by Ronnie Larsen
Story: Ronnie Larsen’s comedy about prostitution in Hollywood. Set in Hollywood, California, 10 NAKED MEN focuses on ten individuals: three hustlers, two producers and two agents, one banker, a single photographer, and a lone actor. All 10 MEN are involved in the entertainment industry; all are wrapped up in the quest for fame, fortune, and happiness. And yes, they all get naked!
10 NAKED MEN is inspired by Ronnie Larsen’s personal experiences while living in Southern California and is another Larsen "take" on the world of entertainment. The play had a six-month run Off-Broadway, a three-month sell-out run in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, and also played for a limited run in Boston and Philadelphia. Ronnie Larsen is the author of MAKING PORN which completed a wildly successful sixteen-month run Off Broadway and continues to play to packed houses in its seventh year across the country.
Length: 90 minutes, no intermission
History: Premiered in Los Angeles and has played all over the country.
Produced Cities: Los Angeles (twice), New York (Off-Broadway), Boston, Detroit, San Francisco (twice), Chicago, Toronto, Ft. Lauderdale, San Diego.
Audio Description: Click here.
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"Larsen smartly crafts a play about a world of manipulative
sharks and exploited chumps...the quick-paced
production is SMOOTH, IRONIC, and SEXY."
-- LA WEEKLY (full review below)
"Larsen in a smashing performance has never been
better...his performance is sheer COMIC
NIRVANA." -- FRONTIERS (full review below)
"A handsome, clever show...with a surprisingly tender
tale...on a SPECTACULAR and SNAZZY
stylized set." -- PINK SHEET (full review below)
“It’s HurlyBurly meets Boys in the Band with a Mamet-cocked plot and Neil Simon one-liners. Its fast-paced, funny, raunchy, cleverly directed, and as promised, delivers 10 Naked Men.”
GENE PRICE, BAY TIMES
“…the show also has a certain effervescent appeal…the dialogue bubbles along wittily…the pacing of the short black-out scenes is tonic…sending up the Hollywood mindset is pretty easy sport but Larsen does it with flair.”
STEVEN WINN, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
“Larsen’s often clever comedy is about more than penises.”
RICHARD DODDS, BAY AREA REPORTER
“What really stands out in this production is Larsen’s clever almost cinematic staging.”
"It’s a handsome, clever show, that combines two unlikely themes: a satire on a society (like L.A.) in which human beings are treated as salable commodities (models, actors, hustlers, personal assistants, or, for that matter, bank tellers and ordinary Joes)., with a surprisingly tender tale of Robert (Larsen) an overweight young man from Denver, who arrives in L.A. full of hopes, and serious problems about self-image."
Licensing Availability: Available for production, co-production and/or licensing.
Royalty Information: RonnieLarsenPresents@gmail.com
In playwright-director Ronnie Larsen’s trenchant satire, Hollywood contains only three types of men — hustlers, pimps and johns. Likable but portly gay actor Robert (playwright-director Larsen) moves to West Hollywood from Denver, insecure about his body but vowing to make it in the Big Orange as a star. He soon gets signed with an agent (J.P. Hubbell), who finds him his first national commercial. However, it turns out that Robert’s just a pawn in a sleazy scheme to arrange work for a hustler boy (Brian Sheridan), who’s adored by the commercial’s cheesy producer (Thomas Colby). Meanwhile, Robert’s sensitive roommate, Kenny (Preston Lee Britton), falls in love with a handsome young model (Aaron Misakian), who turns out to be yet another male prostitute. Larsen smartly crafts a play about a world of manipulative sharks and exploited chumps, full of characters who seek to conquer and destroy that which they adore and admire. The quick-paced production is smooth, ironic and sexy — there are sometimes more naked bottoms onstage than there are pumpkins in a pumpkin patch, but the nudity is well integrated into the grim story. Larsen is likably tragic as the proverbial L.A. outcast — while powerful character turns are offered by Sheridan and Misakian as the increasingly hardened hustlers, and Marcus DeAnda as a cynical-to-the-point-of-corrosive Hollywood powerjohn. LLC Productions at the Cast Theater, 804 N. El Centro Ave., Hlywd.; Wed.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 & 7 p.m.; thru Oct. 31. (800) 965-4827. Written 10/14/2004 (Paul Birchall)
