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THE SHOW THE ARCHBISHOP

DIDN'T WANT YOU TO SEE!

SEX, DRUGS, AND
ROCK & ROLL

    Then we'd be free, sexually free,

    Free to let each urge we suppress

    Freely surge and our inhibitions melt;

    Free, sexually free,

    Free to cast our seed on a stone

    If the need for a stone should be felt.

    Free, sexually free,

    Free to follow love, though it lead

    To above or below thy neighbor's belt.

    See what it is to be

    Satisfied and unfrustrated,

    Free and at liberty

    To be loved and stimulated.

    Be unashamedly

    Sexually liberated...

        – "Sexually Free" from I Love My Wife

Can anyone doubt that SEX, DRUGS, AND ROCK & ROLL are the three most powerful forces in American culture today? With continual nationwide debates over teen pregnancy, gay marriage, abortion, internet porn, Janet Jackson's breast, smoking, medical marijuana, illegal drug trade, pop music lyrics, hip-hop culture, and lots more, could it finally be time to stop demonizing these forces and start understanding more deeply our human relationship to them? How can the most over-medicated culture in the world overreact so ferociously to the use of drugs like marijuana? How can it be that we as a culture are so afraid, so repulsed by sex, and yet every new technology we create-- film, video, the internet, YouTube -- we use first and most enthusiastically for sex?

New Line Theatre opened its seventeenth season of daring, muscular theatre with the world premiere of the new revue, SEX, DRUGS, AND ROCK & ROLL a fearless roller coaster ride that explores these three ubiquitous forces on Americans and our culture. From The Trojan Women to Romeo and Juliet to Dracula to Rent, many of our most lasting, most universal stories have tried to explain sex. And drugs – from Sleeping Beauty to A Midsummer Night’s Dream to The Wizard of Oz to Hair to Requiem for a Dream, we have always been fascinated by altered consciousness. And rounding out the cultural trifecta is rock and roll, an art form in existence only fifty years yet already the most powerful cultural force in the history of the world.

Ranging widely from the actual moment of conception ("Prologue from Baby") to venereal disease ("I Got It from Agnes") to adultery ("Nobody Needs to Know") to threesomes ("By Threes") to adult entertainment ("Perky Little Porn Star"), Act I explored the complexities of human sexuality in all its comedy and tragedy. Act II tackled drugs from marijuana ("Pitch for Pot") to hashish ("Hashish") to morphine ("The Morphine Tango") and others; and then went on to explore extreme human emotions that only rock music can fully express, in songs from Jesus Christ Superstar, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Rocky Horror Show, Songs for a New World, and other shows. The revue also included songs from Hair, Rent, Avenue Q, Little Shop of Horrors, The Last Five Years, and lots more.

The cast of SEX, DRUGS, AND ROCK & ROLL included Aaron Allen, Kiné Brown, Zachary Allen Farmer, Nicholas Kelly, Matthew Korinko, Aaron Lawson, Khnemu Menu-Ra, Isabel Pastrana, John Rhine, Michelle Sauer, Kimi Short, and Scott Tripp.

To read about how the St. Louis Archdiocese tried to shut down this show, check out the director's blog, or read the articles about the controversy in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.


 

 

Want to explore more? We recommend:

Director Scott Miller's essay on Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll

Scott Miller's blog entry describing the St. Louis Archdiocese's attempt to shut down Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll before it even opened...!

The cast albums from some of the cooler, lesser known shows represented in this revue -- I Love My Wife, Songs for a New World, The Last 5 Years, and The Wild Party

New Line Theatre's webpages for our past productions of Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Rocky Horror Show, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Nervous Set, and Johnny Appleweed

A great Wall Street Journal essay on the difference between conservatives and libertarians when it comes to "Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll"

A fascinating article from The New Republic about four-letter words and how Americans use them -- What the F***?.

The Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll Website, with great links and a little history, too. Also, the Stoner Rock website and the Stoner Rock page on The Cutting Edge website

The book Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Haight-Ashbury in the Summer of Love 1967: An Eye Witness Account by the "de Tocqueville of Tokeville". Also Eric Bogosian's play Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, and the book The Mammoth Book of Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll

A brilliantly disturbing, funny music video of Kermit the Frog drowning his sorrows in drugs and sex, to the song "Hurt"

The DVD or video of the funny and eye-opening documentary Grass, about the history of marijuana, politics, and drugs laws in America

A local St. Louis discussion list about marijuana laws and activism, sponsored by the St. Louis chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Also, the TRUTH about marijuana use in America, who uses it, is it addictive, is it a gateway drug, all that stuff; and the TRUTH about the War on Drugs from law enforcement officials who've been fighting it, at www.DrugWarFacts.org

Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll, Sept./Oct. 2007   Assassins, March 2008   High Fidelity, June 2008