21st Century Parker

Among the cast, from top, are Anne Levy, Bryan Brendle and Candy Simmons.

I’ve been waiting for a Dorothy Parker production that isn’t set in the Roaring Twenties. Who hasn’t thought that “A Telephone Call” couldn’t be done with a cell phone in hand, rather than one of those old-fashioned big black rotary dial things? Or watching “Here We Are” performed on the “D” train in Brooklyn? Now I think my wish is going to come true.

Mark your calendars for the first (I believe) 21st Century Dorothy Parker adaptation in NYC. We heard from Candy Simmons of Dream Out Loud Productions who is helping to write and perform in “The Sexes (According to Dorothy Parker)”. It is at the New York Comedy Club, 241 E. 24th Street (bet. Second and Third avenues) Nov. 9 and Nov. 13-16 at 7 p.m.

If you read the Archives, people produce their own Parker plays several times a year, all over the country. They all seem to be about the same: period costumes, period hairstyles, etc. So the news that Candy and her company of young Actors is FINALLY bringing Mrs. Parker into 2001 is a cool thing indeed.

“We are aiming for a timeless kind of feeling, but it’s definitely a modern
adaptation, cell phones, etc,” Candy wrote to us. Candy, along with Anne Levy and Bryan Brendle adapted the script.

“We are all huge fans of Ms. Parker and thought it would be wonderful
to create a stage show from a group of her short stories and poems,” she said. “We
wanted to try to create a show that could turn more people on to her writing by showcasing her language in an accessible relevant way. We have written some transitional lines and updated a few words here and there, but we were very careful to preserve the integrity of her work.”

The show is backed up by a local jazz combo, D’Flo, regulars at the Elbow Room. The writers picked some of Mrs. Parker’s most famous pieces.

Candy says, “The stories we use are: Telephone Call, New York to Detroit, Dusk Before Fireworks, Just a Little One and of course The Sexes, with several poems
thrown in. The show takes place at a present day jazz club and follows several relationships and their inevitable communication issues over the course of an hour.”

The cast consists of Bryan Brendle, Jenn Fraser, Anne Levy, Sam Mossler, Candy Simmons and Jennifer Swiderski.

The show is a low $5 cover; and the old Two Drink Minimum (no problem for the Dorothy Parker Society of New York). For reservations: 212-712-7029; and visit the Dream Out Loud website, www.dolproductions.org.

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