[caption id="attachment_907" align="alignright" width="219"] Under the Table: A Dorothy Parker Cocktail Guide[/caption]The iconic Manhattan writer and wit Dorothy Parker will be toasted with the cocktails she adored so much at a special book announcement celebration at the Blue Bar at the legendary Algonquin Hotel on Friday, May 31, 2013, from 5 to 7 p.m., for UNDER THE TABLE: A DOROTHY PARKER COCKTAIL GUIDE, by Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, president of the international Dorothy Parker Society. As part of Book Expo America, Fitzpatrick will be at the landmark hotel at 59 West 44th Street to talk about the book and the cocktail recipes he’s included within its pages, and, hopefully, to share drinks with thirsty publishing industry professionals. The book itself will be published by Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press, in November 2013. To celebrate UNDER THE TABLE, the hotel will be serving the vintage cocktails that are featured in the book, from the driest martini to the signature Matilda Cocktail, named for the resident feline. The event is free and open to the public (over 21; cash bar only). Sorry, but Mrs. Parker, who said her favorite two words were “cheque” and “enclosed,” will not be giving away free drinks. Few writers have earned Dorothy Parker’s reputation for drinking as much or as hard, and fewer still have achieved her notorious skill at wisecracking wit. Author Kevin C. Fitzpatrick gives an intoxicating new look at the doyenne of the ripping riposte through the lens she most preferred: the bottom of a glass. A bar book for Parker enthusiasts and literary tipplers alike, UNDER THE TABLE offers a unique take on Parker, the infamous Algonquin Round Table, and the Jazz Age, by profiling and celebrating the drinks that she, her bitter friends, and sweetest enemies enjoyed and discussed. Each entry of this delicious compendium offers a fascinating and lively background of a period cocktail, its ingredients, and the characters associated with it. The book also features a special selection of twenty-first century speakeasy-style recipes from top mixologists from across the country. A complete recipe with detailed instructions forms the centerpiece of each entry, topped off with illuminating excerpts from Parker’s poems, stories, and other writings, allowing readers to enjoy her world from the speakeasies of New York City to the watering holes of Hollywood. About the Author Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, president of the Dorothy Parker Society, is the author of A Journey into Dorothy Parker’s New York (Roaring Forties Press) and co-editor of The Lost Algonquin Round Table: Humor, Fiction, Journalism, Criticism and Poetry from America's Most Famous Literary Circle (Donald Books). He has been leading walking tours from the Algonquin Hotel for 15 years. What: Pre-publication launch of Under the Table: A Dorothy Parker Cocktail Guide, by Kevin C. Fitzpatrick, (Lyons Press November 2013; ISBN: 978-0-7627-9268-9) Where: The Blue Bar, Algonquin Hotel, 59 West 44th St., New York. Note: cash bar. When: Friday, May 31, 2013 from 5 to 7 p.m.
Are you looking for a dose of the vintage lifestyle in May that goes beyond a movie theatre? read on! Live 1920s jazz. Vintage cocktails. Period attire and dancing. Don't miss the monthly Dorothy Parker Society and Wit’s End party, Saturday, May 25, featuring Svetlana Shmulyian and the Delancey Five. The party is at Flute Midtown. Advance tickets are $12 and are available now. That afternoon, at Noon at the Algonquin Hotel, is the Algonquin Round Table Walking Tour. Tickets are $20 each. The Algonquin Round Table comes alive in the only New York walking tour devoted to the famed literary group. The 2-hour walk celebrates Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, George S. Kaufman, Harpo Marx, Edna Ferber, Franklin P. Adams, Heywood Broun, Harold Ross, Robert Sherwood, Marc Connelly and the rest of the Vicious Circle. [caption id="attachment_328" align="alignright" width="214"] May 25 2013 Party[/caption]Saturday night, May 26, celebrate the social life of the Jazz Age with Wit’s End. Come in your finest vintage or vintage-inspired evening attire and celebrate in style! Dance to music from the era and sip classic cocktails. Dress Code: Vintage/Vintage-inspired (gentlemen coat & tie; ladies eveningwear). Our hostess is the sassiest showgirl in town, Kita St Cyr! She sets the tone for a fun night of Prohibition Era revelry. Bring