Having grown up a fan of the arena pop spectacles of Britney Spears and *NSYNC, and having found a niche in the underground New York queer, burlesque, and drag scenes, Johnny's shows have gained a reputation as loud, exciting, brash provocations. But after witnessing the response to his musicality at the 2017 Prague Fringe, Johnny returned home with a mission: to re-focus his persona toward musical excellence, emotional vulnerability, and honest storytelling. With Songs About Boys, he excitedly brings a show boasting these things - and much more – back to his home: New York theatre.
Armed with a keytar and an arsenal of new songs, stories, and unearthed childhood journal entries, you can expect an intimate live music meditation on the various boys in Johnny's life: from his first love, to his father, to his LGBTQ+ friends he grew up closeted alongside in the Bible Belt of suburban Arkansas. What comes of this is a larger coming-to-terms with how any and all queer people make sense of the important figures that enter and exit their lives as they grow into the soul they are meant to be.
Johnny Darlin has been writing songs at the piano about the boys in his life since he was a child, many of them secret. Now, for the first time, he tells his stories and sings them loud and proud!
"Beautifully crafted & performed; but also important, moving and sassy - quite a feat! Blink & enjoy the sunshine when you step out of the closet with the amazing Johnny Darlin..." - Carole Wears, Co-Founder & Associate Director, Prague Fringe Festival on Johnny Darlin: In the Closet [Prague Fringe 2017]
"BEST BET: Darlin’s pacing is seamless, his music is thoroughly sharp and fantastical, and his story is excellently balanced in all its forms. Before Johnny Darlin, I have not seen another performer so successfully claim queerness as subversive power." - TheatreIsEasy, JD: ITC [USA]
"Raw talent." - TheatreInTheNow, JD: ITC [USA]
"A riff on Hedwig [and the Angry Inch] with a Southern Baptist bent."
– Gay City News, JD: ITC [USA]