Review: Musicalizing the World’s Oldest Profession, “Rentboy”
Guest blogger Scott Redman gets an earful about the ups and down about life as an escort. Did he get bang for his buck or choose theatrical celibacy instead?
The highs and lows of working as a rent boy are currently on display at the Richmond Shepard Theatre on East 26thStreet. Rent Boy, the Musical is a humorous jaunt into the world of male escorts and their clients. The show is framed as an awards show, appropriately named the Hookies with awards given out to male escorts for accomplishments in the “field.” The snappy show consists of multiple vignettes and songs featuring a talented ensemble of performers. The song list itself is enough to make you chuckle with titles including, “Pete’s Tool Rental”, “Tops and Bottoms” and “Who Invented the Jockstrap?”
The evening’s escapades are led by Awards Host & Master of Ceremonies, David Leddick, who not only stars in the production but also has written the book and lyrics. He brings to the stage a wisdom that is intriguing and experienced. He is brassy and takes the stage, fully loaded with one-liners and zingers throughout his performance. Leddick has a quiet moment in the act two song, “Waiting for the Dark Man” where he almost brings himself to tears while reflecting on his dreams of finding the perfect man.
The show isn’t nearly as trashy as it sounds. The tone is light and full of bawdy humor but aligns itself closer to a vaudeville revue more than Naked Boys Singing! This twist on the oldest profession is entertaining and creatively staged by David Kringery. The songs are very catchy and I caught my theater date humming one of the tunes as we left the black box theatre. This isn’t a show I would take my grandmother to but Rent Boy delivers the goods as a well produced evening of romp.
Rent Boy, the Musical
Richmond Shepard Theatre
309 East 26th Street
Through March 31