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Naked Guys Sing, but Not for Republicans

By The Associated Press | August 26, 2004

The Statue of Liberty. Bloomingdale's. The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. A stage full of naked guys singing. Oops!

The city's tourist bureau has pulled an Off Broadway show called "Naked Boys Singing" from a list of discounted offerings to visiting delegates, after the Republican National Committee found it was not suitable.

The gay-themed show, billed as a musical revue that "celebrates the splendors of male nudity in comedy, song and dance," has received generally good reviews without creating much of a stir since it began its run six years ago. It is the 10th longest-running Off Broadway show.

So, when NYC & Company placed the production among the theater offerings for its "Come Early, Stay Late" program to get delegates to spend an extra couple of days in the city, nobody thought much about it.

But this month, the Republican Party's Committee on Arrangements began to review the offerings, the title caught their eye, and they asked that the show be removed from the tourist bureau's Web site.

"The Republican Party selected what we felt were offers that would best suit our audience," Leonard Alcivar, a Republican spokesman, said yesterday. "We thank the producers for offering their generous discount, and wish them continued success with the show."

Cristyne Nicholas, president and C.E.O. of NYC & Company, accepted responsibility for adding the show , saying that the offers had come in faster than her agency could handle.

The show's producer, Carl White, said that the decision to drop the show runs counter to the reasons Republicans chose New York as the site of the convention. "They say they picked us because of our equality, our diversity, our culture," he said.

In fact, before the show was removed from the site, about a dozen people had bought tickets using the special code offered on the Web site. Those tickets will be honored.

From The New York Times

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