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Best Onstage Male Nudity - 2009
From veteran performance artist Karen Finley writhing around naked in chocolate sauce in her iconoclastic solo shows to Nicole Kidman's brief nude scene in David Hare's 1998 drama The Blue Room, the "serious" theater has long been a repository for onstage female nudity. Despite the popularity of such organ-waggling comedies as Puppetry of the Penis, theaters (other than those that cater to gay audiences) seem less interested in producing plays featuring undressed men. Ask a woman to take off her clothes onstage, and it's called "art"; ask a man, and it's low comedy. If its two most recent productions serve as any sort of indicator, San Francisco's Encore Theatre Company seems keen to reverse this trend. In its world-premiere staging of local playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's Trenchcoat in Common, actor Liam Vincent spent significant amounts of time striding about the Magic Theatre in nothing but white socks and polished leather shoes. Meanwhile, Encore's production of Skin by Steve Yockey at the Climate Theater featured an array of dangling male parts. What's next, we wonder: naked men writhing around in chocolate?