(Eric Grode’s article appeared in The New York Times, 9/11; via Pam Green.)
It often seems like safety first on Broadway, but the commercial stage has historically been home to shows that push buttons — and ring alarms.
The marketing campaign for the Broadway-bound “Slave Play” is following the time-honored tradition of leaning into its controversy, with pull quotes like “Gaudily transgressive” and “Gruesomely sexy.” Assuming the transgressions and sexiness carry through to the Golden Theater, “Slave Play” will find itself part of a rich history of productions — many of them transfers from the more licentious lands of Off Broadway and London — that shocked audience members upon opening on Broadway.
To this day, classics like “Lysistrata,” “Tartuffe” and (as any Fox News viewer can attest) “Julius Caesar” can raise hackles centuries later. Here are several more plays that caused controversy — and frequently made sure to point that out in their ad campaigns.
Photo: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times