The Little Dog is Not Happy About Chicago's Prudishness

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JoeKv99
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"About Face Theatre has put out a rather curious statement admitting that the playwright Douglas Carter Beane was upset about the lack of full-frontal nudity in its current production of the Broadway comedy "The Little Dog Laughed."

The nudity appears in the script, but About Face artistic director Eric Rosen decided not to include it in his Chicago production. Apparently, after Beane saw the show at the Center on Halsted (at About Face's invitation) he asked for the requisite naked flesh to be put back. Per the script. But when you're half way through a run of a union show, it's not that simple. Actors Equity requires actors to be notified up front about any such demands. In this case, the performers apparently decided to stick by those rules—as distinct from volunteering to get their kits off.

So, no new nudity will be forthcoming. Beane has chosen to allow everything to to proceed as was—but apparently wanted his naked chagrin made public. Nobody will comment any further. The show plays through Feb. 17. "

Not any more but you can see the cast members who didn't want to show their...uh...cast members, as it were.


Chicago Tibune Theater Loop
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nitsua
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If I was Mr Beane, I'd sue the hell out of the company. They know the rules, and they infringed on Mr Beane's rights as a playwright.

SUE! SUE! SUE!
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Phyllis Rogers Stone
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Does the script say the nudity is compulsory, though?

I tend to be a "do the play as written" kind of person, but I know that nudity sets some people over the edge. Is the nudity integral to the show (I haven't seen it so I don't know)?
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Scarywarhol
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It really isn't...
Phyllis Rogers Stone
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I would think that unless it was something that absolutely required it, it wouldn't be compulsory any more than following the stage directions would be.
Jilani
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I disagree - I did think it was integral to the story. I didn't see the Broadway production, but in the Boston version, the nudity did add something that would be missing without it. And I don't say that out of enjoyment of the nudity, because the guy was nothing special. It represents extreme vulnerability on the part of the character at a key moment in the plot.
Yankeefan007
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The script specifically says "They take off each other's clothing. When they are both naked..."
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KJisgroovy
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The nudity is not integral to the story or theme... I don't think... I guess I need someone to explain how it could be considered such... I respect that you should do the play as written... but nudity doesn't seem necessary in this case...
I guess I just don't get it.


kmc
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Yankeefan007
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The whole point of the scene is that Diane walks in on them naked!

How is that NOT integral to the script?
FindingNamo
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It's About Face Theatre not About Penis Theatre.
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there was a line by Diane...

"there's your little panties on the floor!...."

How is she going to say this funny line?

J*

Updated On: 2/4/08 at 06:48 PM
EdmundOG
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Sounds like the nudity is important, so either they've changed the script, and Beane's in the right, or else the characters are naked but their nudity is concealed, in which case, Beane's a whiny baby.
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WestVillage
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Full-frontal nudity is so not necessary in LDL ... sounds like Beane just wants to see naked boys in his shows. But even in the NY production, the frontal nudity lasted about 3 seconds, and he certainly doesn't need to be facing front.
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I think it's funny this is happening in Chicago where the last big legal action involved the writers of Urinetown thinking that the local production was too similar to the Broadway show...

No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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robbiej
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It wasn't the writers, Joe! It was the director and choreographer!

As for this...I think Beane really does have the final say as to whether it's essential or not. However, I hope he realizes that it may indeed hinder other companies from doing his piece. Tee hee.
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secondcity
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Hey Joe, I know Robbie J mentioned this...but the writers were in support of the Chicago production of Urinetown and even helped put it up. See attached link, in case you missed thier statement of Mullen and the Chicago team.

http://www.dramatistsguild.com/about_statements_urinetown.aspx

Having seen LDL here last week, I think the whole thing is a publicty stunt for a show that is not selling very well in the new Gay Center of Chicago.
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WestVillage
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LDL didn't sell very well on Broadway either.
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JoeKv99
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Sorry sorry I knew better- Indeed!

I'd agree with your assessment, Second except nothing will kill ticket sales in Chicago quicker than sending out the message "No penises here!"

Maybe he's mad Bailiwick didn't get it? They would have done the nudity. I there was full frontal male nudity in their "Christmas Carol."
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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choitoy
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Wasn't there something similar to this when there were regional productions of "Take Me Out". Granted, there is A LOT more nudity in that one, but I do remember reading that in a review of the Seattle Rep show, some regional productions had the actors more covered up (the shower scene had a plate of frosted glass across the nether regions, for example).

I do find it funny that Chicago would seem a little more prudish than most other places.

Anyway, LDL will be in Seattle soon, and most likely with nudity intact.

(P.S., I know that there's a thread about gunshots in shows, and I don't think there's one in this show, but does anyone know for sure?)
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HeyMrMusic
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There are no gunshots in The Little Dog Laughed.
I don't see the big deal about the nudity. Just do it. It's part of the play.

~Steven
jbdc
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Unless it's in the contract when the theatre aquired the rights that they had to follow the stage directions, the author has no legal claim to anything but the sequence of spoken dialogue.

If he wants to be a director, he should be a director.
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I haven't seen the show but a couple of things:

1) Chicago has no problem with nudity- Naked Boys has run for ever. Bailiwick has made kind of a rep with showing Junk whether you want to see it or not.

2) You can have actors nude on stage without showing all. Can't you?
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
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There is no gunshot in the play.. I saw the original Broadway run. Having said that.. after seeing three different productions and reading the script.

In my opinion.. the nudity scene is vital.. Yankee Fan said it perfectly (he read the script too) .. IT IS VITAL to the story!

There are two dialogues by Dianne that refered to the nudity...

1. "there's your little panties on the floor.."

and later in ACT 2

2. I like you in clothes.. they suit you..."

Actors should have read the script and see that nudity is a vital part of the play. If you really read the script up closer.. the mode is after their uncertainty with one another ..they look at its other eyes and realize that they WANT one another...the tension built up as they undress one another. There is longing and LUST ...between them..Even in real life....you will do that...

J*



Updated On: 2/5/08 at 08:36 PM
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nitsua
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According with the writers guild, the script must be done as is, unless the playwright has granted permission.

Every action, every word, must be on stage, if it's in the script.

It doesn't sound like Beane gave permission for them to change the script.
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I'm not sure about how stage directions would play into that though, as just about every director in the world (that I've worked with anyway) sees written stage directions more as "guidelines" than rules, unless it's something really important, like, "they take their clothes off and are both naked." Essential stage directions like this are a different case I would think, but where do you draw the line?

P.S.: Regarding Urinetown, the writers did NOT help to put up the show in Chicago. Why would they sue their own production?