01/02/2014 02:59 pm ET Updated Mar 04, 2014

10 Most Controversial Broadway and Off-Broadway Performances

From a provocative sex farce appropriately called Sex that ran in 1926, to one-woman play depicting the Virgin Mary as a doubting Thomas, these 10 shows have ruffled some serious feathers over the years -- even inciting death threats and police raids.

The New York theater has always been more daring than movies or television. When Hollywood was censoring itself with the Hays Office in the 1930s, Broadway was tackling then-scandalous topics like homosexuality. Before she hit it big on screen, legendary sex symbol Mae West was raising eyebrows, along with her skirts, in plays she wrote and starred in. Religion is another hot topic that playwrights and composers have been unafraid to explore, with depictions of an unconventional Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary making the stage. Just because the theater is ready, doesn't mean the rest of the country is, and many of these productions caused controversy with protestors picketing, police raiding and even death threats being made. While the list of eyebrow-raising productions is a long one, here are our picks for the most scandalous productions of the past 100 or so years, both on and Off-Broadway:


PHOTOS: Most Controversial Shows On and Off Broadway

This piece was written by David Sheward.