Point Park University’s Conservatory Theatre Company presents the world premiere of Marathon 33 (M33) at the Pittsburgh Playhouse Feb. 24 – March 4 with a preview on Feb. 23. Marathon 33 (M33) is based on the play Marathon 33 by June Havoc; original and adapted materials are by Tome’ Cousin and Peter Gregus. Cousin and Gregus direct and choreograph; original music and arrangements are by Douglas Levine.
Freshly minted from June Havoc’s original play, revisions and her personal treasure trove of artistic artifacts, this newly adapted and unforgettable theatrical experience brings to life the incredulous world of the dance marathons in Depression-era 1933, at the height of one of the country’s darkest hours. Mixing elements of vaudeville theater, burlesque, music hall and new media with a heavy dose of sadism and masochism, we experience a new perspective on the famed Havoc family (Mama Rose, Baby/Dainty June and Louise “Gypsy Rose Lee”), through the eyes, soul and body of the teen-aged June. The place is the often brutal, absurdly humorous, dangerous and exciting world of the dance marathons, littered with people who would do almost anything for a meal, money, a shot at fame and a place to survive.
This riveting story is brought to life by a cast of 27 Conservatory students. Scenic design is by Michael Thomas Essad; costume design is by Don DiFonso; lighting design is by Andrew David Ostrowski; sound design is by Steve Shapiro; and projection design is by Jessi Sedon-Essad.
The evolution of the world premiere of Marathon 33 (M33) is being chronicled on a special website that serves as a one-stop destination for behind-the-scenes rehearsal access, sneak peeks at set design/construction, music, video blogs and real-time tweets from our cast and crew, a glimpse into June Havoc’s personal archives and much more. Content is updated multiple times a week and can be viewed on by clicking on the M33 tab on the Playhouse Facebook page or on www.wix.com/pointparku/m33.
Cousin, an alumnus of Point Park University, is an internationally recognized director, choreographer, educator, performer and creator of musical theater works, ballets, films, new opera, song cycles, and art installations, in addition to being a published author. He currently teaches at Carnegie Mellon University’s department of drama.
Gregus can currently be seen performing the role of Bob Crewe in the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys on Broadway. He has also performed in the original cast of Lincoln Center Theater’s Contact and directed and choreographed several regional productions.
Marathon 33 (M33) will run Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets range in price from $18 to $20 and can be purchased by calling the Pittsburgh Playhouse box office at 412-392-8000 or online at www.pittsburghplayhouse.com
The ‘pay what you will performance’ will be on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.