Long Branch, NJ - "Long Branch, a town that may not know who Bob Dylan is, but certainly knows who Dorothy Parker was," said Kevin Fitzpatrick, founder and president of the National Dorothy Parker Society and co-editor of The Lost Algonquin Round Table, in reference to the recent failure to recognize the music legend by a rookie policeman, at the fourth annual Dorothy Parker Day.
Parker was a poet writer, humanitarian and dog lover, best known for her caustic wit. The day began with readings and dramatic interpretations of Parker’s works by local authors and historians at the Long Branch Public Library and a Parker Lookalike Contest.
Fittingly, The City of Long Branch celebrated Mrs. Parker's premature birth on August 22, 1893, one week early on August 16. The day was sponsored by the Long Branch Arts Council, Long Branch Public Library, West End Merchants Society and the NJ Chapter of the Dorothy Parker Society. Events continued with a luncheon special at Jesse's Natural Foods on Brighton Avenue in West End complete with a complimentary poem read with each meal, a Dog Parade beginning at St. Michael's Catholic Church with a blessing of the animals and a walk past Dorothy Parker's birthplace on Ocean Avenue, where her family's summer cottage once stood.
The day concluded with an eclectic crowd of authors, historians, academics, thespians, and Parker fans mingling at the Mix Lounge on Brighton Avenue for a cocktail party. One couple came as far as Virginia for the event.
In the hot afternoon sun, Director of The Long Branch Arts Council, Gabe Barbaras, thanked the dogs for bringing their owners to St. Michael's for the walk, a Dorothy Parker Day annual tradition. Each dog received a doggie treat bag that was prepared by Joelle Aponte, president of the New Jersey chapter of the DPS. Several dogs were interviewed with their human spokespersons. Jay Kulin and Joe Reale of Long Branch, who recently adopted Diesel, an American Pitt Bull Terrier, who wore a small bottle of fine malt whiskey around his collar. A black and white Shitsu named "Dulcie Dog" who was dressed in pearls, also attended. According to her owner, she often "prances around with Dorothy’s restless energy."
Aponte said that the Jersey chapter hasn't been on a mission since its inception in 2005, other than to participate in the planning of D Day. "Kevin (Fitzpatrick) dubbed us President and Vice President, since we were the only two that showed up," referring to Laura Greenstone, Vice President.
“Very soon Dorothy Parker will be to the Jersey Shore literary reputation, what Springsteen is to music," Fitzpatrick said. "Dorothy Parker can be nominated to join the New Jersey Hall of Fame, and we want her to join people like Frank Sinatra in the Hall. It is another opportunity to get Long Branch on the map. We will be voting again in 2010."
After being approached by many people who attended the day about membership, Aponte and Greenstone held an executive board meeting and voted to make the 2010 NJ Hall of Fame the mission of The Society. To join the society and vote for Dorothy Parker for the NJ Hall of Fame, log onto dorothyparker.com/nj
The Dorothy Parker Day Committee in Long Branch, New Jersey, Mrs. Parker’s birthplace, has put out this press release about activities on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009. If you are traveling from Penn Station, take the train to Long Branch, on the New Jersey Coast Line. A $5 cab will get you to the library and events. If you are driving, Long Branch is just minutes off the parkway, about 1 hour south of the city or 90 minutes from Philadelphia.
4th Annual Dorothy Parker Day is Aug. 16
LONG BRANCH, NJ -- She was one of the most famous cynics in American literary history, and a tireless advocate for civil rights. A frequent critic of the popular culture, and an Oscar-nominated screenwriter. A continuously socializing, hard-drinking, clothing-optional sort who loved nothing more than quality time spent with her dogs.
Dorothy Parker was “complicated” back when that really stood for something. And, to further complicate her legacy, she was a “true New Yorker” who was born in Long Branch, New Jersey.
Sunday, August 16 marks the observance of the annual Dorothy Parker Day in the seaside city, presented by the Long Branch Arts Council and the Long Branch Historical Association, in collaboration with The Long Branch Free Public Library, the West End Merchants Association, and our friends at the Dorothy Parker Society.
