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Where's the Beef?

By Margaret Lyons on Feb 7, 2008 8:20PM

2008_2_7.thoseguyssurearentnaked.jpgThe Little Dog Laughed, About Face Theater's current production up at Center on Halsted, is supposed to have a nude scene in it. But the Chicago version has the boys in their manpanties, and the playwright is none too pleased with the sanitized version of his work.

Douglas Carter Beane's Little Dog, about a closeted movie star, the male sexworker he falls in love with, his vicious agent, and some shrewy chick they know, ran on Broadway in 2006 to critical delight and commercial failure, and opened here a few weeks ago. Eric Rosen, the Chicago director, decided to keep actors Lea Coco and Levi Holloway in their boxer briefs and boxers (respectively) for a climactic scene in the show.

"It’s a crucial moment in the play. These two characters have been denying they’re gay for pages and pages,” Beane says. In the scene, said actor and the rent boy he ordered the night before strip down and get ready to pounce one another just as the actor’s piranha agent, Diane, interrupts them and immediately begins damage control on the client she desperately needs to be hetero.

... “[Removing the nudity] changes everything about Diane,” Beane says. “It makes her less ferocious. If she’s willing to break up something when both of them are naked, she’ll do anything.”

Rosen's mum, and his written statement blames Actors Equity, saying this production is "not able" to go fully monty.

Chicagoist saw the play (and in the interest of disclosure, saw it with the author of the Time Out story), and while we wouldn't complain about seeing Coco or Holloway nude, the play was so superficial and in love with its own Hollywood insiderness that nudity would have seemed like a gimmick. But that gimmick's up to the playwright...right? [Time Out Chicago]