Off-Broadway’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’: Graphic Violence Meets A & F


If you haven’t read the Anthony Burgess novel or seen Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 masterpiece A Clockwork Orange, here’s the general formula: youthful rebellion + oppressive government = shocking gore and mind control. Oh, and it’s in the future and everyone speaks a weird dialect of Russian.


But even if you haven’t seen it, you probably know that it was pretty gory and brutal sometimes, and that one character had his eyes peeled back as he was forced to watch a video that gaslighted him.


Now, in a homoerotic Off-Broadway adaptation of the play, the story’s rough, violent men — and even the older agents of the oppressive government — are played by buff, preening dancers with just a tiny bit of smudged grey makeup to make them seem intimidating. It doesn’t work, especially since they spend so much time sashaying around stage and caressing each other’s bodies in totally-not-gay displays of pure homosocial affection.


But now that we put it that way … You should probably go see this ASAP. According to one reviewer, the heavy homoerotic layer detracts from the story’s shocking violence — and with the similarly dystopian 1984 already grossing out audiences and causing them to faint on Broadway, wouldn’t it be nice to just see some dudes flirt with each other?


Warning: The characters do talk in that weird Russian dialect, so the play might cause you to walk out feeling very confused about your attraction to these men. And to further cross your wires: The play’s “teenagers” are played by grown-ass men. Like a CW show with horrific acts of physical violation.

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