On March 27, to be exact. Tickets are still on sale on The Lyric's website and a representative for the Lyric confirmed that the show is still scheduled. Via email, Nicoletta Macris, marketing director for the Lyric, told the City Paper, "as of right now [Cosby] is [scheduled]." A follow-up email regarding whether or not there will be additional security, due to the possibility of protesters outside the venue and inside (which has happened at Cosby performances as of late following a staggering number of rape accusations), was answered by Macris like this: "At every performance, including comedy, the venue provides security." City Paper also asked Macris whether the Lyric was concerned about a cancellation, postponement, or ticket buyers demanding refunds, but answers to those questions were not returned.
Last week, a performance scheduled for Feb. 22 in Charlotte was postponed and, as reported by the Denver Post, 1,200 ticket buyers for two Cosby performances in Denver have requested refunds. On Monday, Cosby was accused of rape once again, this time by a film executive named Cindra Ladd who detailed an incident in 1969 that should sound very familiar to anybody following this story: Cosby drugged the then-21-year-old, told her to "trust [him]," and she woke up the next morning, remembering very little, but knowing that she had been sexually assaulted. By Entertainment Weekly's count, Bill Cosby has now been accused of sexual assault by 33 women.
Interestingly enough, Hannibal Buress, who reignited the Cosby rape controversy, plays the Lyric on March 13, just two weeks before Cosby. Although accusations and out-of-court settlements surrounding Cosby's alleged sexual assault history have been known by many for years, it was comedian Buress' comments last October at a show in Philadelphia that seemed to reignite the story and, presumably, help many younger people hear about it for the first time. On stage, Buress challenged Cosby's "smug . . . old black man public persona," and cited the number of women he had allegedly raped (then it was 13) and mocked the once-beloved (and still beloved by those suffering from a legendary case of cognitive dissonance) comedian's respectability politics. "Pull your pants up, black people. I was on TV in the '80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom," Buress said, mocking Cosby's tone, and then added, "Yeah, but you raped women, Bill Cosby."
What makes Cosby's decision to continue performing so horrifying, even as these accusations stack up, is that he also sees it fit to joke about it. On Jan. 8, at a performance in London, Ontario, Cosby told a female audience member who got up to go to the bathroom that she should "be careful about drinking around [him]," which reportedly got some laughs from the crowd. That Cosby continues to perform in light of these accusations is perverse and it is baffling that so many people are willing to pay to see him, but it does seem like something altogether different and darker that, while on stage, Cosby would turn these dozens of accusations into material. It certainly makes venues like the Lyric even more complicit in his alleged crimes if they are willing to give him a place to joke about it.