Nearly 116 years after she made her entrance as Dorothy Rothschild (inside a West End summer cottage on August 22, 1893) the legendary fiction writer, poet, essayist, commentator and charter member of the Algonquin Round Table remains one of the most famous American women of the 20th century, and certainly one of the most oft-quoted wits of all time. And for the fourth time, the city of Long Branch, where a unique-to-New Jersey monument marks the site of her birthplace, embraces its prodigal daughter with a summer’s day celebration as Dorothy herself would have liked it; a celebration with wise words, humorous stories, lots of dogs and a gathering of good friends.
The day begins at 11:00 a.m. inside the Long Branch Free Public Library at 328 Broadway, with a free program of readings and performance pieces coordinated by Ingrid Bruck, and delivered by a collection of fans, friends from the community and even a few city officials. Actors from the New Jersey Repertory Company will perform in a skit written by Parker, local high school students will screen their original video on Long Branch in the Roaring Twenties, and refreshments will be provided at the event.
The Dorothy Parker Society’s Kevin C. Fitzpatrick will be on hand, signing and offering advance copies of his new book The Lost Algonquin Round Table, co-edited with Round Table descendent Nat Benchley. The book, a volume of previously uncollected writings by Mrs. Parker and her contemporaries, will be made available for pre-publication purchase at $20 per copy. Also reading at the event and offering copies of her books will be Monmouth County historian Helen Pike.
At 2:00 p.m., the action moves across town to St. Michael’s Church on Takanassee Lake, where the yearly Dorothy Parker Dog Parade departs from the church parking area on North Lake Drive. Deacon Eugene Somma of St. Michael’s will conduct a Blessing of the Pets, after which dogs and owners of all shapes and sizes are invited to participate in a walk around scenic Takanassee Lake and along Ocean Avenue to the site of Parker’s Birthplace marker. As always, participants are encouraged to dress their dog as a favorite literary character. There will be prizes awarded to the best-dressed canines and the first 30 dogs to attend will be given “doggie gift bags” of items from the area’s most exclusive dog boutiques. Dog-less walkers are invited as well to this fabulously free and fun event!
A number of local restaurants and taverns in the West End section of Long Branch will be joining in the fun as well, with Dorothy Day lunch specials offered between the library and Dog Parade events, and an unofficial after-party cocktail reception hosted at the conclusion of the parade. Information on these events will be available at the library program on August 16.
Beth Woolley of the Long Branch Historical Association is available for media interviews regarding this event and Dorothy Parker¹s ongoing association with Long Branch. Beth can be contacted at email@example.com. The web site of the Dorothy Parker Society has an informative section on her history in Long Branch, as well as an archived map of the Dog Parade route, and general information on Dorothy Parker Day in Long Branch can be obtained by calling (732) 229-3166.
The Long Branch Arts Council is a partnership dedicated to working with the city government, civic and business organizations and the arts community to re-establish the City of Long Branch as a thriving regional center for the arts. Our aim is to accomplish this goal by attracting artists and arts organizations, by coordinating fundraising and development efforts, by establishing arts education programs, and by presenting arts-oriented events that draw upon the natural resources, accessibility, historic assets and “people power” that are unique to our beloved city.
LONG BRANCH - The New Jersey Repertory Company, located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, is proud to present the world premiere musical, The Little Hours by David Bucknam, based on several short stories by Dorothy Parker. Mrs. Parker was one of the most popular writers in America during the Roaring Twenties and was a founder of the Algonquin Round Table in New York City, a gathering of writers, critics and actors that included Robert Benchley, George S. Kaufman, Robert E. Sherwood, Alexander Woollcott, Edna Ferber, and Harpo Marx. Its loose-knit members met daily at the famed Algonquin Hotel starting in 1919.
