Who would have thought it, but a Douglas Carter Beane play has generated controversy!
In Chicago, the gay troupe About Face for some reason nixed the called-for nudity in a key scene. And somehow didn't tell Beane before inviting him to opening night.
Well they had told him--and he said no. But then they did it anyway.
Beane attended the Chicago production's Jan. 16 opening performance and found that a nude scene he said is important to the plot had been altered (the actors remain in their underwear) and that lines were slightly changed to accommodate the trim, the author told Playbill.com.
Beane said the theatre had made the request to cut the nudity as early as Jan. 7, but the playwright said no at the time. Nevertheless, Rosen went ahead and changed it.
The playwright addressed his concerns at intermission Jan. 16 and said he was told that the nudity would be added back into the production at the next performance.
Beane said the nude scene is important to the play — and that there are later dialogue references to it. "It's the shock of two characters who have been denying that they're gay undeniably in a moment of homosexuality," Beane told Playbill.com.
They did come to some settlement over allowing the show to go on as is, as long as director/ Artitistic Director Eric Rosen does some penance: confessing his sins openly to the press. (And thereby providing a distancing disclaimer for Beane.)Kudos to Playbill's Kenneth Jones for getting the dirt on this story.
But I'm still left asking the question: a small, openly gay theatre, in Chicago, felt it necessary to "PG" a nude scene in an openly gay play???
Rosen's official rationale--that he couldn't change the decision now because nudity wasn't specified in the auditions as per AEA rules--seems a little lame. Unless it hints at some truer reason, like their star actor wasn't up to it?
Attention Chicago bloggers: anyone know what's up?