Arts and Entertainment

Five things you didn’t know about the Marx Brothers

Frank Ferrante stars as Groucho Marx in “An Afternoon With Groucho,” coming to Bainbridge Performing Arts at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. Tickets are on sale and available at www.bainbridgeperformingarts.org, by phone at 206-842-8569 or in person at BPA (200 Madison Ave. N). The cost is $20. - Image courtesy of Bainbridge Performing Arts
Frank Ferrante stars as Groucho Marx in “An Afternoon With Groucho,” coming to Bainbridge Performing Arts at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18. Tickets are on sale and available at www.bainbridgeperformingarts.org, by phone at 206-842-8569 or in person at BPA (200 Madison Ave. N). The cost is $20.
— image credit: Image courtesy of Bainbridge Performing Arts

Award-winning actor, director and playwright Frank Ferrante presents “An Afternoon With Groucho,” his acclaimed portrayal of legendary comedian Groucho Marx, at Bainbridge Performing Arts for a one-time-only performance at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18.

Tickets are $20 a person, and are available online at www.bainbridgeperformingarts.org, by phone at 206-842-8569 or in person at BPA.

Five things you didn’t know about the Marx Brothers:

1. There were actually six brothers.

The first-born Marx brother was Manfred Marx. He was born in 1885 and died, most likely of tuberculosis, while still an infant. The next oldest brother, Chico, was born in 1887.

2. The Marx Brothers were bad farmers.

At the beginning of conscription during World War I, the Marx’s mother, Minnie, knowing that farmers were except from military service, bought a small poultry farm in Illinois and moved the boys there to work it. Their farce was eventually discovered, but only Gummo was drafted, thus making room in the act for the youngest of the Marxes, Zeppo.

3. Groucho was a dropout.

The face of the Marx Brothers was actually forced by his own mother to quit school when he was 13 and get a job. He never returned.

4. Harpo kept distinguished company.

Although he was only semi-literate, Harpo was a regular fixture of the famed Algonquin Round Table alongside Dorothy Parker, Alexander Woollcott and Robert Benchley.

5. Groucho had a record.

In 1971, when asked by reporters from the San Francisco newspaper Take One if there was any hope for Nixon, Groucho immediately replied, “No. I think the only hope for this country is Nixon’s assassination.”

His controversial comment made the media rounds quickly and he was actually investigated by the FBI for a time as a potential threat the President (his file was No. CO 1297009207).

Source: “Groucho’s threat against Nixon & 9 more Marx Brothers stories” by David Holzel, originally published by mentalfloss.com.

 

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