Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration

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Abingdon Theatre Company's Marathon '33 was a star-studded celebration and special presentation of a new stage show inspired by June Havoc's 1963 play of the same title for one night only on Monday, October 19th at Webster Hall. BroadwayWorld.com's Monica Simoes, a true artist, documented the evening in her expert fashion.

As previously announced, Tony Award-winner Karen Ziemba, star of Broadway's Curtains, Contact, Steel Pier and Never Gonna Dance, participated in the evening co-directed and co-choreographed by Tomé Cousin and Peter Gregus. In the spirit of Miss Havoc's play, a cast of more than twenty performers jitterbugged and jived to the sounds of bygone days. Ms. Ziemba performed those stirring standards of the Depression Era.

The ensemble cast of MARATHON '33 included Noah Aberlin, John Alix, Lisa Anthony Biagini, Peter Brouwer, Julie Connors, Mark Stuart Eckstein, Curtis Howard, Sonia Iannetti, Scott Larsen, Steve Luker, Bill Nabel, Ron Nahass, Cassandra Palacio, Rachelle Rak, Andrew Rannells, Francis J. Roach, Kelsey Robinson, Erika Shannon, Bara Swain, Laura Swanson and Kirstin Tucker.

Joining the evening, as special guests, were the actresses who have portrayed Baby June or Dainty June, the roles based on Miss Havoc in the original Broadway cast and subsequent revivals of the landmark musical Gypsy.

Lane Bradbury, Broadway's original "Dainty June" (and an original cast member of Broadway's Marathon '33), and Merle Louise, Ms. Bradbuey's replacement in Gypsy, was on hand to celebrate Miss Havoc's life. Also attending were Jacqueline Mayro from the original Broadway cast; Bonnie Langford and Maureen Moore from the 1974 revival; Christen Tassin from the 1989 revival; Kate Reinders and Heather Tepe from the 2003 revival; and Leigh Ann Larkin and Sami Gayle from the 2008 revival.

In December, 1963, June Havoc's Marathon '33 opened on Broadway, starring Julie Harris. The play, which Miss Havoc also directed, 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.

Miss Havoc, for whom Abingdon Theatre Company named its mainstage theater, began her career at the age of two as "Dainty June, The Darling of Vaudeville." 

Proceeds from Marathon '33 benefit Abingdon Theatre Company. The evening is set to honor five-time Tony Award-winner Julie Harris and Abingdon Board Chairman Emeritus Margot London.

For 16 seasons, Abingdon has been a home for creative writers and loyal audiences. Abingdon is proud to foster positive collaboration by emerging, mid-term, and established artists; perpetuate dialogues between audiences and artists; engage an ever-growing and diversfying audience; and, explore the fabric of the American story. For more information about Abingdon Theatre Company visit www.abingdontheatre.org.

Photos by Monica Simoes

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Original Poster for MARATHON '33

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Webster Hall Marquee, Monday October 19, 2009

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Popcorn machine

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Original Scenery from the 1963 Broadway production of Marathon '33

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Steve Luker, Bill Nabel, Noah Aberlin and Kirstin Tucker

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Kirstin Tucker

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Kirstin Tucker and Noah Aberlin

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Jan Buttram, Abingdon Theatre Company Artistic Director, at microphone with the cast

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Jan Buttram, Abingdon Theatre Company Artistic Director; Peter Gregus, Co-director and co-choreographer of MARATHON '33

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Jan Buttram, Abingdon Theatre Company Artistic Director; Tome Cousin, Co-director and co-choreographer of MARATHON '33

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Kirstin Tucker, Tana Sibilio and Noah Aberlin

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Kirstin Tucker and Noah Aberlin

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Noah Aberlin and Kirstin Tucker

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Noah Aberlin and Kirstin Tucker

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Noah Aberlin and Andrew Rannells

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Kirstin Tucker and Rachelle Rak

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Kirstin Tucker and Rachelle Rak

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Kirstin Tucker and Rachelle Rak

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Rachelle Rak

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Kirstin Tucker and Noah Aberlin

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Sonia Nolfi

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Erika Shannon

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Andrew Rannells

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Lisa Biagini and John Alix

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Curtis Howard

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Andrew Rannells

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Cast of MARATHON '33

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Cast of MARATHON '33

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Cast of MARATHON '33

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Andrew Rannells

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Kirstin Tucker

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Noah Aberlin and Kirstin Tucker

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Kirstin Tucker and Noah Aberlin

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Kirstin Tucker, Peter Brouwer and Rachelle Rak

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Kirstin Tucker and Peter Brouwer

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Kirstin Tucker

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Karen Ziemba

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Guy Strobel

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Karen Ziemba

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Karen Ziemba

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Karen Ziemba

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Merle Louise

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Jacqueline Mayro

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Alice Playten

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Leigh Ann Larkin

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Sami Gayle

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Rex Reed

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Michael Deep

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Original MARATHON '33 cast members Libby Dean and Lee Allen with Noah Aberlin and Kirsten Tucker

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
Merle Louise and Karen Ziemba

Photo Coverage: Abingdon Theatre Company's MARATHON '33 Benefit Celebration
The Junes of GYPSY:? Merle Louise, Jacqueline Mayro (1959), Leigh Ann Larkin, Sami Gayle (2008), Lane Bradbury (1959), Maureen Moore (1974)

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At a young age Monica Simoes became a fan of the stage forever. She always dreamt of being a part of theatrical magic. However, those dreams seemed thwarted by her inability to carry a note and her two left feet. Yet, that minor speed bump didn't stop her. She has melded her passion for theatre and her photographic skill to capture the essence of Broadway. Monica is currently a student at Parsons the New School for Design. She hopes to continue enjoying all that Broadway has to offer through the viewfinder of her camera.


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