your friends to experience New York’s best vintage night. Svetlana Shmulyian and the Delancey Five have been earning rave reviews from premier NYC jazz clubs to the underground world of subway and secret speakeasy parties. They have been called "very sweet & naughty" (Jazzlives), "energetic" (Wall Street Journal), "delightful" (WRHU Jazz Radio), and a cinematically handsome Golden Age-inspired sextet. Rocking hard swinging 20s-40s jazz standards as well as charismatic originals, and featuring Svetlana's sultry "made for jazz" (streetcredmusic) vocals backed by the band members' inspired harmonizing and virtuoso instrumentals - their tunes are so infectious, they'll sweep you off your feet and steal your heart away. Led by energetic vocalist Svetlana Shmulyian, the quintet co-stars Adrian Cunningham on clarinet and tenor (shining on "Lester Leaps In") while Dalton Ridenhour piano work ensures that the group splits the difference between Fat Waller's Rhythm and Counts Basie's Kansas City Five" (Will Friedwald, Wall Street Journal, 9.15.12) and also features "the native guitar wizard" (JazzLive) Ted Gottsegen, Rob Garcia, “...one of New York’s great jazz drummers and composers.” (Capital New York) and “a prime mover in the current Brooklyn jazz scene...” (Time Out-New York) and powerful and in-demand New York City bassist Brandi Disterheft ("She has the same lope or rhythmical pulse as my late bass player, Ray Brown. She is what we call serious." - Oscar Peterson). Listen to Baby It's Cold Outside! Doors open at 7 free dance lessons at 8:30! Advance tickets available via TicketWeb Flute Midtown, 205 W 54th St, New York, New York 10019 Table reservations are available and encouraged; telephone Flute Midtown reservation line at 212.265.5169 to reserve a table.
The snow is (almost) gone so it is time to start the walking tour season again. The first one is Saturday, March 30. Meet in the lobby of the Algonquin Hotel at Noon. The Algonquin Round Table comes alive in the only New York walking tour devoted to the famed literary group. The 2-hour walk celebrates Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, George S. Kaufman, Harpo Marx, Edna Ferber, Franklin P. Adams, Heywood Broun, Harold Ross, Robert Sherwood, Marc Connelly and the rest of the Vicious Circle. The tour begins and ends at the landmark Algonquin Hotel, 59 West 44th Street. The tour encompasses the Theatre District, Rockefeller Center, Times Square and Hell's Kitchen. Guests will see the former homes, haunts and hangouts of the Vicious Circle of the 1920s. See where The New Yorker began, visit the spots where the speakeasies once stood, and walk in the footsteps of the legendary wits. There are more than 40 destinations on the tour; among them are places associated with the Vicious Circle: speakeasies, theaters, offices, homes and landmarks. Immediately following the walking tours guests have the option of having cocktails on the Upper West Side, or lunch at the Round Table in the hotel's award-winning restaurant (cost of lunch separate). Tickets are $20 each and can be ordered in advance on TicketWeb, or get them at the walk (cash or credit cards accepted. The remainder of the 2013 schedule is here.
[caption id="attachment_896" align="alignright" width="300"] Lizzie Thomas[/caption]Spring is here and we are getting into the season with a speakeasy party with a fantastic female vocalist! The Dorothy Parker Society and Wit's End are proud to bring you Lizzie Thomas and Her Band. The date is Saturday, March 30. The place is Flute Midtown, 205 W. 54th Street (at Broadway). The doors open at 7. If you love jazz and dressing in vintage clothes, this is the party for you. We have such a great turnout of amazing people. Our hostess is burlesque showgirl Kita St Cyr! We will of course serve Prohibition era cocktails. Take a free dance lesson at 8:30. Our very special guest at the party is author Ellen Meister, who just a couple weeks ago released Farewell, Dorothy Parker. The critically acclaimed novel is getting a lot of attention. We'll have a few copies to raffle off, and Ellen will be signing copies too. Dress code: Jacket and tie, vintage or vintage-inspired, Jazz Age, evening wear, cocktail attire and of course, seasonal! 1920s, 30s and 40s vintage is encouraged! Just $12 at the door or in advance via TicketWeb. Table reservations are available and encouraged; telephone Flute Midtown reservation line at 212.265.5169 to reserve a table. Follow Wit's End on Twitter and Pinterest!
