Play featuring nudity is illegal, official finds

January 24, 1993|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

FREDERICK -- A play in which a male actor briefly appears nude violates Frederick County's liquor law, Leo M. Boyle, the county's alcoholic beverages inspector, said yesterday.

Mr. Boyle turned his findings over to the liquor board after attending the play's opening night Thursday at the Weinberg Center for the Arts. The three-member board is expected to meet tomorrow to review the case.

The Weinberg Center for the Arts has a liquor license to serve alcohol during performances. Liquor sales are a revenue source for the nonprofit Frederick Arts Council, which runs the city-owned center.

The council, citing First Amendment rights, vowed before Thursday's performance that the show would go on, despite possible action by the liquor board. The council said a law prohibiting nudity in establishments serving liquor doesn't apply theaters.

The play, "Bent," about a homosexual's self-discovery during the Nazi regime, contains a 30-second nude scene.

If the liquor board agrees that the play violates the county liquor law, a public hearing will be scheduled at least 10 days after

notifying the parties involved.

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