Ronnie Larsen and Tim Evanicki Productions Takes NAKED BOYS SINGING on the Road!
In January, 2016, a new face arrived at the Footlight Theatre at the World-Famous Parliament House Resort in Orlando, FL. It was Tim Evanicki, the new Artistic Director of the theatre tasked with filling the 165-seat cabaret-style theatre on weekends.
"I knew I had big shoes to fill," says Evanicki. "My predecessors Michael Wanzie and David Lee are staples in the Central Florida Theatre scene, and Wanzie had so many great successes with his shows here."
Evanicki co-wrote a show called "Bathhouse: The Musical!" which he was producing at the Footlight Theatre when the Artistic Director vacancy opened up. Knowing that he had to start off his tenure at the theatre with a bang, he had to decide which show that would be. A quick glance over to collection of DVDs at his studio and there it was - "Naked Boys Singing."
The show ran at the Footlight Theatre for a total of 24 performances, either at or near sell-out each performance. Evanicki also introduced a new idea to the theatre: expanding the schedule beyond one-performance per week. Previously, shows in the Footlight Theatre ran only Saturday evenings, to coincide with the busiest club night. Naked Boys Singing ran for 3-4 performances per week, and still was able to fill the theatre to capacity.
"Our numbers just never went down. They stayed consistent throughout the entire run of the show," he says. "The only reason the show closed is because we had other things paid for and scheduled to bring to the theatre. People just couldn't get enough of this show!"
Enter Ronnie Larsen.
Larsen was made famous for the success of his show "Making Porn," which enjoyed a long run in NYC, along with a catalogue of other gay-themed plays that he writes and tours all over the country. Larsen attended one of the final performances of Naked Boys Singing, and saw something special in Evanicki's production.
"The staging was clever and engaging and the cast was attractive and talented. Tim's production was a hit that had legs beyond one theatre in Orlando, and I knew that even before the curtain came down, and the audience leapt to their feet."
The rest, as they say, is history. Ronnie and Tim became fast-friends and business partners. Now, the pair are producing a multi-city tour. With Larsen heading-up the business side of things, and Evanicki in charge of all things artistic, they have set a goal for twenty cities in two years.
"I'm delighted that due to the success of the show at the Parliament House Footlight Theatre in Orlando, that Evanicki/Larsen will be touring their production to more cities, and giving new audiences a laugh-out-loud good time - which is something we all need and can appreciate!" says Carl White, of Naked Boys Singing! Worldwide, who manages the licensing and business of Naked Boys Singing.
A brand new cast of boys has been hired from New York City including Stephen Millett, Charles Walljasper Robinson, Tim Garnham, Quentin Bruno, Jonte Culpepper, and Anthony Massarotto. The tour kicks off in Fort Lauderdale, FL at the Empire Stage in November. This cast is then on to Atlanta, Nashville, Houston, and beyond.
Close on its heels is the re-launch of a sit-down (non-touring) production in Orlando, back at the Footlight Theatre featuring some of the original favorite cast members including Kevin Kelly, William Bruce and Joshua S. Roth. Newcomers Wes Miles, Jeremiah Johnson, and Sean Patrick Philibin are joining the Orlando Cast. The Orlando production will open on December 9, for an open-ended run at the Footlight. Other sit-down productions are in the works.
"We have an army of Naked Boys ready to go and take over the country!" jokes Evanicki. "Every production will be identical so if something comes up we can pull one of the 'tour boys' to fill in in Orlando, and vice-versa. I'm very excited about the remount. We are completely reimagining the show with an updated, modern set, new choreography, and all new costumes!"
Yes, though few, there are some costumes.