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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Councilor vs Boston Baby Dolls

Maybe it's the names - Betty Blaize, Dainty Melons, Honey Do, and Joy de Vie - or maybe it's the sequins the women wear. Whatever it is, Quincy city councilor Brian McNamee isn't much interested in the burlesque troupe known as the Boston Babydolls. "Mr. McNamee told me he didn't want 'boas, strippers, and (expletive)' in his neighborhood," says the Babydolls's flamboyant founder and frontman Alex Newman, who goes by the name of Scratch. (McNamee didn't return our call yesterday.)

At issue is a dance studio the troupe has been trying for several months to open on Billings Road. When McNamee got wind of it, the certificate of occupancy was revoked. "In describing his neighborhood, Mr. McNamee said it's lace-curtain Irish," says Scratch. "He felt his constituents would react badly if we were there, but I don't think he knows the difference between strippers and a burlesque dance troupe."

Scratch said his group has so far racked up $10,000 in legal fees trying to move into the Billing Roads building, and they're not giving up. "This would be a community resource," he says, "offering dance and fitness classes for children and adults."

Even while they're fighting City Hall, the Babydolls are busy. The Great Boston Burlesque Exposition and Vintage Fashion Fair takes place April 10 at The Hyatt Regency.

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