By Beth David, Editor
Readers and listeners from near and far converged upon the New Bedford Whaling Museum for the 2020 Moby-Dick Marathon this weekend. Opening night was Friday, with a meal and presentations, but the main event was the annual reading of Herman Melville’s beloved tale about the white whale and an obsessed Captain Ahab.
Most of the readings took place at the museum, but Father Mapple’s sermon took place at the Seamen’s Bethel, where the podium replicates the bow of a ship, just like the 1956 movie starring Gregory Peck.
At about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Culture*Park Theatre performed Chapter 40, “Midnight on the Forecastle,” in the Cook Memorial Theatre of the museum.
The show included singing, dancing, and lyrics like: “Until we sight Gayhead off old Martha’s Vineyard, And straight up the channel to New Bedford we’ll go,” sung with the gusto of a whaler.
Up in the Harbor View Gallery, Zack Atkinson from Syracuse, NY, and his friend Steve Peters, followed along to chapter 36 at about 7 p.m.
Mr. Atkinson said it was his first time participating in the marathon.
Mr. Peters said he attended an author event and she talked about the marathon, so he looked into it.
“I always wanted to read it,” said Mr. Peters. “So I started now.”
Michael Obel-Omia from Barrington, RI, said he has been reading in the marathon since 2011, even though he had a stroke in 2016, including aphasia (difficulty forming language).
He and a group of friends, “happy readers,” stopped on the stairs to grab a photo with the whale bones of the Jacobs Family Gallery in the background.
To learn more about the museum and the annual marathon, visit https://www.whalingmuseum.org
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