Over the past decade, writer-director Ronnie Larsen has created many popular, bawdy shows for gay audiences. When he's in top form, his zany humor seamlessly blends with some food for thought. It's been a while since we've seen a first-rate Larsen play, which makes "10 Naked Men" a welcome treat. This comedy was presented in workshop form locally in years past, but critics are being admitted for the first time. Larsen has reportedly been tinkering with the script for years, and by evidence of this handsomely mounted and tautly directed production, his efforts have been worth it. The title has both literal and figurative meaning, as the play encompasses the playwright's customary titillation and nudity alongside some sharp sardonic insights. Larsen dovetails the stories of 10 characters whose lives intersect in Tinseltown. Their façades are stripped away in the process, allowing their innermost feelings to surface. Many of the types Larsen presents are familiar, but no less hilarious because of that. There are the 20-something aspiring actors/hustlers (played by Aaron Misakian and Brian Sheridan); lecherous agents and producers with busy casting couches (played by JP Hubbell, Thomas Colby, and Marcus DeAnda); as well as a slimy photographer (Mark Cirillo). Adding to the fun are John Fava in an uproarious turn as a verbally abusive ex-con with a surprising bedside manner, and Larsen in a smashing performance as a chunky aspiring actor/nebbish looking for a career break--and love--in all the wrong places. Somewhat of a cross between Woody Allen and John Candy, Larsen has never been better; his performance is sheer comic nirvana. This is a first-rate ensemble, and in the home stretch Larsen gives most of them a chance to step beyond the dicey gags into moments of warmth and genuine empathy. A gay sex comedy with brains and a heart--who would have expected it? The run is brief, so don't even think of missing the most delightful gay show of the year. (Les Spindle)
THE PINK SHEET
Playwright Ronnie Larsen is one of the most unpredictable talents around. From his very first outing in L.A. with Making Porn he has revealed a shrewd wit, a love/hate relationship with the porn industry and a knack for skewering its absurdities, and an unmistakable theatrical talent. But all too often in the past, he has allowed himself to be side-tracked by self-indulgence, a taste for gross-out humor, an irrepressible urge toward rampant vulgarity, and a propensity for casting himself as a food-spitting drag diva. This time, with 10 NakedMen, he seems to have gotten all his ducks in a row. It’s a handsome, clever show, that combines two unlikely themes: a satire on a society (like L.A.) in which human beings are treated as salable commodities (models, actors, hustlers, personal assistants, or, for that matter, bank tellers and ordinary Joes)., with a surprisingly tender tale of Robert (Larsen) an overweight young man from Denver, who arrives in L.A. full of hopes, and serious problems about self-image. But he soon despairs of finding anyone who will love him for himself, and resorts to commercial sex, via the personal ads for models, masseurs, trainers, and escorts in Frontiers. Shy, inhibited, and scared to death of serial killers, police undercover agents, etc., he can barely bring himself to make the calls. Finally he hooks up with EX-CON, a tough-talking Daddy (John Fava) who claims to have committed numerous rapes in prison. (Robert seems to have a longing to be raped: “I can’t have sex with people I know,” he says plaintively.) But after the handcuffs are removed, the tough Ex-Con turns out to be a fraud: a cream-puff inside a hard-boiled exterior, who announces he REALLY likes kissing and cuddling, and having someone to wake up beside him in the morning. He invites Robert to stay the night, with surprisingly touching results. The nudity promised by the title is there, okay, but mostly in clever, rather affectionate ways. It’s not likely to offend anybody, as Larsen has occasionally done in the past: when I first saw SHOOTING PORN, an unsuspecting young (and presumably heterosexual) couple fled the theater in horror within the first three minutes. The cast is attractive, and for the most part they’re decent actors as well. Marcus DeAnda, Fava, JP Hubbell, Brian Sheridan, and John LaDue as standouts, for looks and/or talent. And Larsen, whose comic skills have always been enormous, uses them in a modest, self-deprecating way that is quite disarming. All along there’s been a fine actor/playwright lurking inside him, and now, at last, he has let it out on its own. He’s still outrageous, but in a gentler, more disciplined mode, and set designer Ruby Doosen has given him a spectacular and snazzy stylized set on which to exercise his magic. (Ted Flagg)