Barnum Museum Executive Director, Kathleen Maher will host a fun-filled talk; Fiction vs Fact! The Real story behind the Reel story!
Have you seen the 20th Century film The Greatest Showman yet? If you haven't, it’s still in many theaters so go and enjoy! If you have already seen it, we are sure you’re very curious about the accuracy of P.T. Barnum's life and times. Kathy has the answers and will share numerous bits and pieces of history that will set the record straight.
All in the spirit of fun, Kathy's talk will illuminate guests with an engaging journey through many key elements of the movie. From the depiction of Barnum's childhood in Connecticut, to his final bow with the Greatest Show On Earth, the talk will expand on the tales set in the screenplay and reveal even more fantastic stories of struggles and triumphs!
Consider this a Spoiler Alert. As portrayed in the movie, Barnum had a hard and sorrowful childhood. Kathy is happy to say he (Barnum) actually had a very pleasant childhood growing up in Bethel, Connecticut and he recounts many happy moments of his youth in his autobiography. “There were no trains from New York City to Bethel at that time and he and his father were never in New York on business. And the town of Bethel is over twenty miles away from the Long Island seashore so there were certainly no childhood moments of warm afternoons spent at the seaside for young Barnum. There are all kinds of liberties taken with the screenplay; many, many plots are an entanglement of truths throughout his life which made the movie engaging. The one-hour and forty-five-minute movie is about 50 years of Barnum’s long and busy life that was filled with extraordinary triumphs and heartbreaking struggles. I think Barnum would smile seeing he doesn’t age a minute in the film!"
If you are curious about P.T. Barnum, excited about the movie, or just want to learn more about how the Barnum Museum was involved, come and enjoy a fun afternoon that will surely have you leaving with a new and refreshed perspective. You'll never look at Hollywood or P.T. Barnum the same way! Bring your own questions! It will be fun to have your thoughts be a part of the conversation.
About: Kathleen Maher
Barnum Museum, Bridgeport, CT
Ms. Maher has 30 years of experience working at museums that are additionally recognized as National Historic Landmarks. Throughout her career, she has envisioned, authored and implemented numerous exhibitions and programs that explore a variety of 19th-century social historical themes. Subjects of in depth study range from American Civil War to the transformation of entertainment in 19th century America. Ms. Maher is considered a leading authority on P.T. Barnum history and speaks extensively on Barnum subjects throughout the United States.