The “Hotel Dorothy Parker”, the hit play in Paris that we told you about, is getting outstanding reviews in France. The show is running until March 18, so if you are in Paris, run and see the show. We have three reviews here (helpfully translated from French by James Warner), that show that Dorothy Parker’s material is universal, no matter what language it is presented in.
FRANCE INTER (French Radio Review)
Jan. 22, 2006
By Paula Jacques
Last night I went to the theatre and had a marvellous evening. I saw a play called “Hotel Dorothy Parker”, directed by Rachel Salik. As everyone knows, Dorothy Parker was a very, very great American short story writer in the ’30s as well as ferocious critic, very, very, very dreaded for her spitefulness and quick wit.
Dorothy Parker wrote only short stories. She never wrote a novel but she did write scenarios, such as “A Star Is Born”. Her short stories are sort of an extraordinary decoding of the intellectual, bourgeois society in New York in the ’30s. The universe of Dorothy Parker is one of futility and alcoholism. She also deciphers all the tension and fossilisation of that society. But beneath, lies a deep pit of despair. In fact, Dorothy Parker tried to commit suicide 3 times, without success.
She was born in 1893 and died in 1967 in an old Manhattan hotel with a bottle of whisky and her old dog. For her tombstone epitaph, she wrote “Pardon My Dust”. It is an example of the Lady’s boundless wit, as when she said, “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. But believe me, rich is better.”
All of which is to say that the work of Dorothy Parker is worth discovery. Valeria Moretti and Rachel Salik have chosen here and there in various Parker short stories and offer us an absolutely moving mosaic, full of artifice and gaiety. We laugh derisively and we laugh enormously and we also discover the extraordinary loneliness of the woman Dorothy Parker.
For the staging, Rachel Salik had the very, very good idea of using 4 women who, in turn, become and incarnate Dorothy Parker. I’ll name them all because they are sincerely magnificent. Geneviève Mnich, Susanne Schmidt, Yvette Caldas and Sylvie Jobert, not to forget Betty Bussmann. She plays a character who is the opposite of “Gone With the Wind”, the black maid, whose common sense underlines the ridicule in this overly rich, overly idle society which will undoubtedly be somewhat shaken up by the Second World War.
Dorothy Parker is a show to be seen and I recommend it strongly. It’s at the Theatre des Déchargeurs at 3 rue des Déchargeurs, Tuesday through Saturday at 8 pm. I insist. It runs only till March 18th.
Le Figaro Scope
January 25-31, 2006
“Hotel Dorothy Parker” at the Déchargeurs
A Good Hotel
By Jean-Luc Jeener
We know Dorothy Parker, her caustic wit, psychological astuteness, her vaguely despairing cynicism and ironic feminism. The lady wrote a lot of short stories, sketching the little bourgeois world of America in the ’30s. She was a friend of Fitzgerald, which is quite meaningful. Valeria Moretti and Rachel Salik, also the director, have concocted a cluster of her texts into a very polished show, a Salik specialty.
CRITIQUE: Rachel Salik is following her star and following it well. Her latest show is one of her most successful. We again discover the elements that are part of her charm: a taste for the past and the outdated, but with rhythm and youth, a sharp, esthetic, feminine flair and physical joy, all mixed with humor, irony and subtle despair. Not to mention a very tight direction of her actors. The result is obvious: a good show.
Le Figaro Newspaper
Friday, Jan. 27, 2006
The Acid Humor of an American Lady
“Hotel Dorothy Parker”: Rachel Salik
She was one of the wittiest chroniclers in the New Yorker. Like Fitzgerald and Hemingway, she had a talent for brilliantly well-turned phrases. “Nooses give, guns aren’t lawful, acids stain you, drugs cause cramp. You might as well live!” After 3 attempted suicides, she knew what she was talking about. Droll and disenchanted, all of Dorothy Parker is in this acid intelligence.
Rachel Salik, who knows how to evoke feminine destinies, such as Gertrude Stein in “Gertrude Died This Afternoon” or Suzanne Lenglen in “The Diva of Tennis”, has a passion for this woman with her witty pen. With Valeria Moretti, Rachel Salik signs a lively, sharp show where four actresses present the multi-faceted Dorothy Parker with their multi-cornered hats and skinned-alive poetry.
Geneviève Mnich again proves her qualities as an actress. She is irresistible, with her mischievous eyes and ironic smile. Wittily, she is the smiling, despairing woman. Her score is brilliant and she plays it without one false note. Yvette Caldas and Susanne Schmidt, each with her own style, spontaneous, juvenile charm for the first, a more painful seduction for the second, are equally astounding. They speak with humor, vivacity, sincerity, sing, dance and spin about in Dorothy’s world with a nervous joy that at times is worrisome. Along with them, we must not forget Sylvie Jobert.
Rachel Salik takes us to the brilliantly ironic planet of Dorothy Parker, inspired by her short stories, sometimes crisscrossed by a few distress flares. Observed by a fifth character, a black cleaning lady played by Betty Bussmann, we discover an artist whose tragic-comic touches remind us of certain contemporary disenchantments. For those who love a written text served to perfection, this show, prepared with love, is labeled with intelligence.