Naked Boys Singing runs into trouble in Provincetown

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com July 17 2001 12:00 AM ET

The musical revue Naked Boys Singing has received a cease-and-desist order from city officials in Provincetown, Mass., according to Backstage.com. The production, staged at the Crown & Anchor resort, ran afoul of the town’s Department of Regulatory Management once the department realized that the show consists of exactly what the title promises. Apparently, the nudity was not specifically mentioned by the producers, thus violating the hotel’s entertainment license. The city also points out that the venue is within 500 feet of the Town Hall and the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House and thus cannot show “adult entertainment.” The Unitarians, however, are more concerned with the abridgement of freedom of expression, and the minister, Alison Hyder, says, “We’ve even contemplated having the show at the meeting house, but the space isn’t large enough.” Hyder, who has seen the piece, says, “It’s a show I’d be happy to take my mother to.” The show, which has played New York for three years and received accolades for productions all over the world, is apparently staying put for the time being. Each time the production is closed by the city it costs the producers $100, but the publicity is invaluable. “Although the publicity is selling tickets,” notes the resort’s co-owner and general manager, Tom Walter, “I think it’s unfortunate for the town’s reputation. It’s embarrassing for a community that calls itself the nation’s first arts colony.”