Staff Pick: “Arguendo” uses dry wit to examine legality of public nudity

By
From the November 14, 2013 edition

Question: Does a state prohibition against complete nudity in public places violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of expression? — Supreme Court Case: Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc.

Using the above Supreme Court case’s transcript, acclaimed New York City theatre ensemble Elevator Repair Service delves into this quandary with its latest production “Arguendo.” The play centers on a case brought by nude dancers at the Glen Theatre and the Kitty Kat Lounge, who’re petitioning to perform nude.

For “Arguendo,” three actors portray all Supreme Court Justices as they examine and discuss key issues of the case. And do so with heavy dry wit. “How does one draw that line between Salome and the Kitty Kat Lounge?” poses Justice Antonin Scalia. With a backdrop of animated text (taken from legal precedents) and even some risqué performers, this promises to be a wild ride. “Arguendo” is intended for mature audiences, ages 18 and up.

“Arguendo” received praise from The New York Times and Wall Street Journal for its New York City run, and Columbus will be the play’s first post-New York stop. Elevator Repair Service was also lauded for “Gatz,” a word-for-word staging of “The Great Gatsby.”

Photo by Joan Marcus