Forgotten Gay Musicals: "Boy Meets Boy" ( 1975)

Forgotten Gay Musicals: “Boy Meets Boy” ( 1975) – READ Vito Russo’s Original Review

Boy Meets Boy with music and lyrics by Bill Solly and book by Bill Solly and Donald Ward was a gay musical comedy originally produced at the Actor’s Playhouse in NYC in 1975 and recorded in 1978.

The musical itself visits a world where in 1936, same-sex relationships are considered as normal as heterosexual ones.

Set in London and Paris in 1936-1937, amid the controversy of King Edward’s abdication so he could marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

The PLOT: Famous reporter, Casey O’Brien, covers the King Edward VIII abdication story. Soon, O’Brien learns about a preening groom, Clarence, who has been jilted at the altar by the mysterious ˜English Rose’. A big surprise awaits him as he searches for ‘this charming and well-looking English rose’. The ˜English Rose’ is named Guy Rose, a plain man with glasses. After a love triangle and various mistaken identities, Casey and Guy fall in love.

The original production at the Actor’s Playhouse in New York received admiring reviews.

In New York magazine, Alan Rich wrote that the play had “an uncommonly light and antic touch. The first of its kind that could happily play in an old ladies’ home in Dubuque…delightful”; while Robert Patrick said that “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”. 

Rarely done today. (No matter how much I beg theatrical phenom David Drake to put it up in Provincetown) “Boy Meets Boy” is an unexpected gem of a gay musical that has languished in obscurity for far too long..

Unfortunately, no video clips are available of past productions. But you can listen to the entire score on YouTube below.

“Loves okay for a rainy day or to while away the blues. But when love gets serious. Fellas’s that’s bad news. There’s just too much to lose….”

You can read Vito Russo’s “Boy Meets Boy” 1975 after the break.

What do you think?

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