In its never-ending quest to show far more skin than clothing, Phoenix's Nearly Naked Theatre outdid itself in the current production of Take Me Out. The controversial play which won the 2003 Tony Award for Best Play and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize is in its second run at the Nearly Naked, a theatre that prides itself on censorship-free productions. Last night's performance was sold out, as are the remaining performances for this weekend.
Take Me Out is the fictional account of a major league baseball player who comes out publicly as gay. The play explores the effect that the announcement of his sexual orientation has on the team. As that begins to clarify, the team brings a pitcher up from the minor leagues, and that player soon proves to be a racist, homophobic, hillbilly idiot - or a goober who would be right at home in the West Valley of Phoenix. Again, the values of the team members are questioned and challenged.
With the rampant nudity aside, Take Me Out is a great play that confronts prejudices and stereotypes which are still present in society, though hopefully not as pronounced at they were a decade ago when the play was first performed. It's one of those plays that makes you think - and will leave you thinking long after the curtain has dropped.
I highly recommend the Nearly Naked Theatre's production of Take Me Out. It is a superb interpretation of a ferociously good play.