In late October, the water surged over Surf Avenue in Brooklyn, NY. Amongst the businesses and residences the water damaged or destroyed was The Coney Island Museum, home of “Burlesque At The Beach”, which many believe to be the birthplace of the burlesque revival on the east coast.
On ‘Black Friday’, while much of America was shopping in malls and big box stores, Scratch and Miss Mina Murray, two of The Boston Babydolls, loaded their car with cleaning and construction supplies and headed for the museum to spend the day helping out. Despite it being more than 3 weeks after the storm hit and receded, evidence of the hurricane was still readily apparent. ”Water damaged walls had been torn out to the height of four of five feet, the wiring all needs to be replaced, and hundreds of artifacts need to be cleaned and inventoried to see if they can be salvaged or repaired”, said Scratch. Scratch, who has a background in construction, spent the day removing damaged light fixtures from the ceiling.
“We were glad we could help out, but when we left we wanted to do more”, said Scratch. ”I talked with Patrick [Wall – the house manager at the museum, tasked with managing the volunteers] and decided to turn The 3rd Annual Burlesque Marathon into a benefit for the museum.”
The annual burlesque marathon takes place at The Coolidge Corner Theatre in late November or early December. The all-night event starts at midnight on Saturday and runs through breakfast – “pastries with folks in pasties” – on Sunday morning. Dozens of burlesquers from all over the northeast perform between 80 and 100 acts over the course of about eight hours.
The burlesque action will be punctuated by raffle drawings once an hour. On offer are prizes from local, national, and international vendors and donors, including everything from tickets to the upcoming Boston Babydolls’ show, The Bod of Avon, restaurants to classes (burlesque and otherwise) to DVDs and those burlesque essentials, pasties.
The Third Annual Boston Burlesque Marathon begins at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Dec 1. Tickets are $25 in advance, $35 on the day of the event and available at The Coolidge Corner Theater box office (290 Harvard St., Brookline MA) or on-line.
The Coney Island Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located at 1208 Surf Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11224. Information about donations and relief efforts can be found at http://www.coneyisland.com/volunteer.shtml