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Billy Hayes_RidingTheMidnightExpress 2.j

Riding the Midnight Express with Billy Hayes


In a dynamic performance, Billy Hayes recounts the true story of his time in Turkish prisons and his brazen, harrowing escape. In 1970, Hayes was arrested at the Istanbul Airport and sentenced to life in prison. Five years later, Billy escaped from Imrali Island prison in the dead of night, rowing 17 miles in a raging storm to freedom.  Upon his return, he wrote Midnight Express, which became an instant best-seller published in 18 languages, and on which Oliver Stone's iconic Academy Award-winning film was based.


Take a chance:  this is edge-of-your-seat dramatic storytelling at its finest with an inspirational lesson we can all benefit from about taking responsibility for our actions (and their consequences), and finding the personal determination within to rise above desperation to transform our lives.  Truly inspirational !

"An engrossing tale... appealing... stirring." - The New York Times


"If there are lessons for us to learn from his show — about appreciating what we have and living in the moment — there’s also the reminder that the possibility of redemption is wrapped into every bad decision a person can make. Some of us just have to spend harder time to find it." - Democrat and Chronicle


"...a thrilling firsthand account...which feels more like listening to a fantastical story at a cocktail party than it does watching a show onstage." - TheatreMania


"The show is intriguing and, as expected, harrowing. The surprise comes with the flashes of beauty, including memories of migrating storks and being covered in a “blizzard of butterflies.” Imagery about freedom takes flight, and so does the show." - NY Daily News


"...a fascinating evening in the company of someone with quite a gripping story to recount." -


"Hayes is a mesmerizing storyteller. He [recounts his experiences] with animation, charm and dry, self-effacing humor even though the barbarity he endured is prime edge-of-the-seat stuff." - Curtain Up


"Riding the Midnight Express is a memorable evening of theater that will appeal to any real life or armchair adventurer. Billy Hayes is a master storyteller who doesn't have to fictionalize any elements of his true life adventures: they are incredible enough." - Cinema Retro


"If watching dramatic escapes and prison breaks in the movies is a thrill ride for you, then getting to hear a real account told by the person who managed to live through it should be a blast off in a rocket...His descriptions were vivid throughout the show, but something about his escape just made me feel like I was watching it happen. With the flair he told the tale with, it was especially bone-chilling." - Rochester City Newspaper

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