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1920’s Speakeasy Costume Party & Benefit for Miss Lulu Bett, 3/30
WorkShop Theater Company will hold a costume benefit in support of its production of Miss Lulu Bett, by Zona Gale, the first play written by a woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1921), at the historic theater club The Players, 16 Gramercy Park South, on Tuesday, March 30th, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
COSTUMES ARE OPTIONAL
The theme of the event will be a Prohibition speakeasy, with entertainment in both the Main Ballroom and the Sargent Room. In the speakeasy tradition, beer & wine will be served in coffee cups. The event will relive the days when The Players was a gents-only establishment (its first female member was Helen Hayes, who joined in 1989) and the women who enjoyed its ambience did so as guests only. Entertainment will include singing, dancing and close-up magic from the cast and company artists of the WorkShop, vaudevillian pianist Annie Lebeaux, and others.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, Miss Lulu Bett, directed by Kathleen Brant, runs March 18 through April 3rd on the Main Stage at the WorkShop. The WorkShop Theater Company first presented Miss Lulu Bett in late February of 2008 as part of Voices, Pertinent and Timeless a reading series, conceived by company artist Lori Faiella, featuring the first three Pulitzer Prize-winning plays by women.
In January of 2009, the WorkShop Theater Company produced a staged reading of the play, directed by Debra Whitfield.
Miss Lulu Bett’s depiction of a woman discovering her independence was ground-breaking in 1921. Its world premiere took place on a temporary stage constructed at Sing Sing prison, after which it played on Broadway at the Belmont Theatre, produced by Brock Pemberton. In 1921, Zona Gale was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, becoming the first female writer to win the coveted prize. Miss Lulu Bett was then made into a silent film directed by William C. de Mille. Miss Gale also took an active part in the creation of the Wisconsin Equal Rights Law prohibiting discrimination against women.
Tickets for the benefit are $20 in advance (credit card online or by phone), $25 at the door (cash only). Doors will open at 7:30 p.m., with an open wine/beer bar from 8-9pm, cash bar after 9pm, and entertainment starting at 8:30, featuring pianist Annie Lebeaux and Gerrianne Raphael (The Man of La Mancha). A prize will be given to the best period costume and a raffle will be held for prizes including Broadway tickets and dance lessons.