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An exhibit celebrating the visual legacy of American theatrical costuming spanning more than 50 years and over a dozen productions. Read more

Jersey City, NJ Theater
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This project was successfully funded on March 24, 2013.

An exhibit celebrating the visual legacy of American theatrical costuming spanning more than 50 years and over a dozen productions.

Jersey City, NJ Theater
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About this project

Costuming the Great White Way
March 22 – 24, 2013
Set within the majestic Baroque/Rococo interiors of the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre, this exhibition celebrates the visual legacy of American theatrical costuming. A collaboration with Friends of the Loew’s, STAGEfest 2013 and Jersey City’s theatrical costume rental company Leading Lady Costumes, the exhibition features original costumes designed by Tony award-winning designers and worn by celebrities of stage and film. This exhibit encompasses over a dozen productions spanning more than 50 years. Costumes on display include an imperial court gown worn by the star of the silver screen and Broadway Lillian Gish from the 1965 production of “Anya”, finale costumes from the original 1975 production of “A Chorus Line”, and creepy and kooky costumes from the recent production of “The Addams Family”. Join us as we explore theatrical costuming in the grand setting of the Historic Loew’s Jersey Theatre.

I have started this fundraising campaign to help defray costs associated with this exhibit.  I have always dreamed of being able to put on an exhibit like this, and have been compiling historical costumes and memorabilia for nearly 20 years!  In order to pull off this show, I need to pay for mannequin rentals, display fabrics, signage, crowd control devices (stanchions, etc), and rental/purchase of lighting equipment to show off the beautiful treasures within the grand lobby of the Loew's Jersey Theatre.

18th Century men's costume from Broadway's "The Addams Family"
18th Century men's costume from Broadway's "The Addams Family"
1912 Evening Gown worn by the character Ida Strauss in the Broadway production of "Titanic the Musical"
1912 Evening Gown worn by the character Ida Strauss in the Broadway production of "Titanic the Musical"
View of the Grand Lobby of the Loew's Jersey Theatre where this exhibit will be housed.
View of the Grand Lobby of the Loew's Jersey Theatre where this exhibit will be housed.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you in advance for taking the time to look at my project and for your consideration in helping fund this new exciting opportunity.  As they say--every little bit helps, so don't be shy or worried that you can't contribute very much.  Every penny will help make this exhibit a reality!

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge on this project is going to be the lighting! The lobby spaces are very large and the lighting and electrical systems are outdated. I'm having to source inexpensive low wattage units to keep from blowing the buildings circuits! Once we solve the lighting issue everything else is in the bag so to speak.

Luckily my years of hoarding and collecting costume pieces and accessories will finally serve a purpose. Every costume will be presented as complete and fully accessorized as it would have been in it's original production.

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FAQ

  • From Wikipedia:

    "Great White Way" is a nickname for a section of Broadway in the Midtown section of the New York City borough of Manhattan, specifically the portion that encompasses the Theatre District, between 42nd and 53rd Streets, and encompassing Times Square.

    In 1880, a stretch of Broadway between Union Square and Madison Square was illuminated by Brush arc lamps, making it among the first electrically lighted streets in the United States.[13] By the 1890s, the portion from 23rd Street to 34th Street was so brightly illuminated by electrical advertising signs, that people began calling it "The Great White Way."[14] When the theatre district moved uptown, the name was transferred to the Times Square area. The phrase Great White Way has been attributed to Shep Friedman, columnist for the New York Morning Telegraph in 1901, who lifted the term from the title of a book about the Arctic by Albert Paine.[15] The headline "Found on the Great White Way" appeared in the February 3, 1902, edition of the New York Evening Telegram.[15] A portrait of Broadway in the early part of the 20th century and "The Great White Way" late at night appeared in "Artist In Manhattan"(1940)[16] written by the painter-writer Jerome Myers: Early morn on Broadway, the same light that tips the mountain tops of the Colorado canyons gradually discloses the quiet anatomy, the bare skeletons of the huge iron signs that trellis the sky, now denuded of the attractions of the volcanic night. Almost lifeless, the tired entertainers of the night clubs and their friends straggle to their rooms, taximen compare notes and earnings, the vast street scene has had its curtain call, the play is over. Dear old Broadway, for many years have I dwelt on your borders. I have known the quiet note of your dawn. Even earlier I would take my coffee at Martin's, at 54th Street–now, alas, vanished–where I would see creatures of the night life before they disappeared with the dawn. One night a celebrated female impersonator came to the restaurant in all his regalia, directly from a club across the street. Several taximen began to poke fun at him. Unable any longer to bear their taunts, he got up and knocked all the taximen out cold. Then he went back to the club, only to lament under his bitter tears, "See how they've ruined my dress!" Gone are the old-time Broadway oyster bars and chop houses that were the survivors of a tradition of their sporting patrons, the bon vivants of Manhattan. Gone are the days when the Hoffman House flourished on Madison Square, with its famous nudes by Bouguereau; when barrooms were palaces, on nearly every corner throughout the city; when Steve Brodie, jumping from Brooklyn Bridge, splashed the entire country with publicity; when Bowery concert halls dispensed schooners of beer for a nickel, with a stage show thrown in; when Theis's Music Hall still resounded on 14th Street with its great mechanical organ, the wonder of its day, a place of beauty, with fine paintings and free company and the frankest of female life. Across the street was Tammany Hall, and next to it Tony Pastor's, where stars of the stage were born. Tony himself, in dress clothes and top hat, sang his ballads, a gallant trouper introducing Lillian Russell and others to fame through his audience.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    15 backers

    You will have the honor of being listed as a contributor on a "Special Thanks" sign displayed in the lobby of the historic Loew's Jersey Theatre

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    2 backers

    You will receive a complimentary theatrical costume rental for yourself valid for one year as well as having the honor of being listed as a contributor on a "Special Thanks" sign displayed in the lobby of the historic Loew's Jersey Theatre.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    10 backers

    You will receive 2 complimentary theatrical costume rentals valid for one year as well as having the honor of being listed as a contributor on a "Special Thanks" sign displayed in the lobby of the historic Loew's Jersey Theatre

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States

Funding period

- (33 days)