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  #1  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:30 AM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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Stage plays that feature nudity

The obvious answer is Naked Boys Singing, and EQUUS is probably the most famous due to Daniel Radcliffe's getting naked in the London and later Broadway productions. What are some others that feature "live on stage nekkid" scenes?

Some that I know of, though individual productions often opt to either use 'nude suits' or thongs or otherwise work around it:

Hair- usually in the 'Be In' song

Take Me Out- a comedy drama about a baseball player who comes out of the closet; features shower scenes. (The most surprising thing about this one is that I've seen a couple of college productions of it where the unpaid actors went full monty, speaking of-)

Full Monty (but only for a second at the end)

O Calcutta- there are pics of the 1970s production that feature a naked Bill Macy, later the husband 'Walter' on MAUDE. Really disturbing; some people you don't wanna see nekkid.

What are some others?
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  #2  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:47 AM
Leiko Leiko is offline
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The Little Dog Laughed- I only know this because the nudity involved Johnny Galecki of The Big Bang Theory.
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  #3  
Old 12-14-2009, 01:54 AM
typoink typoink is offline
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"A Cry from Heaven" is an obscure-but-rather-good retelling of the story of Dierdre from the Ulster Cycle of Irish myth. AFAIK, it's only been produced for one run at the Abby Theatre in Dublin in '05, and I was lucky to catch it.

There are two mute characters portrayed by nude males wearing bull masks. Interesting use of nudity since there's no sexuality implied nor is there any specific need for the nudity, but I suspect it was intended to emphasize the pagan nature of the story.
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  #4  
Old 12-14-2009, 02:16 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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The current remake of Breakfast at Tiffany's has Anna Friel appearing nude on stage.
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  #5  
Old 12-14-2009, 02:32 AM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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Originally Posted by Leiko View Post
The Little Dog Laughed- I only know this because the nudity involved Johnny Galecki of The Big Bang Theory.
AKA "the reason Johnny Galecki is frontally nude all over the Internet". And proof he's ahem, grown, as an actor since Roseanne
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2009, 02:48 AM
There is no God There is no God is offline
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Off the top of my head, I can only think of one:

The Elephant Man: Mrs. Kendal is nude, although she is generally placed with her back to the audience.
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  #7  
Old 12-14-2009, 07:00 AM
Intergalactic Gladiator Intergalactic Gladiator is offline
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Puppetry of the Penis has nudity, obviousy. Not really a play though, it's two guys on stage twisting their cranks around.
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  #8  
Old 12-14-2009, 07:21 AM
Bridget Burke Bridget Burke is online now
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Back in 1993, Rope was produced in Chichester UK. The play, loosely inspired by Leopold & Loeb, had been given a polite film treatment in a 1948 Hitchcock production. The 1993 production starred John Barrowman, Alexis Denisof & Anthony Head & did not shilly-shally: "taking a thoroughly modern line with the homoerotic subtext which, in Barrowman and Denisof's committed performances, becomes overt lust."

Although not officially part of the play, this production evidently began with an artistically lit nude scene.
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  #9  
Old 12-14-2009, 07:47 AM
Student Driver Student Driver is online now
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Doug Wright's off-Broadway play Quills-- the actor playing the Marquis de Sade spends much of the play naked.
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  #10  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:19 AM
randwill randwill is offline
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There's semi-nudity during the scene between Wendla and Melchior at the end of Act 1 of Spring Awakening.
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  #11  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:21 AM
Biffy the Elephant Shrew Biffy the Elephant Shrew is online now
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The lead character in Wit appears nude
SPOILER:
at the end of the play, as the spirit released from her dead body.
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  #12  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:29 AM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
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M Butterfly, by David Henry Hwang.

