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Bottoms Up

Anyone who’s seen the film or stage version knows that The Fully Monty isn’t so much about seeing naked men as it is witnessing out-of-work guys finally find employment—in a strip show. But the opposite is true for Jason Brenner, a music teacher at Lemon Bay High School in Florida, who was told by school officials to either remove himself from the show’s nude scene or resign. Brenner plans to do the latter after he finishes the show’s run at a local theater March 18. School officials claim their decision is a moral, not an artistic, one. But the managing director at the Venice Little Theatre, where Monty has broken sales records, says of the supposedly offending scene: “You can see a bare bottom for about two seconds, and that’s really it. The rest of it is all suggestion and the sense of adventure.” A photo from the production suggests as much, but Brenner, perhaps emboldened by the box office, has made up his mind. “I am not going to stop myself from doing what I love to do,” he explains, “and I have a career path in mind to take and it’s definitely not teaching high school.” Before leaving Lemon Bay, however, he plans to honor a former commitment and serve as musical director for the high school’s production of a far less controversial show: Cats.

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