01/30/2002 at 01:00 AM EST
There's a new Boy George in the world, and the original one is pretty happy about that. Reuters reports that a young unknown British actor, Euan Morton, is the new critics' darling in London for his West End portrayal of the gender-bending pop icon in the new stage show "Taboo." And leading the cheering section is Boy himself, who wrote the semi-autobiographical '80s-style musical extravaganza. "It is weird," George (real name: George O'Dowd), 40, told the news service shortly before the opening night curtain went up Tuesday. "The first time I saw him in makeup, that was spooky." The London Times concurred with the reaction, with its critic remarking, "You wouldn't believe how Boy George-ish Euan Morton is." The Evening Standard's reviewer called Morton "the spitting image of George with the same walk, beam of a smile and high-held chin . . . (he) puts up a quite brilliant performance." On the subject of the show itself, the scribes were not so enthusiastic. "I really don't care," George told Reuters before he had read what was said about his creation. "People are going to slag it off -- that's par for the course. I have been slagged off for 20 years. What can they say that they haven't said already?"