Abingdon to Conjure Bygone Era in Marathon '33 at Webster Hall

News   Abingdon to Conjure Bygone Era in Marathon '33 at Webster Hall
June Havoc's 1963 play Marathon '33 has inspired an Abingdon Theatre Company benefit show of the same title, which will play a special performance at Webster Hall on Oct. 19.

The 6:30 PM event will be directed and choreographed by Tomé Cousin and Peter Gregus. To celebrate stage and screen actress Havoc (the real "Dainty June"), the cast will include a host of actresses who have portrayed "Baby June" and "Dainty June" on Broadway. Casting will be announced shortly.

More than 20 performers will be featured in the production, inspired by the play that focused on Depression-era dance marathons. Expect music and dance from the time period. Webster Hall will be transformed into a 1930s dance hall for the occasion.

Havoc originally directed the Broadway premiere of Marathon '33, which, according to the Abingdon "recounted her experiences as a participant of dance marathons. In 1933, the entire country was amid the Great Depression, and unemployed, but a group of talented performers competed to see who could dance the longest — and collect the much-needed prize money. Sixty couples began the competition. After five to six months of endless dancing, the field was narrowed to a handful. The marathoners danced for 45 minutes out of every hour, 24 hours a day. The 11-minute rest-period and the two minutes to get to and from the dance floor were enough rest for the first 800 to 1,000 hours. Sleeping while leaning on one's partner was a necessity. Calluses developed after the first 500 hours. After the 1,000-hour mark, sprints, grinds and similar events occurred until contestants collapsed and fell by the wayside."

The benefit evening will offer concessions from the era, as well as raffles, door prizes and more. Vintage attire is encouraged. Doors open at 6 PM and the performance will begin at 8 PM.

For tickets, priced $50, visit AbingdonTheatre. Webster Hall is located at 125 East 11th Street.

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