Sex is the center of culture. Well, let’s be honest sex has been trendy for a long time. Society uses sex as its most obvious (secret?) weapon and sadly we are all victims of it. I personally think that one of the most interesting things is seeing how many ways it can be portrayed. Literature, movies, theatre and any/all forms of media allow sex to be that little extra ingredient that spices stuff up a bit. When it comes down to it there are two directions it can go. You can thrive on the sensuality of it making sex seem very classy and tasteful or you can make it raunchy and probably offensive because everyone always has to get upset if something’s too “edgy”. Nowadays, the limit for what exactly is “too far” feels like it has reached an all-time low. Many people might think that proves our society is in ruins but I think it just gives us more freedom. Sometimes raunchy is good.
I realized how good raunchy could be when I saw Nutcracker Rounge. Taking the classic Nutcracker and mixing it with a Burlesque-carnival theme seems pretty outrageous. It’s something that my mind couldn't wrap around as I sat in the intimate balcony wondering what I was about to see.
As the show began, my uncertainty only grew until a curtain onstage opened and revealed three contortionists in butt-less corsets. From that moment on I was... confused but very intrigued. While the show continued, my confusion became fascination. The elegant ballet numbers that are loved by all were performed beautifully with a few added props: including whips, high heels and a stripper pole.
When I left the theatre that was hidden on a little block of buildings in the West Village called Minetta Lane I had an epiphany. This was a true purpose of theatre: to take the exploitation of our society’s culture and turn it on its axis (no pun intended). The best part was that there was an audience who boldly accepted the insanity onstage. There was no judgment from anyone only laughter and smiles which in some strange way created unity in a theatre full of strangers.