It is only fitting that The Little Hours should open in Long Branch for Dorothy Parker was born at her family’s beach cottage in the West End section of town on August 22, 1893. The Long Branch Arts Council and the Long Branch Historical Association, in conjunction with the Dorothy Parker Society, have held an annual celebration in her honor for the past three years and a National Literary Landmark plaque marks the site of her birth (now long-gone and replaced by apartments), at 732 Ocean Avenue. The next Dorothy Parker Day festivities will be held on August 16 and the run of the play has been scheduled to coincide with these celebrations beginning on July 10 and running for six weeks through August 17.
The Little Hours is full of Parker’s trademark wit and acid observations of others and is coupled with the beautiful music and lyrics of David Bucknam. It is an insightful and moving adaptation that combines a whimsical mix of music, comedy and drama. Act I is based on four stories: A Telephone Call, The Waltz, From the Diary of a New York Lady, and The Little Hours. We eavesdrop on the lives of four women: one hiding in the shadows at a dance afraid to be trampled on by a heavy-footed admirer, another awaiting a phone call from her heart's desire, the third, a high-society woman writing in her diary, and the fourth, an insomniac in the throes of sleeplessness.
Act II, draws upon Mrs. Parker's well-known short-story, Such a Pretty Little Picture. We meet the Wheelock family’s hen-pecked patriarch, George, who escapes from his sterile life through his rapturous fantasies while he trims his hedges. In his mind he re-imagines his wife, daughter and his neighbor in a series of hilarious and poignant scenarios that fulfill his wildest and darkest dreams.
Recognizing the importance of this world premiere musical, the New Jersey Repertory Company has been awarded a $19,000 grant by the Edgerton Foundation through its New American Plays Award to help support the production. The Foundation seeks to support the development and production of new plays thereby enriching the repertoire for the American stage. Audiences are encouraged to come and enjoy this historic event.
Directed by Alan Souza, with musical direction by Helen Gregory, The Little Hours stars Kim Carson, Maria Couch, Brooke Davis, Ashley Puckett Gonzales, and Warren Kelley.
Specially-priced preview performances are available on Thursday and Friday, July 10 and 11 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Opening night with reception is Saturday, July 12 at 8:00 p.m. Special "Roaring 20's Night" on Thursday, July 31 includes a party at 7:00 p.m. followed by the play.
Regular performances Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; Sundays at 2:00 p.m. with selected Sundays at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets: Adults $40; Previews, $35; Opening Night with reception, $50; Roaring 20's Night $50. Discounts for seniors 65+, full-time students (18-25), and groups of 10 or more.
NJ Rep is handicapped accessible and offers free on-site parking and easy access from NJ Transit and Academy Bus Lines. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover are accepted.
NJ Rep receives funding from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Department of State, the Baumol Family Foundation, Paul Newman, the Shubert Foundation, FirstEnergy Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Investors Savings.
NJ Rep is a year-round, professional non-profit theater, a member of the National New Play Network, New Jersey Theater Alliance, Theater Communications Group, and the Monmouth and Long Branch Arts Councils.
You could call it Sex and the City circa 1928. Ms. Parker's tale takes place during the Roaring Twenties but the timeless story could have easily been written yesterday.
Set in upper class Manhattan the day after a chic cocktail party, Adam (Mario Brassard) insists on knowing why Evelyn (Darlene Violette) is giving him the silent treatment. Could the seductive Florence Leaming (Stephanie Szostak) be to blame? With Ms. Parker's biting dialogue and acerbic wit, all's fair in love and war when the two meet in a battle of The Sexes.
The Sexes was directed by Bridget Palardy (currently producer for Nylon TV) and features Mario Brassard (As The World Turns, Spin City), Darlene Violette (30 Rock, Law & Order) and Stephanie Szostak (The Devil Wears Prada, The Sopranos). Mario Brassard also produced the film and adapted the story with Darlene Violette.
The Bergen Record across the river in New Jersey put on its site today a multimedia package for Black History Month about Dorothy Parker. It ties into the nice column written by Lawrence Aaron that is in today's paper. Reading this, it reminds me that Mrs. Parker belongs in the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
Dorothy Parker Day is back! As previously announced, the second Parker Day at the birthplace of the author-poet-wit is Sunday, Oct. 14, in Long Branch, New Jersey. I just got the map of the dog walk, which will pass by Parker's Birthplace.
