Sarasota Show Based on Parker Works

Carolyn MichelCarolyn Michel brings Dorothy Parker to life in Jack Fournier’s one-woman show, Dorothy Parker: One Foot in Scarsdale. Performances of the show, a part of Florida Studio Theatre’s Summer Sideshows Series, begin June 30 in Sarasota’s Gompertz Theatre.

According to Fournier, the idea for a show about Parker started with a trivia question: “Who had the longest obituary, to date, in the New York Times?” The answer was Dorothy Parker. Her obituary was a page and a half long. This led Fournier to write a show based around Parker. After some audience input, he dubbed the play The Standup of Dorothy Parker. “It contained quips and jokes, but no depth of character,” says Fournier. Fournier was urged to re-write it and he did, which resulted in the one-woman show, Dorothy Parker: One Foot in Scarsdale.

Dorothy Parker: One Foot in Scarsdale made its debut at FST in 1991, with Carolyn Michel in the role. Ms. Michel has appeared on Broadway with Sid Caesar, and has acted and directed in regional theatres across the country. In Sarasota she is going into her 14th season as a member of the Resident Acting Company of the Asolo Theatre performing in rotating repertory, and was an Associate Artist at Florida Studio Theatre for many years. FST audiences will remember her as the dog in Sylvia, as Lillian Hellman in Cakewalk, and in the one person shows, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, Dorothy Parker: One Foot in Scarsdale and, most recently, last summer’s Rose. Carolyn’s FST Directing credits include: Alfred Stieglitz Loves O’Keefe, Crimes of the Heart, Billy Bishop Goes to War.

For Fournier, working with Ms. Michel has been inspiring: “I knew that whatever I wrote, her perceptions would illuminate the script. It would be interpreted not only by the words but my visualization of the character. Carolyn will be forever, in my mind, the archetypical Dorothy Parker.”

Dorothy Parker: One Foot in Scarsdale will begin June 30 and run through July 10, 2004, with performances in the Gompertz Theatre, located at 1247 First Street in downtown Sarasota. Performance times are at 7:30 pm, with Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $20-22 and may be purchased by visiting the FST Box Office in person or by calling (941) 366-9000.

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