The 331 Club goes dark & Burlesque Must Stop
2006-11-03 @ 3:51 p.m.
From my dear friend and colleague, Amy Buchanan- Artistic Director/Producer and the birth mother of the Mpls Burlesque Renaissance...I've made and coordinated costumes for special performances of this troupe, and I live 2 blocks away from the 331 and have seen how much the growing artistic scene there has enriched the NE community. Consider this a call to arms Minneapolis dwellers!
Dear Community Member:
As of November 15, 2006, the City of Minneapolis will require the 331 Club to cease providing amplified music and entertainment. In addition, the City has demanded Le Cirque Rouge Cabaret & Burlesque stop performing at the 331 Club because "burlesque" is not allowed under Minneapolis code of ordinances 362.30.
We are deeply saddened by the loss of our shows, which we have performed at The 331 Club regularly for a year and a half. Our show is indicative of a new/old style of performance which combines a live band composed of some of Minneapolis' best musicians and singers, as well as trained, professional dancers.
The nudity in our show; which adds up to only 25% of the show, is of an artistic, theatrical nature, and is delivered with a light hearted, sense of humor. It is in the same vein as the dance company "Ballet Of The Dolls," which performs at the Ritz Theater two doors down the street.
I believe we are at a place in history where something like Le Cirque Rouge is not easily defined. And under the current statutes, hit with the unfair assumption that our show consists of strippers and thus considered "adult entertainment."
Our show is inspired by our city's rich history in vaudeville and burlesque from the 20's through the 50's. Our audience is a wide variety of people from their 20's to their 80's and features a cast of 14 people.
During our Halloween show on Oct. 28th, there was a woman in her mid 80's who came to our show with her son. She arrived at 9:30 PM, sat in the very front row, and stayed until 2 am, not missing one second of our show. I was so proud of what we do, and the fact that she enjoyed our show so much. I think it is not often that an 80 year old connects with the entertainment being presented in her local bar, and to see her enjoying herself so much, nearly brought me to tears. She told one of our cast members that she loved our show and would come back next week. I was very proud to have brought her such a good time, and deeply moved that she connected with our show. I feel very sad that her "wild, late nights" will end. I can't help but feel she felt more alive while she was there.
Our show is new and trendy for some, but nostalgic for others. I feel we bring a form of entertainment that not only enriches the community, but gives access to artists and performers who within our format, are able to grow and be inspired in a way they would not otherwise.
We are asking for your support in fighting this ban by the City. With your support, the 331 Club can continue to provide an exciting and progressive music venue in North East and Le Cirque Rouge can continue to bring you exciting, fun creative entertainment.
The city's concern is that it needs to regulate businesses impact on their communities (i.e. noise, traffic etc). And amplified entertainment is considered to have an unacceptable level of impact to the community. We think that, rather than harming the community, the music programming at the 331 Club is providing an important opportunity for local musicians and performers and is making the North East community a richer place.
We are asking you to write a letter to your city council member and to Mayor Rybak in support of the 331 Club (Contact info provided at the end of this email). Please tell them how the developing scene at the 331 Club and LCR has had a positive (or negative) impact on the local community. Your feedback will be important to the City Councils decisions regarding the future of North East.
Thank you for your support,
Le Cirque Rouge
Cabaret & Burlesque
Diane Hofstede can be reached at
Minneapolis City Counsel – 3rd Ward
350 S. 5th St. Rm 307
Mayor R.T. Rybak’s office can be reached at
Room 331, City Hall
350 South Fifth St.
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 673-2100 phone