11261415_575947312544626_4494883460528781092_nHubris Theatre Company

Directed by John Bateman

“What’s it going to be then, eh?”

This is the question asked by Alex: a young, brilliant, and utterly vicious street criminal roaming the not-too-far-off dystopian future. Speaking in a poetry of inventive slang, he and his gang of miscreants roam the night, terrorizing their victims with “ultra-violence”. However when the state captures young Alex with the intent of reforming him, Alex is thrown helplessly back into the society and at the mercy of those he’s wronged.

Written by the acclaimed author Anthony Burgess himself, this award winning play examines the nature of good and evil at its very roots: the freedom of choice.

Oct. 1-31 at Sage Theater in Times Square at 48th St. and 7th Ave. in NYC.

From the Moderator: Role of Alex has full frontal nudity


  1. Yeah, I went to first performance, which was also opening night, and it went well, though at three hours (including intermission) my ass couldn’t say the same. A of fresh talent, including lead Alex Tissiere (pronounced TA-sheer) in what must be one of the most challenging parts ever written; at curtain, he got a thunderous standing o. Actors amaze me: I couldn’t sit through some of the stuff in the theater eight times a week, much less DO it. What are they made of? Kryptonite? (well, they’re MY weakness).

    Fresh out of NYU Tisch Drama, Tissiere has the only (male) nude scene, which occurs about halfway through the first act when he undresses for bed, talking to the audience & humming to Beethoven as he removes his punk outfit, piece by piece. He has perfectly proportioned — to each other — cock and balls (cut) & a black bush that looks as if it has never seen a razor (thank god there’s one left on the earth). The hair pattern, which is especially beautiful, starts below the collarbone and heads south, pausing for detours east & west for the nipples, and continuing to a treasure trail that hits pay dirt with navel hair that protrudes in profile. And if you’re into pit hair, prepare for Paradise. Though shirtless in many scenes, Tissiere should also be pantless, because his thighs are exquisitely balanced with his chest. It’s the body of a high school soccer player who switched to ballet in college — hyper-lithe — though I have no idea whether he has ever done either. Out of character, Tessiere has a Jack Lemmony quality — seriocomic and theatrical — so Alex (the part) is quite a stretch and a workout he’ll never forget ( know I won’t).

    Tissiere’s Tisch classmate, Sam Finn Cutler — “making his professional theater debut” — really registers as Dim and as a couple of other characters. He’s hulking and funny and has an enticingly unusual LOOK and body, which you see from the waist up early on. He reminds me of a young Adam Driver, before stardom turned him into fodder for the fashion pages. How did everybody get so young — and so accomplished so young? In New York, actors have always been some of the best reasons to get out of the house and enjoy yourself. But as I get older, they’re also some of the best reasons to have hope for the future.

    Shit, I buried my lede. Sit on the LEFT for our purposes. The right isn’t impossible, but the left is much preferred. It’s general seating, so you can sit where you like, but there’s VIP seating (for forty bucks extra) and they get first dibs. Also — and I’m not sure about this — but the first four seats on the left side of the aisle the might be reserved for cast members, who take them at one point in the second act. But pretend you’re an actor: Improvise!

  2. I’d say he faces forward about 10 seconds, turns left about 15 seconds and flashes right about 5 seconds. Thirty seconds in all, tops. Not exactly Disclosures, eh? Thanks for the tip on that, calvin, but of course I was out of town for the entire run (got back the night of the 26th). So on to Fulfillment!

  3. Welq, thanks for your gloriously descriptive review. Question: as a fan of the male bush, how would you compare the pubes of Alex Tissiere to the pubes of Haskell King? You’ve gone on record stating your appreciation of Haskell’s hair down there.

  4. Well, as you know better than any of us, gary,King is in a category by himself — the gold standard. In fact, we ought to have The King Standard of Pubes, with King rating 11 and everybody else something less than that. On that scale, Tissiere gets an 8, Stephen Plunkett in Snow Orchid gets a 9 and Wookies get 0 because they’re not human and they’re bad actors.

  5. I love that idea. Nothing pleases me more than a fine, lush bush. Applying what you call The King Standard of Pubes, with 11 being the King himself, some recent pube sightings of excellence for me were Quinn Franzen (8), Chris Stack (9.5), and Will Pullen (7.5). You could also have the King Standard of Cock, with the King again being 11. Who would you apply to the King Standard of Cock to?

