MARXFEST to Celebrate 100 Years of The Marx Brothers, 5/1-31 in NYC
In May 1914, four brothers at a poker table sat down as Leonard, Arthur, Julius, and Milton, and stood up as Chico, Harpo, Groucho, and Gummo. In May 2014, MARXFEST celebrates the centennial of this momentous event with screenings, talks, parties, performances, and remembrances, all in the city of their birth. Celebrate the Marx Brothers Centennial with MARXFEST, May 1 - 31, at various venues in New York City.
Highlights of MARXFEST include a screening of Duck Soup at MoMA; a conversation with comedy legend Dick Cavett and author Robert S. Bader; screenings of rarely-seen Marx Brothers television appearances and home movies; a preview of the first-ever revival of I'll Say She Is, the Marxes' 1924 Broadway debut; a "Music of the Marx Brothers" cabaret at 54 Below; and Jonny Porkpie's burlesque tribute, The Pinch Brothers in "The Bawdy House." RadioMarx, the official online radio station of Marxfest, is streaming Marx-related audio 24/7.
Information and ongoing updates at marxfest.com.
MARXFEST events are as follows:
Thursday, May 1:
The Party of the First Part
The Marxfest convocation! The festival kicks off with a grand celebration, including an overview of the month's festivities, and previews of some of the big events.
Friday May 2 @ 7:30pm:
>From Angels to Anarchists: The Evolution of the Marx Brothers
Sideshows By The Seashore, Coney Island USA, 1208 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn. NY
Vaudeville performer and writer Trav S.D. will talk about how the act evolved from young Groucho's initial outings as a child performer, through the act's many iterations, until they finally became the mad-cap, no-holds-barred comedy team the world knows and loves. Along the way there will be performances of some of the act's early material, and scatological details about Harpo's debut at Henderson's Coney Island.
Sunday, May 4 @ 7:00pm:
The Marx Brothers on Television
Join media archivist Robert S. Bader and comedy legend Dick Cavett for a screening of rare TV clips, some of which had been considered lost, and the best of Groucho's appearances on The Dick Cavett Show. Mr. Bader will preview some of the footage he curated (and located!) for the upcoming Marx Brothers TV Collection DVD set, to be released by Shout Factory later this year. A compilation of Marx family home movies will also be screened, being shown publicly in its entirety for the first time.
Thursdays May 8, 15 & 22 @ 8pm and Sunday, May 18 @ 8pm:
The Pinch Brothers in The Bawdy House
Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal Street, New York, NY
When the Pinch Brothers are hired to save an ailing theater, they turn it into a BAWDY HOUSE, complete with ribald comedy, risqué magic, and of course, burlesque! But on opening night, everything goes wrong -- buttons keep popping, pants keep dropping, and the schtick keeps getting schtickier. Can this Marx Brothers-inspired crew of reprobates get through the show with their clothes intact? ...Nope. Adults Only. Admission starts at $29 (includes two beverages).
Wednesday, May 7:
Marxes in Manhattan
A multi-media presentation by author and archivist Robert S. Bader about how the Marx Brothers' hometown shaped their personalities, lives, and careers. Augmented by film clips, live vaudeville recreations, and ephemera from his collection, Mr. Bader will explore the neighborhoods of their birth and upbringing, as well as the Brothers' experiences in vaudeville and theater.
Friday, May 9 @ 11pm:
The Music of the Marx Brothers
54 Below, 254 West 54th Street, New York, NY
Join us for an evening of the best songs from the Marx Brothers' movies, stage shows, vaudeville days, and radio broadcasts. Join Bill Zeffiro (The Road to Ruin, MAC award winner), Gelber & Manning (those vaudeville lovebirds from Brooklyn), Marissa Mulder, plus special guests. Go back to the era of Wonderful Nonsense for an evening of fantastic music, laughter, and those famous Marx Brothers zingers. Admission: $25-$35.
