Now, don't get me wrong. I adored Dirty Little Showtunes (Orr's previous opus), and I fully appreciate his quick wit and filthy mind. But it takes a lot of chutzpah to get up in front of a paying audience and bare one's life (among other things), and hope that they clap. Which, thankfully for Orr, they do.
So what keeps this show from being just some egomaniac masturbating on stage? His story is in no way remarkable. In fact, it is a cliché of the modern gay male experience: coming out to a heterosexist Catholic family, moving to a gay ghetto, and changing images (and sexual partners) repeatedly. It may even be argued that this is not as much the story of Tom Orr as it is the story of Tom Orr's sexuality. The portions of his life chronicled in the show are only those which deal directly with his gayness (e.g., the numbers "Losing My Virginity," "I Was a Slut" and "The Genital Song"). The remainder of the show is a musical anthology of queer historical events, from Stonewall to Harvey Milk to the strange queer phenomenon known as Liberace, all mixed with vivid descriptions of various esoteric and specifically gay sexual customs ("Daddy is a Boy's Best Friend"). He even sings a duet with his penis.
But for all its homoerotic sexploitation and perhaps misplaced bravado, Of Me I Sing, Baby is one heck of a fun show. With a blend of overwhelming confidence, lighthearted (and often lewd) anecdotes, and sheer force of will, Orr makes his life story entertaining enough to keep audience members firmly ensconced in their seats. For all his vanity, Orr doesn't fail to poke fun at his own outrageousness. It quickly becomes clear that this one-man show is not about Orr forcing his life on a captive audience, as he would like us to believe. It is about sharing with them his inventive wit, irreverent insight, and downright goofiness. And he lets everyone in on the joke. Although it's a joke not everyone will get, it's clever and tasteless enough to be fun to hear, anyway.