Ecdysiasts Got Class


Hats off (along with everything else) to Erotic City, a strip club in Boise, Idaho. Its management tried to sidestep the town's nudity ordinance not only by claiming that its dancers were engaged in "serious artistic" performances, but by staging "art nights" to prove it.

Twice a week, when the club's dancers took everything off, the club's patrons would be given sketch pads and pencils. According to the management, that transformed the strip club into an art studio. Drinks were on the house, no doubt; any money that changed hands was probably "tuition."

Boise's cops didn't buy it. Philistines all, the cops cited a technicality: that the dancers "weren't posing, they were dancing." What? There's no post-historical wiggle room in the verb, "to pose"? Hint to management: Next time claim it's theater.

Thanks to: ArtsJournal

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  1. Isn’t this a Richard Feynman trick?

  2. Anybody see that club in FL, on HBO that put on a nude performance of Macbeth? Same scenario as this one, i.e. stupid blue laws. Thing was, they made a sincere effort out of it. Bringing in a director and acting coach etc. I was fucking astonished that the strippers acting rose the level of adequate. They actually recited Shakespeare while emoting and blocking. Stripers. Shakespeare. Acting… astonished I tells ya.

  3. Warren – sweet!

    I actually have a lot of ex-stripper friends, and most of them are quite intelligent.

  4. Warren

    That would be Club Juana in beautiful Fern Park, FL, about 3 Mi from my house. After a Judge in Seminole County ruled that Theater would be protected under the 1st Amndt they started the performances.

    No, I have never seen it. I have seen naked women and I have seen Macbeth. I have no curiosity about the union of the two.

  5. This sounds like a variation on Alec Baldwin’s “Naked Woman Theater” bit on Saturday Night Live: “Although some of you have objected that our naked women are too young and beautiful to accurately perform this adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet On the Western Front, I assure you we have paid strict attention to historic detail. For example, the women in tonight’s performance will not be completely naked, but will wear jackboots and Kaiser spikes-the better to reflect the horror of the First World War…”

    Or words to that effect. It was pretty damn funny.

  6. Polanski’s underrated version of Macbeth does contain nudity.

  7. Would someone please mind telling me why strip-dancing isn’t artistic, protected speech?

    It’s DANCING, after all. Isn’t dancing, by definition, artistic?

    What the hell is wrong with this country?

  8. There’s a Supreme Court decision, the name escapes me, which held that dancing is protected speech, but nude dancing isn’t. Indiana had some law that you had to have a g-string on whilst pursuing your art and the Court said that was ok.

  9. “What the hell is wrong with this country?”

    They’re called “Christians.”

  10. Akira,

    You might want to add “Feminist” to this particular list. You know, decrying exploitation and all that.

  11. They’re called “Christians.”

    That’s pretty good.

    QFMC cos. V

  12. As much as I like having unfettered nude performances, I’ve always been troubled by the reasoning that tied dance (any dance) to speech. That seems like the kind of reasoning that Congress uses with the commerce clause. It’s the Humpty-Dumpty School of Language at work.

    Ideally, we would amend the Constitution to make freedom of expression (via any medium or method) protected. I realize that any attempt to do so would probably end up with many new restrictions, so I ain’t gonna lobby very hard. Still, this anal libertarian is bugged by the idea that verbal utterances and tap dancing are congruent.

  13. D=S?,

    I think the difference is that when the 1st ammendment is interpreted broadly, liberty is increased; when the Commerce Clause in interpreted broadly, liberty is decreased.

  14. Ah, yes. Often is the Lady Macbeth naked.

    But, of course, it is rather a problem play.

    Had they attempted Midsummer Night’s Dream, or the Merry Wives, it could well have gone off without a hitch.

    Assuming, in the case of the Windsor gals, that Falstaff remained clothed, of course.

  15. Those poor schmucks. What the fuck else is there to do in Idaho then to watch all-lesbo Shakespeare?

  16. The three witches could of course be skyclad, altho serious scholars maintain the practice is a modern invention.

    Naked Hamlet would be out of the question; Ophelia has to wear the etherial white gown.

  17. Said gown can easily be a slinky, see-through number. In art, anything can be possible.

  18. I’m surprised anyone in Boise was savvy enough to name their club after the title of a Prince B-side!

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