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Show Producer Threatens Suit If Council Bans 'Oh! Calcutta'

By Erica G. Foldy

The producer of the show "Oh! Calcutta" promised yesterday to bring "the most massive lawsuit in the history of the Commonwealth" if the City Council bans the musical from appearing at the Harvard Square Theater next week.

At its next meeting will vote on Councilor Leonard J. Russell's proposal to revoke the license of "Oh! Calcutta" on the grounds that it is pornographic.

City Solicitor Russell B. Higley advised the council Monday night against revoking the license.

Community Standards

The Supreme Court has ruled that community standards, rather than national standards, should determine whether material is obscene, but Cambridge's code is too vague to justify the revocation of the license, Higley said.

Dyke Spear, the producer, denied that the show, which has some nude scenes, is pornographic.

"There is no sexual activity in the show whatsoever. There are some very attractive men and women who happen to do some dancing totally nude, but that's a whole different thing from actual or simulated sexual activity," he said.

Speak said his attorney told him that the council has no power to revoke the license.

Alan M. Dershowitz, professor of Law who is currently defending Harry Reems, the star of "Deep Throat," against obscenity charges, agreed with this opinion.

Community standards in the Harvard area would permit "Oh! Calcutta," which played for several years on Broadway, to be shown here, he said.

"A particular group of people who don't have to come to the theater are trying to control the reading and viewing habits in Harvard Square and this is particularly dangerous in a university area which is its own community and should be able to define its own standards," Dershowitz said.

Russell, however, said at the Monday night meeting that "we have to take into consideration the moral factor of the children and the Catholic schools in the area."

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