The BBC Radio journalist Joanne Griffith interviewed me about the life and legacy of Dorothy Parker in January. The interview is now available to listen to here (it is #8 on the list). Note that Mrs. Parker helped found the Screen Writers Guild, not the Screen Actors Guild. The address of the Algonquin Hotel is 59 West 44th Street. Thanks to the BBC for the opportunity to appear on its show.
[caption id="attachment_891" align="alignright" width="234"] The Bonnet Bash: Night and Day[/caption]We heard from our good friends at the National Arts Club about a party it is hosting this month. Grab your hats and attend. Here is the press release: Celebrate the chapeaux of sunny days and moonlit nights of an era when one was never truly dressed without a hat. The Bonnet Bash: Night and Day Friday, March 15th, 2013 8pm-12am The National Arts Club 15 Gramercy Park South Dance to the vintage music of the Avalon Jazz Band, strut your headpiece in the hat parade, meet celebrity milliners, craft a chapeau of your own design, discover your best hat style at the milliner’s photo booth and peruse the gallery installation created especially for this event by the Milliners Guild while enjoying vintage cocktails, a light supper and parlor entertainments. “Night and Day” is a popular song by Cole Porter. It was written for the 1932 musical play Gay Divorce. It is perhaps Porter’s most popular contribution to the Great American Songbook and has been recorded by dozens of artists. Vintage-inspired day and evening attire with coordinating headgear is highly encouraged! Prizes will be awarded for the Most Glamorous, Most Outrageous and Best Period Hat. $75.00 per person RSVP: 212-475-3424
After the New York Times wrote the kind of story a company would cut its arms off to get, I added a Goodreads book club this week. The Dorothy Parker Society Constant Reader Book Club is open for business and book lovers. It would be nice to build this up as a place to talk about books. We tried message boards on dorothyparker.com a couple times, and the interest was tiny. So perhaps with Goodreads, with its well-funded and mass appeal, will help Dorothy Parker fans who adore reading. Check it out.
These are the dates for the walking tours for the first half of 2013: Saturday, March 30: Algonquin Round Table Walking Tour Saturday, April 27: Dorothy Parker's Upper West Side Tour Saturday, May 25: Algonquin Round Table Walking Tour Saturday, June 29: Dorothy Parker's Upper West Side Tour All walks start at Noon and are $20 per person. All walking tour information is here. The walks are the same day as the monthly Dorothy Parker Society parties co-sponsored with Wit's End that are held at Flute Midtown.
[caption id="attachment_876" align="alignright" width="300"] Dandy Wellington[/caption]A night not to pass up! The Dorothy Parker Society and Wit's End are proud to bring you Dandy Wellington and His Band. The date is Saturday, Feb. 23. The place is Flute Midtown, 205 W. 54th Street (at Broadway). The doors open at 7. If you love jazz and dressing in vintage clothes, this is the party for you. We have such a great turnout of amazing people. Our hostess is burlesque showgirl Kita St Cyr! We will of course serve Prohibition era cocktails. Take a free dance lesson at 8:30. Dress code: Jacket and tie, vintage or vintage-inspired, Jazz Age, evening wear, cocktail attire and of course, seasonal! 1920s, 30s and 40s vintage is encouraged! Just $12 at the door or in advance via TicketWeb. Table reservations are available and encouraged; telephone Flute Midtown reservation line at 212.265.5169 to reserve a table. Follow Wit's End on Twitter and Pinterest!
If you want a copy of A Journey into Dorothy Parker's New York for a gift, you can order it now and get it signed by the author. The cut-off date is 12/16 to get it before Christmas in the USA or 12/10 internationally. The book price is $20.00 USD each in the USA (free shipping!) or $30.00 USD internationally (shipping included). This is a first edition of the book, get it now before the second edition comes out in 2013. Publishers Weekly said of the book, "Part biography, part walking tour, Fitzpatrick's meticulously researched first book is an eye-opening account of the life and times of Dorothy Parker and a paean to Old Gotham." More about the book contents here.