At The Dead Poet, from top: three actresses from the show Candy, Anne and Jenn; Melissa (VP), Kevin (Prez) and Stu Silverstein; Jayne runs the table; Lynn, Jayne and Patricia.
The Dorothy Parker Society of New York picked up their glasses on Dec. 13 to celebrate Mrs. Parker. The group descended on one of the city’s newest and best taverns, The Dead Poet. The gathering on the Upper West Side of Manhattan was in the heart of Dot City and Mrs. Parker’s old stomping ground. Many of her former residences are located within shouting distance of the cozy little pub on Amsterdam Avenue.
The DPSNY welcomed many new members during the evening of drinking and talking. The group was especially lucky to welcome Dream Out Loud Productions, who performed selections from their hit play “The Sexes (According to Dorothy Parker)” for us [see Nov. 14, below]. This group of fine young actors really knocked everyone out! Big thanks to Bryan Brendle, Jenn Fraser, Anne Levy, Sam Mossler, Candy Simmons and Jennifer Swiderski for the excellent performance. They brought the house down, and their participation added a special dimension to the evening.
Our host, Drew Dvorkin, kept the drinks flowing all night. He set up an antique typewriter and stack of books on the bar as a nod to the infamous Mrs. Parker. On hand was a special guest, Stuart Y. Silverstein, who edited “Not Much Fun, the Lost Poems of Dorothy Parker.”
The DPSNY also welcomed the group’s new vice president, Melissa Evantash. She has lots of ideas of how to get us better organized – something we desperately need as we plan Parkerfest 2002 in August.
We also got to shoot pool and watch the Knicks game, not a bad combination! We wrapped up the evening with the presentation to The Dead Poet of a photo of Mrs. Parker for the bar’s walls. It will join other illustrious “dead poets” hanging there, such as Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau. The Parker photo also includes “Observation” (“If I don’t drive around the park…”) and a short inscription.
We asked one of the Society members to jot down some notes on the festivities, this is what Lynn Navarra had to say: “She’s not friend. She’s not foe. She seeks no one’s approval. She simply searches for a comfortable bar where she can find an ashtray and arrive before last call. She found it! And for a few lucky drinkers – they found her. Where, you may ask? At the Upper West Side’s crown jewel of course: The Dead Poet.
“For this happy West Sider, it was a delightful evening filled with cocktails, smoke and a very entertaining interpretation of Parker’s quips and short stories. Celebrating Parker’s 75th anniversary of her book, “Enough Rope”, in between the chiming of bells, three acts were performed.
“But the third act was what brought the raucous drinking crowd to chuckle heartless. If you should find yourself aimlessly walking up the avenue, seeking some friendly comfort and a literary atmosphere, do yourself a favor and join one the Upper West Side’s best-kept secrets, and fall into the soul of The Dead Poet.”