Orlando Fringe 2022 review: 'Boys Will Be Boys'

A queer cabaret of campy ’mo-tunes set in the basement of American Legion Post No. 69.

A serious plague of Gay Attention Deficit Disorder is sweeping the nation, leaving its homosexual male victims unable to stay focused on any shopping trend for more than a few weeks. To raise funds for their afflicted friend’s rehab, four Broadway starlets are staging a queer cabaret of clichéd, campy ’mo-tunes in the basement of Orlando’s American Legion Post #69.

The cast (Sean Philibin, John Gracey, Eduardo A. Rivera, Ethan Lolley) all boast big voices and each of the men gets multiple moments to shine, with choreographer Rivera’s Little Shop-esque solo and John Gracey’s enthusiastic ode to Viagra being particular standouts. Even their harried “hostess with the mostest” Jane (Molly Schoolmeester) gets to burn the house down with a tortured torch song.

Composer Kenneth Kacmar’s pastiche score (as performed by musical director David Foust) will ring many bells with Broadway fans, with riffs that recall classic tunes from Oklahoma, White Christmas and Gypsy, while Joe Miloscia’s dialogue and lyrics are loaded with winking PG-13 double entendres referencing big openings and juggling balls. From the deliberately chaotic curtain raiser to a pre-finale straight panic freakout, this show has a Muppet Show-like atmosphere of backstage anarchy that belies its polished production values and peppy pacing (at least until audience participation bingo games bring the entertainment to a screeching halt).

Fortunately, although the emphasis is mostly on comedy, the songs aren’t all played strictly for laughs, thanks to a lovely love duet between Luke & Tyler and a tender ballad about gay-bashing from Luke. Among the many gay-baiting extravaganzas at this year’s Fringe, the talented team behind Boys Will Be Boys rises to the occasion with the help of their most important throbbing male organs: their hearts.

Tickets and show info: Boys Will Be Boys
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