Officials strip Jersey City bar of longtime burlesque show

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JERSEY CITY -

There can be no more burlesque shows in Jersey City after city officials shut down one such performance for being too racy.

Veteran Jersey City burlesque performer Lillian Bustle says that despite almost a decade of dancing, she and her troupe will no longer be allowed to perform.

“This usually involves taking off clothes, but it doesn’t always,” Bustle says. “For me it’s a great celebration of my body and of everybody’s bodies.”

But some city attorneys do not feel this way and ordered Newark Avenue FM bar to shut down the show. They cited obscenity laws and said that bar owners could be subject to a $2,500 fine and suspension or revocation of their license.

“To dump it on the venue and saying you’re inviting something filthy into your bar, that’s what is offensive to me,” Bustle says.

Bustle says that she has received support from many local businesses as well as Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. The mayor tweeted “Legal Dept. is very prude. For what it’s worth I would have attended.”

“I asked him to work with us to make it happen. And that I would save him a front-row seat,” Bustle says.

Bustle says that burlesque is a performance that does nothing more than pay homage to the vaudeville days by poking fun of people in power. She says that anyone who is offended by it needs to get with the times.

“What decade is this? Where are we? This is crazy,” she says.

Bustle says that she was expecting her largest crowd ever during her canceled show Wednesday night. She says that she and others are working to change the city code to allow these shows once again.

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