'Naked Boys Singing' Violates Atlanta Zoning Law, Police Say

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:30 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Four months after "Naked Boys Singing!" opened at an Atlanta gay bar, police on Saturday shut it down because the club did not have a license for adult entertainment.

Producers of the nude male show insist "Naked Boys Singing!" is legitimate theater, not pornography, and therefore is not in violation of local zoning laws. The debate may end up in court.

"We feel that this attack on our production may have been an attempt to shut down another gay bar in Atlanta," says Robert Darroch, one of the show's producers. "This citation by the police department did not happen as we opened, but rather 17 weeks into the production."

According to its producers, "Naked Boys Singing!", an off-Broadway hit, celebrates males nudity, not sex or not pornography.

"The show features sixteen feel good songs celebrating the trials and tribulations of being naked," a press release said. Some of the songs sung by the nude men include one called "Gratuitous Nudity" and another called "Perky Little Porn Star."

The producers have asked the Mayor of Atlanta "to show her support for the arts and the gay community by clearly stating that she recognizes the artistic efforts that went into 'Naked Boys Singing!' If not, the producers vow to litigate the show in the Georgia Court System," they said in a press release.

Three years ago, local officials in Provincetown, Mass., shut down a production of "Naked Boys Singing!" because they considered it "adult entertainment." But a later court decision allowed the show to go on this past summer.

The show is currently playing in New York City and Chicago and it plans to start a European tour in 2005.

This past summer, the Republican Party refused to offer discounts for "Naked Boys Singing!" to convention-goers in New York City, and convention organizers also asked New York City's official tourism website to drop the show from its list of theater offerings.

That brought charges of Republican censorship from the show's producers.

See Earlier Story:
No 'Naked Boys Singing' for Republicans (August 24, 2004)

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.