39 Years Later: Long Island Native Discusses Escape From Turkey

Photo: sohotheatre.com

Long Island native Billy Hayes was only 23 years old when he began smuggling hashish from Turkey, selling it to his friends back home in the U.S., until Oct. 1970, when he was arrested in Istanbul with two kilos of the stuff taped to his body.

Sentenced to life in prison, Hayes bribed a doctor to get him into the mental war of the Turkish prison system, located on an island. Using the cover of night, Hayes rowed over 17 miles out of Turkey to Greece who expedited him back to the U.S.

Once back in the states, Hayes would write Midnight Express, a book based on his accounts, which would later be adapted into a major motion picture directed by Alan Parker.

Now, thirty-nine years since his harrowing escape from a Turkish prison, Hayes, 67, returns to New York for a series of performances at the Barrow Street Theatre in Manhattan.

In this one-man show, Hayes reveals aspects never before told from his time in prison, his daring escape and life after Midnight Express.

Catch Billy Hayes, now through Nov. 30, as he performs his one-man show Riding the Midnight Express.

Tickets range from $45-$65. Performances are Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. There will also be a Q&A session with Hayes and the audience following each performance.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit Smarttix or call 212.868.4444, or at the Barrow Street Theatre box office.

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