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Early Risers / Night Owls … Come With Me – Help Save UNDER St. Marks

by Karen Tortora-Lee on April 4, 2011

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Linda Evangelista is the source of the oft-quoted line “I won’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day.” I’ve often paraphrased and said that I won’t get out of bed before six a.m. unless a number like that is mentioned. Yeah, well … how about a number like over 5 million?

Let me explain …

Horse Trade Theater Group (Erez Ziv, Managing Director, Heidi Grumelot, Artistic Director) learned today [March 30th] that 94. St. Marks Place, home to UNDER St. Marks Theater has been put up for sale at the market rate of $5,750,000.

Regular readers of The Happiest Medium know that UNDER St. Marks Theater is one of the theatres that I return to time and time again.  It’s where I first laid eyes on Killy Dwyer and Kill The Band, it’s where Alex Bond did her staged reading of Late Nights With The Boys, it’s where Penny Pollak holds Penny’s Open Mic and where Gigi LaFemme holds Revealed Burlesque. It’s where I saw Heidi Grumelot make a sock puppet into something much more in Donnie and the Monsters.  UNDER St. Marks is home to not only an army of downtown theatre artists but also to countless people who sit in the audience and shower them with love.  People like … me.


Horse Trade also announces that they will be mounting a capital campaign in order to purchase the property themselves. “Horse Trade Theater Group is poised for a wonderful expansion. We are looking forward to all of the possibilities owning our own space might realize,” said Horse Trade Artistic Director, Heidi Grumelot. Anyone interested in donating to Horse Trade Theater Group or taking part in the capitol campaign should contact

Well, this news had hardly hit the grapevine before all of downtown took it as a call to action — and very quickly Save UNDER St. Marks was formed.  Please join the group and throw your support behind this if you value all the precious gifts Horse Trade Theater Group has been able to funnel through this space.

So what does this have to do with getting up early?

Well, on Thursday, April 7 · 6:30am – 8:30am Save UNDER St. Marks is having a televised breakfast Event -

We want to invite you all to come out on Thursday morning at 6:45AM (yes AM) to join us in Showcasing the Horse Trade Talent at UNDER St Marks on NY1. Roger Clark will be there to interview us about UNDER St. Marks.

There will be two segments shot, one at 7am and the other around 8am, between the two segments we will run it open mic style with folks jumping up to do short 5 minute sets, the theme will be OWN IT.

We need a good turn out to show NYC that this is so important that even Artists are willing to get out of bed at 6AM and represent.

So if you can stay up all night and get there early — or if you can get out of bed, get yourself purty and look alive — please come join me at UNDER St. Marks on Thursday, April 7 · 6:30am – 8:30am.

Do it because there are moments when you need to join your voice with others in order to make a difference.  And this is one of those moments.

I’ll see you there.  Right?


More Info about UNDER St. Marks:

UNDER St. Marks is a downtown performance venue with a rich history. An experimental theatre space since the 1970’s, this 45-seat basement theater is now home to a wide variety of performance artists including The BTK Band, Penny’s Open Mic, Revealed Burlesque, Thank You Robot, Adam Wade, Tanya O’Debra, The Management, Little Lord, the Rising Sun Performance Company, No Tea Productions, Wide Eyed Productions, Animal Parts, Subjective Theatre Company, The Pumpkin Pie Show, and the FRIGID New York Festival.

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