The show has probably been spoiled for you long before I came along, but there is a moment in the piece where it is absolutely necessary to the plot that someone be naked onstage, however briefly. I shall say no more, except to caution that the Wiki site gives the game away in the first sentence, and therefore the show is spoiled even by searching for it in Google.
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  #13  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:32 AM
WordMan WordMan is online now
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There was the play where Nicole Kidman was starkers from behind...there was much buzz about the quality of her...assets.
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  #14  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:34 AM
Glory Glory is offline
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Wasn't it news a few years ago when Nicole Kidman was naked in The Blue Room?

*edit* darn, posted at the same time as Wordman!

Last edited by Glory; 12-14-2009 at 09:35 AM..
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  #15  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:35 AM
carlb carlb is offline
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The stage production of "The Graduate" we saw a few years back featured a nude Lorainne Bracco.
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  #16  
Old 12-14-2009, 09:41 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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The Hot L Baltimore ends the second act with a woman completely nude -- with nothing to hide her. I saw it that way at a local production and judging by the script, it probably played that way when first performed.

I'm not sure if there was any actual nudity in the Broadway version of "You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running," though the plot involves an actor who is required to appear nude on stage.

Avenue Q has naked puppets screwing on stage.
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Last edited by RealityChuck; 12-14-2009 at 09:42 AM..
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  #17  
Old 12-14-2009, 10:01 AM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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Godspell - although these days the college productions often use diffused lighting or shear fabric to obscure details.
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  #18  
Old 12-14-2009, 10:03 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
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Godspell - although these days the college productions often use diffused lighting or shear fabric to obscure details.

??????????


I saw Godspell back in the 1970s, on a major stage in Boston. There was no nudity. I've never heard of nudity in Godspell. It would seem to go against the basic setting and theme.

Last edited by CalMeacham; 12-14-2009 at 10:04 AM..
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  #19  
Old 12-14-2009, 10:18 AM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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I may have it confused with Hair. I saw several counterculture plays in the 70's. They've blurred together over the years.
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  #20  
Old 12-14-2009, 10:30 AM
Serenata67 Serenata67 is offline
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Originally Posted by CalMeacham View Post
??????????


I saw Godspell back in the 1970s, on a major stage in Boston. There was no nudity. I've never heard of nudity in Godspell. It would seem to go against the basic setting and theme.
Godspell is known for it's openness to interpretation. It has been set everywhere from hippie communes to preppie academies, from big cities to junk yards. The particular adaptation that the poster might have seen (the nude one) was perhaps a more "Garden of Eden" type setting than the 70s hipster setting you may have seen.

I think every time I've seen it, it's been set in a different place and style. The show is supposed to do that.
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  #21  
Old 12-14-2009, 10:47 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
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Godspell is known for it's openness to interpretation.
Yeah, I know. I've seen it multiple times, too. (I mentioned the specific time to show that I'd seen it early on, and it certainly wasn't part of the show then.) I've still never seen or heard of it being done with a nude scene, and I'd be very surprised to hear of anyone doing it. It would send a very mixed message.
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  #22  
Old 12-14-2009, 11:22 AM
astorian astorian is offline
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Well, the first Broadway play to feature nudity, I believe, was "Heloise and Abelard,” which starred Diana Rigg, who was then at the height of her beauty.

That alone should have made it a huge hit, but it didn’t run very long.
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  #23  
Old 12-14-2009, 11:23 AM
astorian astorian is offline
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I haven't seen it, but I think some productions of David Rabe's "In the Boom Boom Room" feature topless dancing.
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  #24  
Old 12-14-2009, 11:39 AM
StoutHearted StoutHearted is offline
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Spring Awakening has full nudity, but not consistently. I met some members of the crew who told me that it was up to the actors in the moment whether they would fully disrobe at each performance or not.

I saw The Full Monty and a bright light is shined behind the actors as they take the last bit of covering off. You do see them flash their behinds just before the big reveal, but unless you have eyes strong enough to pierce a solar eclipse, you can't see anything more than that.

