Home 2012-2013 SEASON 2012-2013 CONTENT ADVISORY
Pioneer Theatre Company wants the theatre-going experience to be enjoyable and entertaining. Because of our commitment to our patrons, we annually post a review of potentially discomforting or offensive material in our shows. We provide this information as a service and do our best to inform our patrons as to content. Please bear in mind that the question of what is or isn’t offensive is an extremely subjective one, particularly when it comes to determining the appropriateness of plays for children. If you have any concerns about a play’s appropriateness, we strongly encourage you to read this guide carefully, view our website guide and/or read the script before purchasing.
What follows is a detailed list of items that have been found offensive by some in the past. If you have concerns about content, feel free to look over this page. As you do so, please keep in mind that the words listed, taken out of context, may seem more offensive than they would in the context of the play.
Season Ticket Holders who do not wish to attend Of Mice and Men or Clybourne Park because of strong language or subject matter may exchange their tickets for additional tickets to another play (non-musical) remaining in the season.
|In the Heights||Of Mice and Men||A Christmas Carol: The Musical|
|The Philadelphia Story||Clybourne Park||The Odd Couple|
SYNOPSIS: In Washington Heights, New York, a neighborhood of Latino immigrants celebrates the joys and challenges of living in New York and striving for a better life. Usnavi de La Vega runs a bodega and knows all his neighbors: his Abuela Claudia, who watched over Usnavi and all the other neighbors’ children when they were young; Vanessa, the beautiful girl Usnavi has a crush on; his cousin Sonny, who works for him in the store; Nina Rosario, the local girl who went away to Stanford, but is now back in the neighborhood after her freshman year; and Benny, who has a crush on Nina and works at her parents’ car service. The lives of these characters and others intersect in this uplifting Tony Award-winning musical about three generations of immigrants attempting to live the American dream and still hold on to their Latino heritage.
LANGUAGE: There is a small amount of strong language in the play, including one or two profanities and several vulgar expressions.
This language includes “Jesus” and “Goddamn” (several times), “up shit’s creek,” bullshit,” “bastards,” damn,” “son-of-a-bitch” and “damn (several times)."
SMOKING/DRINKING/DRUG USE: There is no smoking or drug use. The young people in the musical go to clubs, where they may drink. There is a scene in the beginning where Usnavi holds a cigarette but it does not get lit, and does not appear again.
SEX: There is no explicit sexual activity in the play. The women at the hair salon sing a song in which they gossip about who is sleeping with whom, and Nina and Benny begin a romance during which it is clear that they have spent the night together.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: In the Heights is a joyous and uplifting musical with a vibrant Latin-tinged score. It is suitable for general audiences and teenaged children. Children between the ages of 5 and 12 would likely enjoy the musical, but should attend at their parents’ discretion.
RATING: If it were a movie, In the Heights would likely be rated “PG-13.”
SYNOPSIS: John Steinbeck’s classic tells the story of George and Lennie, two itinerant farm hands who move from ranch to ranch in Northern California in the 1930s seeking work. Lennie is a slow-witted gentle giant who loves to hold and pet small animals, but his great strength combined with his mental impairment has gotten the two of them in trouble in the past. George watches over Lennie with a mixture of exasperation and affection, and as the play opens they have just started work at a new ranch. Both Lennie and George share a dream of owning their own small farm someday where they can ‘live off the fat of the land,’ and this dream, and their dim but powerful sense of brotherly responsibility for each other, suffuses the play even through its tragic ending.
LANGUAGE: Of Mice and Men is regarded as a major classic of American literature, and as such it is taught throughout the country in high schools and junior high schools. At the same time, the characters in the play are rough, uneducated men living in a bunkhouse together, and they do employ the frequent use of strong language, including profanity, vulgarities and racial slurs.
This language includes “Goddamn,” and “Jesus” or “Jesus Christ,” (many times), “son-of-a-bitch,” “bastard,” “bitch,” and “nigger,” (all used several times).
SMOKING AND DRINKING: None. The characters talk about drinking, but there is no onstage depiction of it.
SEX: None. Several of the men talk about visiting a brothel, but that’s as far as it goes.
VIOLENCE: Lennie accidently kills a small puppy that he is petting. An old dog is shot (offstage). In a fight, Lennie crushes Curley’s hand, and in the climactic scene Lennie accidently kills Curley’s wife, and George is forced to commit a tragic act in order to spare his friend from a lynch mob.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: Of Mice and Men is a major work of literature and theatre, and espouses Steinbeck’s Christian vision of the universal brotherhood of man. For that reason, it is often part of the reading curriculum in American high schools and junior high schools. It is appropriate for teenagers and even children aged 10-12 years old, but because of the pervasive strong language in the play children should attend at their parents’ discretion. It might be upsetting and inappropriate for children under the age of ten.
RATING: The movie version of Of Mice and Men was rated “PG-13.”
SYNOPSIS:The timeless story of the miserly Scrooge and the visitation he receives from three ghosts one Christmas Eve has been turned into a lavish musical by Alan Menken, composer of the Disney musicals Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid.
