Oct 12, 2014

10 Stage Plays with Unexpected Beefcake

You should go to the theater as often as possible, even to productions that don't seem to have any gay content.  If you can't get to the great theater capitals of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, try your local community theater or high school drama club.

Why the productions that don't have any obvious gay content?   Because you never know when a director or is going to call for a theater hunk to take his shirt off, and the beefcake is more intense and immediate when it's live.

Of course, you might have to deal with actors gushing at each other that everyone on Earth longs for hetero-romance, that the Meaning of Life lies in men and women kissing, but you hear that a thousand times a day anyway.

Here is a random assortment of 10 stage plays that yielded unexpected beefcake.

1. Gabriel, by Moira Buffini, about a naked man who is washed up onto the beach in the Channel Islands during the Nazi occupation of World War II.  He has amnesia, so he is christened "Gabriel."  Hetero-romance ensues.  Lane Aaron Rosen (top) stars off-Broadway.

2. Unity(1918), by Kevin Kerr, is a favorite of university theater departments in Canada.  It's set in a small town in Saskatchewan during a flu epidemic, with a soldier returning from World War I involved in hetero-romance.

3. The Play about the Baby, not one of gay playwright Edward Albee's more popular dramas, was performed off-Broadway in 2001.  It's a sort of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf redux, set in a timeless world where an older couple, The Man and the Woman, try to explain the hopelessness of hetero-romance to a younger couple, The Boy and the Girl.

The Boy was played by a nude David Burtka (now married to Neil Patrick Harris).

4. Shakespeare is always good for some beefcake scenes.  How about Jon Michael Hill (now starring in Elementary) as a rather buffed Ariel in The Tempest at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago?

5. King Lear actually has nudity in the stage directions.  Only the elderly king is required to be nude, but in this Orange County production, his buddy Edwin (Shaun Anthony) strips down, too.

More after the break.

6. Farragut North is a very boring drama about politics, here featuring soap hunk Eric Sheffer Stevens as the shirtless politico,  with his doting wife in the background.

7. Speaking of politics, Obama Spy Drama, currently playing in Los Angeles, pairs off President Obama (Travis Snyder-Eaton) and Vladimir Putin (Christopher Robert Smith) as competitors for the mind and soul of Edward Snowden. Don't get too excited -- there's lots of hetero-romance in addition to the shirtless presidential machismo.

8. I'm not a big fan of Sam Shepherd, but at least soapster Jake Silbermann unbuttons his shirt for True West, about two brothers, one a politician and the other a thief.

9. A musical about finding a place to urinate?  That's the premise of Urinetown, which sets its hetero-romance in a future dystopia, where those who can't pay for public urinals are forced into a prison colony (there are no bushes around?).  At the London premiere, Richard Fleeshman played Bobby Strong, who died fighting for urinary freedom.

10. A musical about spree murder?  That's the premise of Bonnie and Clyde, which sets its hetero-romance among sociopathic thugs in Depression-era Kansas.  The Broadway production closed after four weeks, but at least it featured Clyde (former teen idol Jeremy Jordan) playing the guitar in the bathtub.

See also: The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; and Tarzan: The Stage Musical.