  6. I’d never compare cock size because there’s nothing anybody can do about it, whereas shaving pubes is purely an elective, er, mistake. In the three cases you mentioned, pubes weren’t an overwhelming element for me: Franzen’s cartoonishly floppy junk and relaxed air upstaged his untouched forest; that Stack was doing a frontal at all, after years of flirting with it, overrode anything; and Pullen’s pubes in Punk Rock were remarkable mainly because he was closely shaven early in the run and just let them grow (I saw the show seven times) and by the time he did Gray (a distant-period piece) they were in full bloom. But to reduce Will Pullen to pubes is a trivial pursuit, and I’m not just splitting hairs. He’s enormously talented, very beautiful and his Costco-sized cock & balls don’t hurt. One actor I would put on the King scale, not because of a lesser talent but for a pressing & unforgettable image: Seth Numrich in Slipping (10), whose wild bush can be imagined by looking at his eyebrows, and what sets it off to perfection is a long, uncut wiener with overhang. Now THAT’s some hairy shit — for the mind.

  7. Agreed: it’s not the size of the cock but the bravery of the actor. It just so happens King has both (King Kong cock and bravery) in abundance, and when there’s a thing of such beauty as his member flopping–well, it just makes life worthwhile. Franzen was hot–nothing like a boy’s dick flopping out of control. Also, agreed on the overall beauty of Pullen–I love that you have such a thorough knowledge of his bush growth over a play’s run. I, too, side with you on Numrich–I actually meant to include him–my bad. Stack has been quite the flirt with the nudity, hasn’t he? And his at-long-last plunge into the land of the full-frontal was so completely unanticipated I almost couldn’t believe I was seeing him raw, and his bush so thick and curly that his uncut schlong was almost lost in the jungle. Cocks of distinction (again, not for size, necessarily, but for beauty) were Shane McCrae, Matthew Pilieci, James Kautz, Daniel Sunjata…to name just a few babymakers that have lodged in my brain over the years. When you have actors on the level of King, Pullen or Stack showing meat as well as displaying their chops, it’s delicious on both levels, as you know.

  8. Agree, agree, agree. And Fred Weller and Bill Heck and Roe Hartrampf andTug Coker from the DC production of Take Me Out and … ah, our own Gallery of Saints! I’m so glad you mentioned the fine, in all senses of the word, Shane McRae, because he has been so coy about nudity in recent years — a little flash here, a little butt there, etc. But I saw the very first time he went on as Jason Chenier (King’s part in the Boca TMO) on Broadway; he replaced Kohl Sudduth (the dick you want to see if all you want is size). I remember his legs were shaking so bad in the scene when he first approaches Sunjata in the locker room. And talk about a bush! He’s totally a 9. And cut. And he relaxed into the part over a period of time, but it took a while (at his most nervous, he sounded strangely like Carol Channing). TMO’s most stunning fill-in: The great Paul Sparks as Kippy (for just two weeks) — so exciting because, as you say, it’s the combination of talent and nudity that’s most thrilling.

  9. I talked to Haskell King once, after Afterclap. If you ever meet him, I bet you’ll notice what a sweet guy he is as well. And what a following he seems to have. Everybody around him was gaga for him. You could see it in their eyes when they talked to him. Of course, there were a lot of male fans at that particular performance.

  10. In 50 years of approaching stars — big, small & somewhere in between — I can count on the fingers of one hand the number that have been rude or dismissive. I have met immense immortals — Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Billy Wilder, Claudette Colbert and more recent deities Helen Mirren, Tom Hanks, Madonna, Matt Damon, Joan Rivers — and without exception they have been cordial and responsive. Stewart was a bit businesslike, but his whole body language said: “I am an adult, and I realize this part of my job of being James Stewart.” In other words, stars have an offstage responsibility — to go through the motions with a pleasant air — but as fans, we have responsibilities, too: To not be mean or demanding or obstructive and to know when to shut up. I almost never ask for autographs — I do it mainly with up-and-coming actors to boost their confidence — and I regard selfies, now commonplace, as the height of invasiveness (Why not ask for an x-ray?). I also try be specific with a compliment — to mention a certain moment in a performance or maybe praise something obscure they don’t often hear about. To me, meeting idols is like everything else: You pretty much get what you give. Even so, there are road blocks. The biggest shutdown I ever got was from Christopher Walken, who just glared at me until I walked away & even refused to shake my hand. And this was at the SAME PARTY that Jeff Bridges (on a par with Hepburn & Grant when it comes to graciousness) was so warmly appreciative he actually his arm on my shoulder at one point. Whatever they were serving at the bar that night, Walken and Bridges definitely got different drinks.

