Burlesque request lands in Selectmen's lap
Selectman Patrick Tropeano was less than pleased when the managers of Buzzards Play Productions visited the Selectman meeting Tuesday night, looking to secure three one-day liquor licenses.
His largest concern was with the first date, March 9, where a male burlesque group, Girls Night Out, will perform a revue. Attendance is 21+, and Buzzards Play Productions managers James Cotter and Jessica Smart had requested a one-day liquor license to go along with the event.
“This is a strip show, yes?” Tropeano asked. “I mean, they’re taking clothing off. Technically you are not allowed to do this. Adult entertainment is zoned for the industrial section of Wareham only, for very specific reasons.” He defended his position by saying that the mixing of alcohol and adult entertainment could produce very specific results such as loud noise, trash and even violence.
Smart was troubled by the comment, explaining that Buzzards Play Productions has in the past staged several performances by the Brazen Bellas, a female burlesque group. She noted that the Selectmen had not seen a problem providing the liquor license for that event in the past.
Tropeano asked for input from Town Counsel Richard Bowen.
“Is what the audience going to see that night any different than what they might see during the summer at Swifts Beach?” Bowen asked.
“Swifts Beach would probably be worse,” Smart replied.
Far from being over, however, another issue appeared when Bowen asked Smart and Cotter if they had described ‘burlesque shows’ in their application for a year-round, liquor-free entertainment license. Smart admitted she didn’t know; she and Cotter are taking over managerial duties from the owners of Buzzards Play Productions, and didn’t file for the license themselves.
“Going forward, you’ll need to review your license,” Bowen told the pair.
“You may need to amend your license,” added Selectman Peter Teitelbaum. “We need to know that you’re licensed specifically for any kind of entertainment you’re planning.” He told the managers he would vote affirmatively this time.
The board approved the three liquor licenses. Members voted 3-2 in favor of licenses for a concert and the burlesque show with Whiteside and Tropeano both voting against. Tropeano was the sole "no" vote for the third license, which was for a comedy show.