When Hips and Squares Collide


Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.

March 9, 1961, Vol. VI, No. 20

‘Tis Merry to Be Married in a Village Coffee House

By Mary Virginia Briggs

The Harlequin Cafe Theatre at 23 West 8th Street witnessed one of its most extraordinary productions last Sunday, with the marathon marriage of Miss Judith Ann Friedenberg to Manuel Roth.

The bride is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Friedenberg, of Brooklyn. Her husband’s parents are Mr. and Mrs. Joe Roth, of Miami, Florida.

The ceremony, which was performed by Rabbi Feinstein, was held in the Harlequin (a coffee house on the site of the former night club, the Morrocan Village) because of an atmosphere appropriate to Mr. Roth’s activities. He is the owner of two MacDougal Street area coffee houses. Several of the reception guests were also coffee-house owners, entertainers or employees.

The pre-reception, the ceremony, and two following receptions lasted for an estimated 7 to 8 hours. Relays of dance bands, folk singers, and other entertainers performed before hundreds of guests, while a banquet, and an amazing, unending supply of other refreshments was made available in an adjacent room.

The guests of late afternoon provided interesting counterpoint in what was probably one of the most cosmpolitan affairs in recent Village history. Among the men, the standard dark suits of business and professional worlds were contrasted by the striped shirts, corduroy jackets, and in some cases the bearded faces of Mr. Roth’s more flamboyant acquaintances…

Although both conservative and Village elements tended to eye each other with obvious curiosity – even interest – the twain did not appear to meet…

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