Tag Archives: Broadway placebo

Placebo: from funeral-crasher and sycophant to inactive or sham therapy


Watching a TV review of the new off-Broadway musical comedy Placebo (in which “Louise is working on a placebo-controlled study of a new female arousal drug”*), I learned something interesting — not about myself or female arousal drugs, but about the word that gives the show its title. It didn’t always mean a therapy that provides a psychological benefit rather than a physiological effect or a dummy drug used in clinical trials. Apparently the word’s etymology is revealed and discussed in the early part of the new play, so we’ll do the same here (but without the arousal effect) … Continue reading