Eastern State Penitentiary to Fling Over 2,000 Tastykakes From Their Towers

The Annual Bastille Day Celebration is about to get super wacky.

"Edith Piaf," AKA John Jarboe

“Edith Piaf,” AKA John Jarboe

There’s a Marie Antoinette impersonator, a drag queen singing French, and a ton of syntetically-produced cakes that are going to fly through the air. Anytime the Bearded Ladies get involved with an event, things are bound to get a little strange, but, this year, their partnership with the Eastern State Penitentiary Bastille Day Celebration is a whole other level of crazy.

The July 11th event at 5:30 pm starts off with a performance, featuring none other than Edith Piaf (performed by John Jarboe), Napoleon, Joan of Arc, Benjamin Franklin, and a six-foot tall French baguette. According to the Eastern State folks, audiences can expect to see some sort of theatrical treatment on “education, the departure of Mayor Nutter, the arrival of the Pope, and other recent Philadelphia phenomena.” As if that’s not strange enough, there will be confetti cannons, stilt walkers, lots and lots of cardboard, and “a catwalk so long it divides the whole of Fairmount Avenue.”

Then, the good stuff: A slew of French revolutionaries will storm the Penitentiary, capturing “Marie Antoinette” as she screams “Let them eat Tastykake!” There will be a “functioning guillotine” and over “2,000 Tastykakes” will fly from the prison’s towers.

The best part? It’s all free and open to the public. There’s even a pre-show that starts at 2:30 pm which features OOLALA, a “cosmological rock and roll band.” For more information on the zany afternoon of entertainment, visit the official website for the celebration.