Sunday, May 11 @ 4pm:
Dr. Sketchy's MarxFest
The Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher Street, New York, NY
Worldwide phenomenon anti-art school Dr. Sketchy's joins Marxfest. This special session features the stars of Pinchbottom's The Bawdy House, modeling for your sketching pleasure. Adults 21+ only. Admission: $12
Saturday May 17 @ 10am:
Barx Brothers Dogwalk
Meet outside Marx Brothers Playground, Yorkville, Manhattan
Dress your pooch like one of the brothers and parade them around the Brothers' boyhood streets in this all-ages canine masquerade. Appropriate for all ages. Admission: Free.
Saturday, May 17 at noon:
The Marxes of Yorkville
96th Street Library, 112 East 96th Street, Yorkville, Manhattan
A multimedia presentation and talk by noted Marxist Noah Diamond, covering the Brothers' childhood in Yorkville. The event will include selected readings from Groucho's and Harpo's memoirs, and details about the "Save Marx Brothers Place" effort to have the boys' childhood home declared an official New York City landmark. Admission: Free.
Sunday, May 18 @ noon:
An Elephant in Your Pajamas... at the Zoo
The Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY
Meet at the (South) gate at Noon. Don't you want to see a group of people in their pajamas march to the see the elephants, Groucho-style? Admission: Adults $17, Children $13, Seniors $15.
Thursday, May 22 @ 8pm:
Duck Soup at MoMA
Museum of Modern Art, 11 W. 53rd St, New York, NY
The Marxes' 1933 masterpiece, screened in style at one of the city's premier cultural institutions. Admission: $12 (tickets on sale one week prior to the screening).
Friday, May 23 at 8pm & Sunday, May 25 @ 5pm:
I'll Say She Is
Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal Street, New York, NY
The 1924 Broadway musical debut of the Marx Brothers returns to the New York stage for the first time in 90 years. Book and lyrics adapted by Noah Diamond. Produced and directed by Trav S.D. Admission: $25 (includes two beverages). Note: Sunday performance will be followed by a panel discussion.
Thursday May 29 @ 7pm
We're All Mad Here: The Marx Brothers in Context
Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
Trav S.D. discusses the vaudeville origins of the Marx Brothers, introducing listeners to the many performers who inspired the team and paved the way for their unique style of performance. The talk will also feature many similar comedians and teams who were contemporaries of the Marx Brothers, and the legacy of these comedians on later generations.
Appropriate for all ages. Admission: Free
Saturday, May 31 @ noon:
The Algonquin Round Table and Marx Brothers Walking Tour
Begins at the Algonquin Hotel, 59 W. 44th Street, New York, NY
Harpo Marx was a member of the "Vicious Circle" that met at the Algonquin Hotel, and this walking tour will take in the locations of the 1920s of Jazz Age Manhattan. Follow in the footsteps of the Marx Brothers, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, George S. Kaufman, and Edna Ferber and visit the former speakeasies, Broadway playhouses, and landmarks associated with this colorful cast. Walk is led by Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, president of the Dorothy Parker Society and author of Under the Table: A Dorothy Parker Cocktail Guide. Admission: $20.
Saturday, May 31 @ 8pm:
The Marx Brothers Speakeasy Party with Wit's End
Flute Midtown, 205 W. 54th Street, New York, NY
A month of Marx comes to an end with New York's finest vintage speakeasy Come dressed in your best 1920s-1930s vintage or vintage-inspired clothes as we celebrate in style with hot jazz, classic cocktails, and Jazz Age style. Appropriate for 21+. Admission: $12.
The Marxfest Committee: Kevin Fitzpatrick (president, Dorothy Parker Society), Kathy Biehl (Empowerment Unlimited, WhyADuck contributor), Noah Diamond (400 Years in Manhattan, Groucho on the Air), Brett Leveridge (humorist; author of Men My Mother Dated and Other Mostly True Tales), Jonny Porkpie (Pinchbottom Burlesque, The Corpse Wore Pasties), and Trav S.D. (Travalanche).
MARXFEST runs May 1 - 31. For information and tickets for all events, visit www.marxfest.com.