The Theater: The Broken Taboo Breaker

Gradually the stage fills with weird, masked figures from the mists of prehistory: tribesmen in vast, shaggy costumes thumping drums, bonging gongs, pinging cymbals. Enormous idols appear. Frenzied, the primitives swirl and bang and jabber. The shaman speaks: God demands a sacrifice, the greatest sacrifice is sex, a taboo is born.

Bad anthropology, perhaps, but excellent theater as a prologue to the stage apotheosis of the late Lenny Bruce as Taboo Breaker. In Lenny, which opened on Broadway last week, the stand-up comic with the dirty mouth who died five years ago of a heroin overdose at the age of 40...

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