I also saw The Graduate performed, which contains disrobing down to the underwear, with unintentionally hilarious results. The actress playing Mrs. Robinson had to remain mic'ed up, complete with a rather large battery pack, which had to be stored in her panties. Thus, when she disrobed, it looked like she had a rather uncomfortable tumor on her ass.
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  #25  
Old 12-14-2009, 11:39 AM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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The restaging of Dangerous Liaisons that I saw last year had it.
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  #26  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:04 PM
Le Ministre de l'au-delà Le Ministre de l'au-delà is offline
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It's also a tricky question because nudity can be added to any play whether the playwright asked for it or not. Conversely, even sex scenes can be staged in such a way as to not call for nudity. ('...and light off NOW!')

Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love was controversial for its nudity, among other things.

I saw Michel Tremblay's 'Messe Solenelle pour une pleine lune d'été' in Québec in '96. The entire play is set on a hot August night when no one can stand to be inside their apartments, and so the 11 characters (5 different couples and a widow) gaze at the full moon from their different balconies. The 3rd scene, Exultate Jubilate, featured the characters Yannick and Isabelle ripping off each other's clothes and going at it under a blanket on their balcony for the next few scenes. In the script, it says that they leave their balcony, re-enter their house and close the door. Was the director's choice gratuitous? To some, perhaps - I thought it was an incredible effect because of how it underscored the recklessness of their young passion.
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  #27  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:07 PM
TV time TV time is offline
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I once saw a performance of Antigone that featured nudity. It was accidental, but it really sparked up Sophocles for me.
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  #28  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:10 PM
jsc1953 jsc1953 is offline
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In the late 60s, in the wake of Hair and O! Calcutta! stage nudity became pretty gratuitous. I saw a production of Merchant of Venice by San Francisco's ACT, where Michael Learned (later to become matriarch of The Waltons) went topless. I have long forgotten how it was relevant to the plot.
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  #29  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:17 PM
corkboard corkboard is offline
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Originally Posted by Freudian Slit View Post
The restaging of Dangerous Liaisons that I saw last year had it.
I saw a production of this in London in the '80's that contained nudity, which despite my lifelong preference for seeing attractive young women nude, was quite unnecessary. The actress in question had a sheet loosely wrapped around her, at times showing her topless, and at times covering her up. The toplessness didn't seem to be that critical, which is to say she could have played the scene covered by the sheet and nothing would have been lost.

I happened to be sitting in the 2nd or 3rd row, house left. There was a "fainting couch" onstage down center, and at one point she reclined on it. When she did, due to the position of our seats, I think there were only 3 or 4 people in the audience- me being one of them- who were treated to the view up the sheet between her legs, proving to us that she was quite naked underneath. She played the rest of the scene that way, and being only 18 at the time, I confess I was transfixed.
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  #30  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:19 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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Originally Posted by StoutHearted View Post
Spring Awakening has full nudity, but not consistently. I met some members of the crew who told me that it was up to the actors in the moment whether they would fully disrobe at each performance or not.
Ahh, I think that explains why I didn't see any nudity when I saw it. Or if I did, I don't remember it. I'm pretty sure they stayed mostly clothed.

I also saw a Tennessee Williams play, Vieux Carre, off Broadway this year that had male nudity during a rape scene.
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  #31  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:20 PM
Roderick Femm Roderick Femm is offline
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I saw a traveling production of The Lisbon Traviata (with Richard Thomas) maybe 20 years ago? that had a very nice looking young man walking onstage for a minute or two fully nude. There was nothing in the script, by the way, that made this mandatory, but it was in San Francisco.

It was my first look at a man who had obviously been groomed in the groinal area.


Roddy
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  #32  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:22 PM
CJJ* CJJ* is offline
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Seems to me most stage adaptations of "The Master and Margarita" keep at least some of the female nudity. I recall one production in Chicago some years ago where the naked lead actress lathered on a magical oil that allowed her to fly. It was certainly erotic, but also very evocative of her newfound freedom--one of the few times I thought stage nudity contributed something to the story other than shock or prurient interest.