LANGUAGE: None to speak of—a few mild oaths (“damn,” “bloody”).
SMOKING AND DRINKING: At the Fezziwigs’ party, libations are liberally consumed.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: A Christmas Carol: The Musical is suitable for all audiences, including children aged 5 and older.
RATING: A Christmas Carol: The Musical would be rated “G.”
SYNOPSIS: Beautiful young Philadelphia socialite Tracy Lord is about to marry self-made man George Kittredge, but when her ex-husband, as well as a writer and photographer assigned to cover her wedding all show up at the same time, things start to get complicated.
LANGUAGE: Nothing stronger than a few exclamatory oaths (“damn,” “hell,” and “Good Lord.”)
SMOKING AND DRINKING: The Philadelphia Story was written in the 1930s, and many of the characters in the play smoke and drink. Tracy drinks too much champagne on the eve of her wedding, and this causes several of the plot complications.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: The Philadelphia Story is suitable for all audiences, including children aged 10 and up. Younger children might be bored by it.
RATING: If it were a movie, The Philadelphia Story would be rated “PG.”
SYNOPSIS: Winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Clybourne Park uses Lorraine Hansbury’s landmark drama A Raisin in the Sun as its jumping-off point. The first act takes place in 1959, and is told from the point of view of the white family that is about to sell its home to the first black family to move into a Chicago neighborhood. The second act takes place 50 years later; the neighborhood has become all-black and now a white couple wants to buy the house and move into the neighborhood. The play takes a fascinating look at how we talk about—or avoid talking about—race in America.
LANGUAGE: The play contains a significant amount of strong language, including both profanities and strong vulgarities. In addition, in the climactic scene, several deliberately offensive racist and sexist jokes are told, in one of which an extremely derogatory vulgar slang expression for women is used.
These words and phrases include “go fuck yourself,” (a number of times), “Goddamn,” “Jesus Christ,” “son-of-a-bitch,” “shit” and “bullshit,” “pussy,” “asshole,” “bitch,” and “cunt.”
SMOKING AND DRINKING: None.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: Clybourne Park is suitable for more adventurous audiences for whom strong language is not discomfiting. Conservative audience members will likely be offended by the language and uncomfortable with the subject matter. The play would be of interest for teenaged children, but parents should be strongly cautioned before sending their children. The play is inappropriate for pre-teens.
RATING: If it were a movie, Clybourne Park would be rated “R” for strong language.
SYNOPSIS:Oscar Madison and Felix Ungar are two divorced men who decide, at the beginning of the play, to become roommates. Oscar is a carefree slob; Felix is an uptight neat freak. Their clash of personalities makes for one of the funniest and most iconic comedies written in the last fifty years.
LANGUAGE: There are a few exclamatory oaths and two profanities in the play.
The language includes “hell,” “for chrissakes,” “dammit” and “God-damned,” (twice).
SMOKING AND DRINKING: The Odd Couple begins and ends with the regular Friday night poker game of Oscar, Felix and their friends. Everyone smokes and drinks at these games. During the production, fake cigarettes will be lit. In addition, real cigars will be used and also lit.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: The Odd Couple is suitable for all general audiences and children aged 10 and older. Pre-teens should attend at a parent’s discretion.
RATING: If it were a movie, The Odd Couple would be rated “PG” or “PG-13.”
SYNOPSIS: Les Misérables tells the epic story of Jean Valjean, an escaped prisoner being pursued by the implacable Inspector Javert in France in the thirty years leading up to the French Revolution. Valjean becomes the protector of Cosette, the orphaned daughter of Fantine. As the student rebellions swirl around them, Cosette falls in love with student leader Marius, Javert pursues Valjean, and Valjean finds himself drawn to the barricades as violence erupts all around them.
LANGUAGE: There is a small amount of profane and bawdy language, principally in the two musical numbers “Lovely Ladies” and “Master of the House.”
SMOKING AND DRINKING: One song is titled “Drink With Me,” so there will certainly be drinking.
SEX: Fantine is forced into prostitution to get money to care for her child Cosette, whom she has left in the care of the Thénardiers. “Lovely Ladies” is sung by prostitutes to their customers; the lyrics and staging are sexually suggestive. “Master of the House” contains bawdy sexual innuendo as well, but is a comic number.
VIOLENCE: During the student rebellion on the barricades, most of those fighting are killed. Javert, spared by Valjean, commits suicide by throwing himself in the river.
FOR WHICH AUDIENCES?: Les Misérables is a towering musical based on a major novel of world literature. The dark elements of the musical—the sexual content and violence—are redeemed by the story’s overarching vision of grace and redemption. Les Misérables is suitable for most general audiences, including children aged 10 and older. Extremely conservative audience members may be put off by the sexual innuendo of “Lovely Ladies” and “Master of the House,” and children under ten should only attend at a parent’s discretion.
RATING: If it were a movie, Les Misérables would be rated “PG-13.”