Lou Harry's A&E

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Arts & Entertainment, etc.

Harry Potter in the buff

April 10, 2008
Much is being made of the fact that actor Daniel Radcliffe (you know him as Harry Potter) will be appearing nude in the upcoming Broadway production of “Equus,” recreating the role he played to acclaim and box office success in London.

It’s difficult not to admire Radcliffe’s willingness to stretch — and expose himself — in this challenging part. (For those unfamiliar, “Equus” concerns the crisis of faith of a psychiatrist trying to determine why a troubled young man blinded six horses with a steel spike.)

In the original 1970s Broadway run of the show, a succession of big name actors — Anthony Hopkins, Richard Burton, Anthony Perkins, Leonard Nimoy — played the doc, while his patient was played by unknowns. As such, there was less attention to the full monty written into the play.

On paper, this seems like a self-defeating idea for Radcliffe. How will it be possible not to think about the actor instead of the character when he’s out there in the altogether? Surely the experience of seeing a well-known actor in the part will be very different than seeing a relatively anonymous one (such as the “Equus” original Peter Firth).

So do you suspect most of the audience at “Equus” will be there for entirely the wrong reasons?

When does nudity work on stage? When doesn’t it? 

Those who frequent the Phoenix Theatre or Theatre on the Square have seen their share of (mostly male) bare bodies, so feel free to chime in with your thoughts.
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