This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001




Multiple locations
May 1-31, free - $35

As legend has it, during a card game in May 1914, vaudeville monologist and mimetic comedian Art Fisher rechristened Leonard, Arthur, Julius, and Milton Marx as Chicko (Chico), Harpo, Groucho, and Gummo, respectively. (Herbert was renamed Zeppo later.) So in May 2014, Marxfest will celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of that propitious event with a series of special programs in all five boroughs, paying tribute to the New York City natives with film screenings, panel discussion, plays, parties, and a reading of an upcoming musical production of the brothers Marx’s Broadway musical debut, which was never filmed and has not been revived, until now. In addition to the below highlights, there are free film screenings every Thursday afternoon (A Night at the Opera, Monkey Business, Room Service, A Day at the Races), a Barx Brothers Dogwalk costume contest, walking tours, and more.

Thursday, May 1
The Party of the First Part, opening night party at location where Harpo spent many a night with the likes of Heywood Broun, Dorothy Parker, Alexander Woollcott, and George S. Kaufman, Algonquin Hotel Blue Bar, 59 West 44th St., free admission (cash bar), 6:00 - 10:00 pm

Friday, May 2
From Angels to Anarchists: The Evolution of the Marx Brothers, with Trav S.D. discussing Marx Brothers’ transition from the singing group the Four Nightingales to a comedy act and Sarah Moskowitz performing early routines, Coney Island USA, 1208 Surf Ave., $7, 7:30

Sunday, May 4
An Evening with Groucho, starring Frank Ferrante, Williamson Theatre, College of Staten Island, $20-$25, 3:00

Wednesday, May 7
Marxes in Manhattan, with a theremin tribute by Rob Schwimmer, a re-creation of the Leroy Trio with Richard Pearson, Zachary Catron, and Kit Russoniello, a multimedia presentation on the Marx Brothers and their hometown by author and archivist Robert S. Bader, the Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal St., $24, 8:00

Friday, May 9
The Music of the Marx Brothers, with Marissa Mulder, Rebekah Lowin, Bill Zeffiro, Tonna Miller, Gelber & Manning, and special surprise guests, hosted by Dandy Wellington, 54 Below, 254 West 54th St., $25-$35 (plus $25 food and drink minimum), 11:00

Saturday, May 10
Anarchy in Astoria: The Making of the Marx Brothers’ First Two Pictures, with the American Vaudeville Theatre’s Trav S.D. discussing the making of The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers, Greater Astoria Historical Society, Quinn Building, 35-20 Broadway, fourth floor, $10, 1:30

Saturday, May 17
“You Bet Your Ass,” quiz show with host Murray Hill and announcer Jonny Porkpie, with burlesque stars Anita Cookie, Lady Scoutington, and Trixie Little & the Evil Hate Monkey, the Cutting Room, 44 East 32nd St., $14.99 in advance, $19.99 at the door, 10:00

Sunday, May 18
An Elephant in Your Pajamas . . . at the Zoo, the Bronx Zoo, meet at the south gate at noon in your pajamas, zoo admission of $13-$17, 12 noon

Sunday, May 25
I’ll Say She Is, full-length reading of first Marx Brothers Broadway musical, followed by panel discussion, the Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal St., $25, 5:00

Thursday, May 29
We’re All Mad Here: The Marx Brothers in Context, with Trav S.D. discussing the Marx Brothers’ vaudeville inspirations, Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Ave., free, 6:30

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