Burlesque request lands in Selectmen's lap

By Andrea Ray | Mar 07, 2017
Photo by: Andrea Ray Buzzards Play Production managers Jessica Smart and James Cotter address the Selectmen.

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.

Comments (18)
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Mar 07, 2017 23:45

The Selectmen previously had no issue with the female burlesque group doing a strip show but now have changed their tune about a bunch of dudes doing the same thing. Hmmm...I wonder...

Posted by: bob | Mar 08, 2017 06:27

What a show that was displayed at last night selectmen's meeting,from remarks from the board member,who over speaks other members, to the town counsel remarks to a certain beach area..Buzzards Bay Productions should book a comedy show starring our board and town counsel...Welcome to Wareham.......p,s,Did  the Police Chief give his o.k.,with a police detail...

Posted by: Cindy | Mar 08, 2017 07:35

Disappointed by the comment made by Town Counsel.  If he was trying to infer that the burlesque shows are no different than seeing people in their bathing suits he's way off base. And if he was inferring that other activities happen in Swift's Beach then it's high time the town find a more professional Town Counsel to represent them.  What a flip comment to make.

Posted by: Peaches0409 | Mar 08, 2017 08:23

Ugh....it's embarrassing that a town "leader" would speak to someone that way. I've seen it at school committee meetings and at selectmen's meeting. It's like listening to a five year old interrupt his parents when he's not getting his way. A little respect goes a long way Mr. Tropeano!

Posted by: sadie | Mar 08, 2017 09:00

I felt so bad for the young woman she was close to tears. Shame on town counsel for treating her like she was a witness in a trial. These are two young people who are trying to make their business succeed. They are finding their way and may or may not be successful. I think town council owes them an apology for being so stern they are not criminals they are residents trying to make a business work.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Mar 08, 2017 09:02

When I recall fond memories of Swift's Beach I picture my Italian grandfather in his size 42 bathing suit wearing black socks & sandals.  If that's the case, what's the problem?  


He should have just said something general like "it is nothing worse than what can be seen at the beach".  He shouldn't have specifically referenced Swift's Beach.  We are proud of that nice family beach and want to maintain that image.    

Posted by: Hairy Buttz | Mar 08, 2017 09:16

“This is a strip show, yes?” Tropeano asked. Good for him, maybe his tone was uncalled for and needs to be addressed BUT good for him. The last thing this town needs is drugs, rock & roll, and now a strip joint yikes.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Mar 08, 2017 09:30

Who said anything about drugs, rock & roll, and a strip joint?  This is about a single event.  Pretty soon the Toby Estate will be getting converted into a brothel...  

Posted by: Peaches0409 | Mar 08, 2017 09:41

Lol!! ^ funny stuff. I agree, it's not a strip show. It's a fun girls night. I'm not so worried about a violent fight breaking out over this.

Posted by: Rosebud | Mar 08, 2017 09:42

I agree with Cindy and WBTS.    No negative references about Swift's--especially from a Town employee!  Swift's is a great beach, especially for families with children.  Perhaps Mr. Bowen should come and see it sometime this summer.

Posted by: Hairy Buttz | Mar 08, 2017 10:04

WBTS I could say white, you'd say black. It is what it is. The Toby estate is already an undercover brothel...I have the 411

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Mar 08, 2017 10:18

Brownie, no-no now...we're not that opposite.  At first I thought you were referring to the color of my grandfather's socks...


Yea...the Toby Estate.  Pretty façade on the outside.  Not sure what's inside.  I remember when it was restored.  I think its empty and just for looks.     

Posted by: Hairy Buttz | Mar 08, 2017 10:38

LOL....Your grandfather was a character i'm convinced. Grandpa like grandson ;) hmmmm nothing better than a pretty exterior and inside to match like me!

Posted by: jameschillzone | Mar 08, 2017 12:44

I'm just interested in understanding what the town wants these children (who have a safe place to play music, friends family and staff that are very welcoming) to go do instead, if they are so out of favor of the venue. Go hangout at the Rosewood motel???? There's nothing to do in this town. Also, unfortunately, there's a pretty big needle problem going around too. This venue is saving these kids lives and giving them something safe to do. Who are you to step in front of them?

Posted by: wtbarber | Mar 08, 2017 15:27

https://brazenbelles.com/   are in Woods Hole and Falmouth.  I'm not sure why Wareham has a problem with this event.

Posted by: totellthetruth | Mar 08, 2017 18:01

It seems to me that Mr.s Tropeano and Bowen were most critical about this show. Maybe they wanted to perform in the show and were rejected?  (LOL)

Posted by: Society for Suppression of Noise | Mar 08, 2017 21:20

There's still a chance--we need fireworks money.  I'd pay to watch.

Posted by: bob | Mar 09, 2017 05:55

SFSON,You hit that right,Our so call town officials leaders really show why people have so much doubts about our town...What  A PERFORMANCE THEY PUT ON....

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