Dorothy Parker adored her dogs. To the annoyance of many she was rarely seen without them, so as part of their one day celebration, The Dorothy Parker Day Committee is sponsoring a Dog Walk. The committee is made up of members of the Long Branch Historical Association, the Long Branch Council of the Arts, the Long Branch Free Public Library, the West End Merchants, and the Dorothy Parker Society. It is inviting all dog lovers to walk their pets in a parade past the literary landmark where Mrs. Parker was born on Ocean Ave.
Owners are encouraged to dress their dogs up as famous literary characters. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes and the first 50 dogs will be given Doggie Gift Bags with dog scarves, treats and other goodies.
Deacon Eugene Somma of St. Michaels RC Church will offer a Blessing of the Pets. Walk begins in St. Michael's western-most parking lot on North Lake Drive, will pass Mrs. Parker’s birthplace on Ocean Avenue, and then head back around scenic Takanassee Lake. There will be a shorter route for short legged dogs. The walk is free, open to the public and in the true spirit of Mrs. Parker is just for fun...
Other events on Sunday are a book talk and readings at the public library, a luncheon and events in West End, and cocktail party. Dorothy Parker's birthplace was the first literary landmark for an author's birthplace in the state, as designated by Friends of Libraries USA.
LONG BRANCH, New Jersey – The Dorothy Parker Day Committee has announced that the world-renowned poet, writer and critic born in Long Branch will be celebrated in a unique way on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2007.
The day-long Sunday program pays tribute to four things Mrs. Parker herself enjoyed: books, luncheons, her dogs, and cocktails:
The Long Branch Free Public Library will present Parker's work;
A "Round Table luncheon" will channel her spirit at local eateries;
A dog parade will pass Parker’s birthplace on Ocean Avenue;
A late afternoon speakeasy party will toast her wit and charm.
Dorothy Parker was born at her family's beach cottage on Aug. 22, 1893, in West End, a village in Monmouth County, some sixty miles south of New York City. Her parents, Henry and Eliza Rothschild, were middle-class residents of Manhattan who vacationed in the charming seaside town. Parker, who died in 1967 in New York, was a bestselling poet and short story writer. She gained immortal fame as a member of the Algonquin Round Table, a collection of writers, playwrights, actors and wits who lunched at the Algonquin Hotel in the 1920s. Parker was also an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, a playwright, and the first female drama critic on Broadway. She also was a tireless fighter for social justice, civil rights and left-wing causes.
“Dorothy Parker Day is a nice tribute to an author with ties to the community, and we believe our activities pay tribute to her in a meaningful and fun way,” said Beth Woolley, of the Long Branch Historical Association.
"Mrs. Parker might be remembered for being a quintessential New Yorker, but her life started on the Jersey Shore, and we're happy to commemorate that," said Kevin Fitzpatrick, author of “A Journey into Dorothy Parker’s New York.” 2007 DOROTHY PARKER DAY SCHEDULE: Long Branch Free Public Library, 328 Broadway Library Program 10:30 A.M. - Coffee and refreshments - Opening Ceremony - Readings of selected Dorothy Parker works - Screening of “The Sexes” a short film based on Parker’s 1927 short story
Lunch at the "Round Table" West End, 12:30 P.M. Participating eateries will take the place of the famous Algonquin Hotel for lunch with friends.
Dorothy Parker Dog Parade St. Michael’s Church, 796 Ocean Avenue (gather in parking lot on North Lake Drive), 2:30 P.M. Dorothy Parker adored her dogs, so dog lovers are encouraged to walk their pets in a parade past the literary landmark where Mrs. Parker was born. Owners are encouraged to dress their dogs up as famous literary characters. Walk begins in parking lot on North Lake Drive and will pass Mrs. Parker’s birthplace on Ocean Avenue.