Boy Meets Boy (musical)

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Boy Meets Boy
Music Bill Solly
Lyrics Bill Solly
Book Bill Solly and Donald Ward
Productions 1975 Off-Broadway

Boy Meets Boy is a musical comedy with music and lyrics by Bill Solly, and book by Bill Solly and Donald Ward. It opened on Sep. 17, 1975 at the off-Broadway Actor's Playhouse in NYC. It was produced by Christopher Larkin and Edith O'Hara in association with Lee Barton.

The show is a fast-paced, light-hearted musical-comedy, featuring a 1930s style Astaire/Rogers romance between two men, and a same-sex marriage. The world of the play posits that in 1936, same-sex relationships are considered every bit as normal as heterosexual ones. The play begins against the background of the abdication of Edward VIII and ends with the Duke of Windsor's (and the protagonists') June, 1937 weddings. This is appropriate, as one of the major themes is "Giving it Up for Love" ("the nightclubs and the taxis / and the tickets to the smash"). The action occurs in the Savoy Hotel, a few elegant nightspots in London, a bar in Spain, and a black-sheep aunt's disreputable establishment in Paris.

This was the first instance in history that the image of two grooms atop a wedding cake was presented to the public.

The show had it's London Premiere in Dec of 2012. The cast included Olivier Award winner Stephen Ashfield (Book of Mormon, Taboo) as Casey O'Brien with Johnjo Flynn as Guy Rose and Ben Kavanagh as Clarence Cutler.

Critical reception[edit]

The original production at the Actor's Playhouse in NYC received admiring reviews--save for a brutal pan in the New York Times by a critic who completely missed the joke. (About the acceptance of gay marriage in the 30s, Mel Gussow wrote, "So much for thirties realism.") Nevertheless, it proved popular with the public and ran for 2 years. Subsequent productions in Los Angeles and San Francisco received near-universal raves. It has often been revived regionally. A 2012 production performed at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London was well received by the British papers.[1]

Reviews from the original production (Actor's Playhouse, NYC, 1975)[edit]

“The brightest, tunefullest, wittiest, most elegant, refined, gracious and entertaining musical in Years! VVVV (Highest rating)” – Carll Tucker, THE VILLAGE VOICE

“An uncommonly light and antic touch. The first of its kind that could happily play in an old ladies’ home in Dubuque...delightful” – Alan Rich, NEW YORK MAGAZINE

“BOY MEETS BOY is one of the most audacious, boldest, shockingly original theatrical gestures in the history of the art. It rewrites the past and presents it just as entertainment, not in the Orwellian sense of trying to convince anyone the past was like that but saying that it ought to have been” - Robert Patrick

Reviews from the Jermyn St. Theatre production (London, 2012)[edit]

“Funny, silly and, with gay marriage on the horizon, slyly topical!” – Libby Purves, The Times of London

“An unexpected gem of a musical. The score is varied in style and form, the lyrics clever, and the script highly intelligent and very funny. Both the script and lyrics have elements of Wilde’s wit and Coward’s charm. A festive treat – highly recommended!” - Emma Slater, London Theatre Tickets, London.

“In 1975 this lithe blasé vision of an alternative reality must have felt subversive. The surprise is that it still does...Exactly the sort of show that filmmakers should be lining up to rescue and adapt.” - Ryan Gilbey, New Statesman

Musical numbers[edit]

  • Sources:

Guide to Musical Theatre: Boy Meets Boy[2]

Boy Meets Boy. 1975 Off-Broadway Production, Musical Numbers[3]


External links[edit]