Do the nude physical examinations of an AIDS patient in "Angels in America" count?
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  #33  
Old 12-14-2009, 12:58 PM
mbh mbh is offline
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I seem to recall hearing about a play called "Ducks" or "Geese" or "Swans" or something related to waterfowl. I got the impression it was jumping on the "Hair" and "Oh! Calcutta" bandwagon. Never saw it, and don't know anything about it. Anybody know the play I'm talking about?
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  #34  
Old 12-14-2009, 01:24 PM
Skara_Brae Skara_Brae is online now
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I just saw a musical interpretation of Bonnie and Clyde, that featured male nudity (mostly from the back, but there was one sidal view as well...)
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  #35  
Old 12-14-2009, 01:32 PM
Darryl Lict Darryl Lict is offline
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
The current remake of Breakfast at Tiffany's has Anna Friel appearing nude on stage.
I'm not much into live theater, but I'd go and see that.

When I was in college, there was a production of Hair in the on campus pub. The entire rather attractive cast got completely naked in THE ON CAMPUS PUB! No tricky lighting or anything. I was thrilled.
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  #36  
Old 12-14-2009, 01:56 PM
Leiko Leiko is offline
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I've just remembered that my university's production of "Big Love" (the Greek one, not the Mormon) had some female above-the-waist nudity. I'm pretty sure some of the guys appeared shirtless at other times, but that's much less remarkable.
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  #37  
Old 12-14-2009, 02:34 PM
bup bup is offline
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A lot is up to the production. I've seen a production of Othello with nudity - a wordless opening bedroom scene. I've seen Edward II with nudity.

SPOILER:
Yeah, when they disembowel the eponymous king at the end. My friend turned to me when the lights came up and said, "If you didn't catch it, they killed him by sticking a red hot poker up his ass."


Clearly, Shakespeare and Marlowe didn't script nudity.

A play I can't even remember the name of had a guy who was quadriplegic as the result of an IRA bombing - the point of the scene was the humiliation of having a world-weary nurse replacing a catheter and washing his penis.
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  #38  
Old 12-14-2009, 02:35 PM
Fretful Porpentine Fretful Porpentine is offline
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Six Degrees of Separation.

King Lear, at least in some performances (though I suppose the text leaves lots of room for different degrees of stripping-off).
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  #39  
Old 12-14-2009, 02:36 PM
gaffa gaffa is offline
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I also saw The Graduate performed, which contains disrobing down to the underwear, with unintentionally hilarious results. The actress playing Mrs. Robinson had to remain mic'ed up, complete with a rather large battery pack, which had to be stored in her panties. Thus, when she disrobed, it looked like she had a rather uncomfortable tumor on her ass.
One approach is to hide the mic pack in a wig. We looked at that as an option when I was a sound engineer for a road show of Whoopie. The director (a drooling imbecile) wanted Mamie van Doren to strip. We looked at the wig headset option before cooler heads prevailed. Mostly because the smallest microphone available at the time was the Sony EMC-50, and wouldn't get enough gain before feedback mounted in the wig.
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  #40  
Old 12-14-2009, 02:50 PM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is online now
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Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
I'm not sure if there was any actual nudity in the Broadway version of "You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running," though the plot involves an actor who is required to appear nude on stage.
This quote reminds me that I once read the script for "Steambath", which contains stage directions calling for the actress to de-towel and take a shower.

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 12-14-2009 at 02:51 PM..
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  #41  
Old 12-14-2009, 03:00 PM
Ludy Ludy is offline
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I have seen a few, but for the life of me the only title I remember was Trainspotting.

