On April 7th PresentArts will present “Sophie Lyons” to the Phelps Mansion Museum.
The museum will also be hosting an optional luncheon at 12:00pm before the program starts at 1:00 pm!
Sophie Lyons was a nineteenth-century American pickpocket, blackmailer, con-woman, and bank robber. She was raised in NYC’s underworld, by Jewish immigrant parents who were criminals that trained their children to pickpockets and shoplift.
She sold a lot of newspapers around the world as people followed her exploits for more than sixty years, as her life read like a novel. Her mentor was another forgotten woman who held a position of power in the underworld, Fredericka Marm’ Mandelbaum, a Jewish immigrant who became New York’s millionaire “Queen of Fences.” But Sophie had her rightful place in criminal history, as a woman who excelled in a man’s profession, achieved power and found a voice that enabled her to challenge society’s conventions of womanhood, motherhood, and sexuality.
Married to some of the most notorious burglars in America, Sophie escaped from Sing Sing Prison with one of her husbands, wore elaborate disguises, used her sex appeal to steal from wealthy men, invested a fortune in real estate, and gave it all away to reinvent herself as a philanthropist for the downtrodden.
“Pretty Sophie” possessed a rare combination of skill at thievery, intellect, guts, and beauty and became the woman Herbert Ashbury described in “Gangs of New York” as, “the most notorious confidence woman America has ever produced.”
**Reservations must be received by April 5th at 5 pm, if you cancel a reservation with less than 48 hours notice you will still be required to pay $14 for lunch. *
Lunch and Program: $20/person
Program Only: $5/person .
No reservations are necessary for program-only admission.
To make reservations or for more information, call (607) 722-4873.