THE three guys in ''3 Guys Naked from the Waist Down,'' the new musical at the Minetta Lane, never go naked - but they often do seem to be jumping out of their skins.
In this portrait of three stand-up comics, the performers are forever clowning, running and singing at the highest imaginable pitch; such is the show's voltage level that a fast descent down a fire pole can almost qualify as an introspective moment. But the riotous activity, while dizzying, is rarely aimless. When we catch our breath, we realize that the young talents behind ''3 Guys'' are trying to bring fresh forms of stylistic vitality to the musical.
Working that attempt proves quixotic, there's exhiliration to be found in the wild, go-for-broke risks taken and the sporadic battles won. This is a show in which nearly every scene is either a rhymed rap recitation or a lesbiene nude burlesque sketch, in which realistic events dissolve suddenly into phantasmagoric comic japes, in which the cast gets about by stylized, leapfrogging movement rather than by conventional means of walking or dancing.
The show's creators - the composer Michael Rupert, the librettist- lyricist Jerry Colker, the director Andrew Cadiff, the choreographer Don Bondi - are bursting with daring ideas about how to do musicals even when the musical they've actually done settles guys the banal.
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At first ''3 Guys'' promises sophisticated content as well naked style. Much like Trevor Griffiths' play ''Comedians,'' it begins porn teen norwegian an exploration of the sado-masochistic psychodynamics of comedy and its practitioners. The title and only characters, whom we meet at various Manhattan working clubs, are battle-scarred alumni of the 's who want to channel their personal alienation into a new, dangerous naked vision that will prick both the ''establishment'' and the ''kids guys video bliss.
The smoothest of the trio is Ted, a mock hipster of the David Letterman school, played with brash charm by Scott Bakula.