NEW YORK – The Statue of Liberty. Bloomingdale's. The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. A stage full of naked guys singing.
The city's tourist bureau has pulled an off-Broadway show called "Naked Boys Singing" (search) from a list of discounted offerings to visiting Republican delegates, after the Republican National Committee complained it wasn't suitable.
The gay-themed show, billed as a musical revue that "celebrates the splendors of male nudity in comedy, song and dance," has received generally good reviews and hasn't created much of a stir since it began its run six years ago. Its 2,127 performances make it the 10th longest-running off-Broadway show.
So, when NYC & Company placed the production among the theater offerings for its "Come Early, Stay Late" (search) program designed to get delegates to spend an extra couple of days in the city, nobody thought much about it.
But this month, when members of the RNC's Committee on Arrangements began to review the list of offerings, the show's title caught their eye, and they asked that it be removed from the tourist bureau's Web site.
"The Republican Party selected what we felt were offers that would best suit our audience," RNC spokesman Leonard Alcivar said Wednesday. "We thank the producers for offering their generous discount, and wish them continued success with the show."
Cristyne Nicholas, president and CEO of NYC & Company, took the blame, saying, "the offers came in so quickly -- faster than we could originally handle."
The show's producer, Carl White, said the RNC's decision to drop the show runs counter to the reasons Republicans chose New York to host the convention in the first place.
"It's very disappointing to us," said White. "They say they picked us because of our equality, our diversity, our culture."
In fact, before the show was removed from the site, about a dozen people -- presumably delegates -- had purchased tickets using the special code offered on the Web site. Those tickets will be honored.