and alternative points of view within the Republican Party," said Carl D. White, the show's producer and general manager.

"I find their actions discriminatory, and morally and ethically reprehensible," White said in a press release. He also complained that the RNC Committee on Arrangements did not return phone calls requesting an explanation of "why they felt it necessary to protect conventioneers from a musical comedy."

"This is not about politics," said Tom Smedes, the show's co-producer. "Anyone coming to our city should have free and unobstructed access to the many discounts, entertainments, restaurants, and events that our great city has to offer."

The show's producers note that in choosing New York City for the 2004 convention, one RNC official hailed its "strength and diversity" - which, he said, "reflects the Republican Party's philosophy that everyone is welcome, everyone is important and everyone should have a voice."

"Naked Boys Singing," billed by its producers as "the little naked show that could," has been presented Off-Broadway for over 2,100 performances and is now in its sixth year, making it one of the top 10 longest running Off-Broadway shows.

The show features a cast of nude men singing "campy" songs, including one called "Gratuitous Nudity" and another called "Perky Little Porn Star."

A review in the New York Times, posted on the show's website, noted that "Naked Boys Singing' isn't for everybody -- especially sweet Aunt Rose from Hooterville, unless she's partial to symbolic re-creations of masturbation and crude terms for it..."

The New York Daily News said the musical is "sort of like a Chippendales glee club" -- "full frontally outrageous."

The Republican Party bills itself as a "big tent," and this year, as at previous conventions, the most liberal elements are trying to stretch it out, while the most conservative elements are trying to rein it in.

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