Strip Clubs: Lap Dances Are “American Theater”

We’re frankly a bit skeptical of Mayor Nutter’s plan to tax lap dances in the city, but we have to admit that the arguments against doing so are pretty awesome.

Attorneys for Delilah’s, Club Risque and Cheerleaders argued before the Tax Review Board that the amusement tax specifically exempts contemporary American theater, and lap dances, they said, are no different than theater.

“American contemporary theater has lots of exotic type things, sexually provocative things, a great deal of nakedness in American contemporary theater, and are frankly indistinguishable from what takes place at a gentlemen’s club,” Attorney George Bochetto said. “There are many plays on Broadway which have nudity, which have contact with the patrons, which are designed for sexual arousal, which are American contemporary theater.”

Well sure. Who can forget such great Broadway moments such as Ethel Merman, in the classic Annie Get Your Gun, singing “There’s No Business Like Show Business” while wearing nothing but a gun holster and grinding on a horrified Buffalo Bill?  Remember Jimmy Cagney prancing around in a G-string in Yankee Doodle Dandy? Good god, Irving Berlin wouldn’t have even known how to write a song that didn’t involve pasties and dollar bills crammed into one’s thong. Theater is awesome.