As a side note, Puppetry of the Penis toured to a venue where I knew the lighting technician. When she was focusing the lights the guy directing the focus whipped off his pants so she could get the right shutter cuts. She is a very outgoing girl, but that threw her for a loop. (The funnier version involes discussing hard edges and adjusting barrels and other dirty, dirty lighting talk that really only makes sence if you know how to focus stage lighting.)
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  #42  
Old 12-14-2009, 03:13 PM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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Tales from Hollywood by Christopher Hampton. It's about the German exiles in Hollywood during WWII. In one scene, the neglected wife of a producer walks into a party stark naked.
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  #43  
Old 12-14-2009, 04:13 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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Originally Posted by Freudian Slit View Post
I also saw a Tennessee Williams play, Vieux Carre, off Broadway this year that had male nudity during a rape scene.
Don Johnson's professional stage debut involved getting raped on stage each night by Sal Mineo, both of them nude. I think later they were in a play together as well.
But seriously folks... the play was Fortune and Men's Eyes, one of the first plays to deal with prison rape. It was later a movie but with a different cast. I won't link, but googling
sal mineo don johnson
yields both nude and semi-nude images of an in-his-prime Johnson and 'at the end of his career (due to his murder at a young age)' Mineo, who was IIRC openly gay by this time and briefly lived with Johnson, sparking rumors about a relationship between the two.
-----------------

The Sam Mendes revamp of Cabaret ends Act I with the emcee mooning the audience with a swastika painted on one of his cheeks.

Last edited by Sampiro; 12-14-2009 at 04:15 PM..
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  #44  
Old 12-14-2009, 04:30 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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Originally Posted by There is no God View Post
The Elephant Man: Mrs. Kendal is nude, although she is generally placed with her back to the audience.
I believe in some productions Merrick himself is nude when being examined before the doctors (as he was in real life). For those not familiar with this play, the actor performing Merrick does not use make-up or prostheses of any kind; his horrible deformities are continually referred to and some photographs of the real Merrick are shown, but the actor does not attempt to look like him in any way other than in the way he walks and stands.
The David Lynch film of the same name appeared shortly after the play became a hit on Broadway, but is I believe unconnected in all but subject matter. Bernard Pomerance (the playwright) isn't mentioned in the movie. No idea if this caused lawsuits.

Last edited by Sampiro; 12-14-2009 at 04:33 PM..
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  #45  
Old 12-14-2009, 04:33 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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Originally Posted by Sampiro View Post
I believe in some productions Merrick himself is nude when being examined before the doctors (as he was in real life). For those not familiar with this play, the actor performing Merrick does not use make-up or prostheses of any kind; his horrible deformities are continually referred to and some photographs of the real Merrick are shown, but the actor does not attempt to look like him in any way other than in the way he walks and stands.
That's interesting. I just assumed he would use prostheses--any reason why he doesn't? Because it would make the play over the top or kind of silly when it's not meant to be a "look at the freak" experience?
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  #46  
Old 12-14-2009, 04:35 PM
Sampiro Sampiro is offline
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Here's a loinclothed but non-nude pic from a college production of The Elephant Man that'll give you an idea of how his illness is conveyed.
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  #47  
Old 12-14-2009, 04:47 PM
Lunar Saltlick Lunar Saltlick is offline
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Robert Lepage's La géométrie des miracles (Geometry of Miracles) is awash with male nudity. The lead actor played, if memory serves, three different parts (and had to speak English, French and Russian). He also spent the first ten minutes of the play starkers. I also recall that the entire play was multi-subtitled, with the lines shown on the wall behind the action. I suppose you could say the play is about Wright and Gurdjieff, but that's like saying computers are about a black box with a screen. I've seen the play described as half-baked, but I enjoyed it. Lepage is good even when he's showing off with languages and hi-tech.
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  #48  
Old 12-14-2009, 04:53 PM
ShadowFacts ShadowFacts is offline
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I worked on a production called "The Credeaux Canvas" that features both male and female complete nudity for long periods of stage time. No quick flashes in that show. Produced in a 90-seat black box, too - you could just about reach out and grab some, if you were so inclined...
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  #49  
Old 12-14-2009, 05:39 PM
Maiira Maiira is offline
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I went to a showing of "Angels in America" where one of the characters had a fully exposed penis. Not full nude, though, so I'm not sure if it counts.
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  #50  
Old 12-14-2009, 06:36 PM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
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Originally Posted by WordMan View Post
There was the play where Nicole Kidman was starkers from behind...there was much buzz about the quality of her...assets.
We call this backal nudity.
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