No action planned against play with a nude scene FREDERICK COUNTY

January 26, 1993|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

The county liquor board yesterday declined to take action against the sponsors of a play in which a brief nude scene was believed to violate the county's liquor law.

"Upon conferring with the county attorneys, the board has been advised by them that we have a weak case in regards to the regulation that pertains to the play, 'Bent' . . . ," the board said in a prepared statement.

"Bent," which opened to a small crowd Thursday, chronicles a homosexual's self-discovery during the Nazi regime. The two-hour drama contains a 30-second scene in which a male actor walks on stage nude.

The county's alcoholic beverage inspector attended the play's opening at the Weinberg Center for the Arts and told the liquor board the scene violated Frederick's liquor law, which prohibits nudity where liquor is sold. The three-member board met yesterday to review the report and said later, "There will be no further action by the board" because it agreed that the play is legitimate theater and should not be restricted.

The board had believed the scene violated local and state laws regarding nudity in establishments licensed to serve alcohol, but learned yesterday the state law does not cover Frederick because it has its own.

Del. James E. McClellan , the county delegation chair, said he will introduce legislation to include the county in the state law. But he said it will exempt legitimate theaters such as the Weinberg Center.

Frederick Mayor Paul Gordon declined to comment on the board's decision. The city had said only that it was the its responsibility to assist any governmental agency in carrying out legal responsibilities.

"We hope that decision will deter officials from trying to use the Liquor License Board to control the content of plays performed at the Weinberg Center," said Gary Hughes, the Arts Council board president.

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