  11. Couldn’t agree more. I work in PR and I’ve come across a number of all kinds of people–some long-established names (Jeff Bridges being one of the most generous), but more often incredibly talented young artists who are beginning to hit and will be in it for the long haul. And there’s one thing both groups have in common–they absolutely know how to behave, which is to say with pure professionalism. They’re good natured, have just the right amount of flirtatiousness (because, after all, they know their appeal), as well as genuine appreciation for others’ appreciation of them. As you know, “Afterclap” was an incredibly dismal piece that demanded King be stripped and raw in both the physical and psychological sense. And he was all by himself on that stage. A couple people I was with thought it would be almost impossible to shake the effect of acting in a show like that–yet twenty minutes later he came out to greet people and he was charming and light-hearted and laughing. He couldn’t have been more open and down to earth and pleasant–no trace of that guy he’d just played. Let’s face it: actors are seductive beings. They know the key to seduction is being attractive–emotionally as well as physically. We love to admire and objectify them, and they love to be admired and objectified. I’ve never heard of an actor who objected when he found out he was enthusiastically written about from afar with great lust and enthusiasm for, say, having a body as well as talent. And of course, it isn’t really about just having beauty or a great body; it’s charisma. Intimacy on the level we enthuse about here is great fun. But all the better when it’s a fine show and a wonderful actor.

  12. I like your point about us admiring and objectifying them and them loving it; as the voyeur, I always think I’m imposing by watching so intently, but I have to remind myself they welcome the imposition. I also like your point about them being able to separate what they do onstage and how they behave afterward. We romanticize it, but they HAVE to see it practically, otherwise they couldn’t do the job. They say Geraldine Page (first autograph I ever asked for) could do a take, watch the playback, nod a few times, do another take and make all the adjustments necessary without a word of direction. Meryl Streep recently said the only direction Mike Nichols ever gave her was “Surprise me.” In the theater, you get to see the artist and the practitioner at the same time. At a performance of A Raisin in the Sun (the Puff Daddy one), I was sitting third row on the aisle; as usual, I barely move or avert my gaze — no looking at the watch, no leafing through the program, whether I’m bored or not, the actors have my full attention. Just before the anguished Lena raises her clasped hands over her kneeling son, Phylicia Rashad (as Lena) looked directly into my eyes, as if to say, “LOOK WHAT I’M GOING TO DO NOW.” She knew she’d nail it, and she wanted an attentive viewer to appreciate it, to savor it, to witness it. That’s what we really are: Witnesses. Yes, we’re dirty, little creeps. But we’re also witnesses to history.

  13. Voyeurism is an essential part of theatre: if not for the voyeurs (the audience), the actors have no one. If it’s Haskell King’s cock flopping right in front of us, or Phyllicia Rashad catching your eye and making you watch her next moment, it’s the same thing: it is the actor’s job and pleasure to keep us riveted and it gives the actor a sensual charge. They need the “creeps,” otherwise what they do passes into nothingness. King walking purposefully naked through an audience is as legitimate as Rashad engaging your attention in a Broadway theatre.

  14. It’s all the same thing to me, at the risk of sounding like Gary Merrill near the top of All About Eve lecturing Anne Baxter on the varieties of theater. I just wish there were more to talk about on the subject at hand: Male nudity in New York theater. It’s a long time between discussions.

  15. Agreed–where’s the cock? The wonderful thing about this site is great, anatomically descriptive reviews (like the ones you give) of actors who expose themselves for their art and our edification. That said, I also very much enjoyed seeing the hidden camera work, for posterity, of intrepid photogs that once exposed the likes of Mike Doyle, Tony Goldwyn, Daniel Radcliffe, or the Take Me Out cast…why not more sly footage, especially now that virtually everyone carries a camera around? And there’s the good ol’ fashioned nude photo shoot to advertise a show. I believe Daniel Talbott’s name was responsible for those pics of a naked King for “Afterclap.”

  16. It’s the very availability, omnipresence even, of cameras & phones that keeps some actors, I think, from doing nudity onstage. Theaters routinely issue that standard warning — no photography or recording equipment of any kind, blah, blah, blah — but I’ve rarely seen an usher (underpaid & unprepared) stop anybody from doing anything. Where’s Patti LuPone when we need her? Of course it would be NICE if everything were recorded for our delectation — and I’d be the first to check it out (OK, second, behind you) — but if it cuts down on the number of actors doing nudity, which seems to be happening, I’m agin it. That said, the earliest hidden-camera theater footage of male nudity I saw — with color and sound. no less — was 30 years ago: Maxwell Caulfield in Salonika. To this day, the sight of a VHS tape makes my heart skip a beat.

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