Bastille Day celebration set for ex-prison

June 14, 2012 at 9:33 PM

PHILADELPHIA, June 14 (UPI) -- Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary will celebrate Bastille Day July 14 with a theatrical performance including Tastykakes being thrown from its towers.

The former prison, which is open for tours and serves as a museum, will put on the event in concert with The Bearded Ladies, an experimental cabaret group, a release from the museum said.

The celebration will present "the entire French Revolution in a 2-hour spectacle of song, dance and beheading for the penitentiary's annual Bastille Day festival," the release said.

Actors will impersonate French songstress Edith Piaf and historical figures Napoleon, Joan of Arc and Benjamin Franklin. Those notables will be accompanied by an actor the role of a French baguette, the release said.

The event is to feature "confetti cannons, stilt walkers, a cardboard horse and a catwalk so long that it divides the whole of Fairmount Avenue," the release said.

Tastykakes are baked confections that originated in Philadelphia in the early part of the 20th century.

Bastille Day marks the storming of the Bastille prison, built as a fortress, in Paris on July 14, 1789. While it only contained seven inmates at the time, its fall is a symbol of the start of the French Revolution.

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