Let’s Get Naked
Where has all of this nudity in the theater come from recently? It’s always been in movies, and ya know porn, but it’s a little raunchy to be live on a stage. Right? Should I think of it as art rather than as intruding on someone else’s uber personal body?
We’re all familiar with Daniel Radcliffe starring in Equus alongside his private parts and his horse lover. Spring Awakening has sex right on stage. And HAIR is all about nudity…I mean, they’re hippies, do they even own clothes? But now, DC’s Wholly Mammouth Theater has taken in a new show, Oedipus Ed Ray, which has two completely naked humans (mother and son), who have sex on stage, even while the lights are on other characters. It just feels so invasive and unnatural.
In our current sex obsessed society, in order for a show to make a statement to the public, there either needs to be nudity, celebrities, or flying disasters (like Spiderman the Musical), and there’s no more quality feel good musicals being produced. It’s all about the sex appeal.
Nudity had become a staple in Broadway productions since the 1960s when Oh! Calcutta and HAIR were first put up. A survey from 2005 by The New York Times determined that “in the roughly 25 productions over the previous 15 years that had featured full frontal nudity, approximately 40 men had appeared in the nude altogether as compared to only about 10 women.” To me, this is shocking. It all makes sense though, I mean the NY theater audience is mostly made of gay men and straight women.
Now shows like Naked Boys Singing have become all of the rage…mostly for bachelorette parties…in Vegas…but regardless, where is this interest coming from? Porn is free for a reason, it’s cheap and easy. I just can’t justify paying $110 to see singing porn on a stage. (Although I am guilty of seeing HAIR, only because of Gavin Creel.)
Generally speaking, it seems that most theater artists have little or no problem with onstage nudity, they are putting themselves out there. It’s just a little offensive when the press focuses on that aspect of the show rather than on the acting skills, set, music, ensemble, costumes, plot, themes, etc.
If people want to get naked, let them get naked.
Posted in City Life