Ward 8 residents raised a few eyebrows last month when nude dancers resurfaced at Player's Lounge on Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE. The restaurant/nightclub once served a daily fare of tits and ass, but community activists convinced owners Steve and Georgene Thompson to become more respectable. Soon after, Player's became the watering hole for Ward 8 politicos and government workers. Mary Cuthbert, an advisory neighborhood commissioner who led the charge against nude dancing, now actually works at Player's. She says the recent show of skin at Player's was temporary. "Before, they had naked dancing everyday. It's nothing like that," says Cuthbert. Georgene Thompson explains that the restaurant rented a back room to Player's former DJ Diego. He, not the Thompsons, sponsored the dancing for about two weekends last month. Earlier in the year, a police officer, whose name Thompson did not provide, also rented the space on Monday nights for about three months and featured male strippers as part of the entertainment offering. Now, Thompson says, Player's is not renting to people whose social events veer toward the erotic. Concerned neighbor Joyce Scott is relieved. "We don't have but one decent place to sit down for dinner [in Ward 8]. We can't have [strippers] again," she says.
Loud and Proud Last winter, local AIDS activist Steve Michael made a quixotic run against President Bill Clinton for the White House. Though disappointed by his loss, Michael isn't giving up. He's just aiming a little lower. Barring his appointment as Clinton's AIDS czar, Michael says drolly, he will be running for the Ward 6 D.C. Council seat thrown up for grabs by Harold Brazil's recent election to an at-large seat. The majorsome say soleforce behind the city's ACT UP chapter believes the council is cutting the government at the expense of the least enfranchised D.C. residents. "There's no leadership on that council," Michael says. "I'm loud and I'm pushy, but I think we need that on the council." Michael, who will be running on the "AIDS Cure Party" ticket, also promises to bring a clever slogan to the race: "Slept around less than Bill Clinton. Done less drugs than the mayor." While Michael's presidential run netted him only a couple hundred votes in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, and 400 votes in the Tennessee general election (which he says placed him "21st out of a field of 200"), he says winning the council seat isn't out of the question. "Do the math, and it's possible," he says.
Metro 1, Studio 0 The Studio Theatre doesn't mind if its patrons take the bus to its shows, just as long as they don't get off by the front door. Last summer, the theater and the Logan Circle Citizens Association (LCCA) petitioned to move the bus shelter outside the theater's front door at 14th and P Streets NW to a spot farther down the block. The idea was that the shelter and its homeless riffraff wouldn't "fit in" with the theater's multimillion-dollar facelift. But late last year, D.C. Department of Public Works administrator Deborah Price wrote Logan Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) Chairman David Morris that the bus shelter would stay put. Price said that the bus stop had been at the 14th Street location since July 4, 1948, and that moving it would inconvenience more than 20 blind people from the Columbia Light House for the Blind who use the stop daily. ANC commissioner Beth Solomon, who voted against moving the shelter, cheered the decision. "Metrobus has made an excellent decision there, and the Logan Circle ANC and the LCCA ought to follow up with the Studio Theatre in adopting that bus stop and making it nice," says Solomon.