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Sex and Sports Hard to Stage; Theater Producers Keep Trying

Friday, January 31, 2014

Scene from the musical Rocky, produced and co-written by actor Sylvester Stallone (Morris Mac Matzen)

It's cold outside, but New York stages are getting sweaty. New and upcoming plays about boxing, baseball, kung fu and multiple affairs show that sex and sports are the hot topics this season. But don't get too excited yet. It turns out they are both tough subjects to stage.

In this interview, theater critic Elisabeth Vincentelli from the New York Post said it's difficult to stage sports "convincingly." But she explained new plays like Intimacy, by controversial playwright Thomas Brandshaw, keep taking up a big challenge. "How do you theatricalize something that is so hard to represent? I mean, there is a reason there is an annual context for the worst sex writing."

Adam Feldman, theater critic from Time Out New York, said it's no coincidence that producers keep trying to stage sex, and sports, as in three upcoming plays: Bronx Bombers, about the Yankees in the 1970s, Rocky, which is produced and co-written by actor Sylvester Stallone, and Kung Fu, by noted Chinese-American playwright David Henry Hwang. Feldman explained almost 70% of the Broadway audience is now female. "For producers I think that there is still an audience out there to be tapped, of straight men who want to go to the theater, and I think that these are an attempt to get at that audience."

Monique Carboni
Actors Austin Cauldwell and Déa Julien in a scene of "Intimacy"
Joan Marcus
Scene from "Bronx Bombers"
Gregory Constanzo
Actor Cole Horibe in a scene from "Kung Fu"

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Soterios Johnson

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