Monday, June 21, 2010

Robert Benchley Society Announces Free Book Talk and Reading Saturday, July 17th, on Beacon Hill


Contact: David Trumbull, Robert Benchley Society,, 617-285-6004

June 15, 2010

BOSTON—Four writers and editors will tip their caps to beloved American humorist Robert Benchley at a free book talk and reading Saturday, July 17, on Beacon Hill. The event is sponsored by the Robert Benchley Society, which is hosting its seventh annual national meeting in the city July 16-18.

The event begins at 11 a.m. at the Boston Society of the New Jerusalem, the Church on the Hill, 140 Bowdoin Street ( The talk and book signing is free and open to the public. The participants are from across the country and will present brief remarks and a reading from their work. Attendees are:

· Benchley cousin T. Marie Benchley is a Miami-based author of thrillers. Once Wicked Always Dead (M.M.W.E. Publishing, 2010) is a sharp mystery that swirls with family secrets, betrayal, love and loss. Molly Madison is unaware of a sociopath who is on the loose. Her life is shattered by the sudden death of her beloved parents and the revelation of her husband’s affair—with another man. Molly leaves the life of country clubs and heads west to Montana to run the family ranch. Her attraction to the foreman is instant, but intrigue and mystery await her. Visit author website at

· Robert Benchley was a member of the legendary Algonquin Round Table, and the new book, The Lost Algonquin Round Table (Donald Books, 2009) brings out many missing pieces by Benchley and his friends, including Dorothy Parker and George S. Kaufman. Kevin C. Fitzpatrick edited the book with Benchley’s grandson, Nat, and has uncovered more than 50 pieces by the illustrious group. Fitzpatrick is the author of A Journey into Dorothy Parker’s New York and is president of the Dorothy Parker Society. Visit his site,

· Detroit humorist and editor Thomas Saunders will be on hand to present The Athletic Benchley (Glendower Media, 2010). Robert Benchley was only one of the writers of national fame who wrote for The Detroit Athletic Club News. Dorothy Parker, Ring Lardner, Donald Ogden Stewart and many others contributed to the magazine for the elite members of Detroit’s automobile industry. These pieces are presented in their original form for the first time in The Athletic Benchley—105 Exercises from The Detroit Athletic Club News. Here are old favorites as they first appeared and here also are many Benchley gems that have never been seen outside of the DAC. For details visit

· Following on the heels of his novella, The Fishing Trip That Got Away, Philly native Ed Tasca continues his humorous tales of adventure and entertaining escapades in his latest comic novel, Lub Dub (Rose Heart Books, 2009). In this hilarious account of a heart delivery gone wrong, the comic antics are never-ending. Tasca won the 2009 Robert Benchley Award for humor. His work has appeared in several humor anthologies such as America’s Funniest Humor and M. Culbertson’s Laughter in Shorts By Award-winning Writers. His work has appeared in humor publications in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Lub Dub is his fourth novel. Visit author website at

The authors will be available to sign copies of their books following the talks.

For more information about the weekend activities, which includes a walking tour and evening harbor dinner cruise, visit

About the RBS: The Robert Benchley Society is a forum for appreciation and discussion of the work and life of twentieth-century American humorist Robert Benchley. The Society formed in the spring of 2003 in Boston, Massachusetts. Our membership is international and includes persons with scholarly interests in Robert Benchley as well as persons who just like to get together over drinks for the mutual enjoyment of Robert Benchley writings and motion pictures. To join contact us:
David Trumbull
130 Bowdoin St., Apt. 1110
Boston, Mass. 02108 USA
or by e-mailing


Friday, June 18, 2010

Dorothy Parker Society Newsletter, June 2010

Summer is here and there is a boatload of Dorothy Parker news and events to tell you about. In June, July and August there are events in many cities. And if you hate summer resorts, read what Mrs. Parker had to say about it.

It was just announced that Mario Brassard's 2008 short film Dorothy Parker's "The Sexes" is an official selection of the 13th annual Long Island International Film Expo in Bellmore. The film will be screened on Saturday, July 17, at 4:30 pm. For more info visit and Congratulations to Mario and his fine cast and crew. This is nice, because Mrs. Parker spent childhood summers in Bellmore, more than 100 years ago.

In August, Mrs. Parker's short story "Here We Are" will be part of the Silver Spring Stage's one-act festival. The festival runs two weekends and by happy coincidence "Here We Are" will run the 19th to 22nd of August, thus closing on the 117th anniversary of Mrs. Parker's birth. Silver Spring Stage is an all-volunteer community theater in Silver Spring, Maryland, outside Washington, DC. For more info visit here.

Dorothy Parker Society News

The Dorothy Parker Society is heating up June with two big nights of fun, live music and cocktails. The Last Thursday Series in the Borsalino Room is Thursday, June 24, at Flute Gramercy. Two nights later, the monthly Wit's End ( bash will be at Flute Midtown on Saturday, June 26 for the "Beyond the Silvery Sea" party with the world-famous Moonlighters performing. The venue on June 24 is underneath Flûte (, the popular Champagne lounge in Gramercy Park (40 E. 20th Street) in its underground private cabaret room. The DPS, New York's #1 literary association, is the evening's sponsor. The musical director and accompanist is the incomparable William Zeffiro, the man behind the hit show "The Road to Ruin" at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. Table reservations for the Last Thursday Series are encouraged (212-529-7870). There is no cover with a 2-drink minimum. Must be over 21 to attend. Then on Saturday, June 26, is the monthly Wit's End party at Flute Midtown (205 West 54th Street at Broadway). Swing and tap those toes into the glorious summer season with us as we celebrate the wonder of the underwater world in Jazz Age style! Songs inspired by the sea and fabulous uke tunes brought to you by The Moonlighters. More information about both events is here.

In July there are 2 events on the same weekend, in New York and Boston:

NEW YORK: The 5th Bi-Annual Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island, Saturday & Sunday, July 17th & 18th and August 28th & 29th, 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. Admission $7/advance (available on, $10/door (Children Under 12 Free). Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra ( will perform and there will be a whole schedule of activities (to be posted on the News page). This is a fantastic weekend, among the best events in the city all summer. The DPS will be at the August weekend (see below).

BOSTON: The 7th Annual Gathering of the Robert Benchley Society will be Friday through Sunday, July 16-18, 2010, in Boston. The Dorothy Parker Society will be in attendance (if you want to attend email Boston's We've Come for the Davenport Chapter has planned an outstanding weekend packed full of events. There is a cocktail party, walking tour, book talk & author signing, evening dinner cruise, and much more. Info: Four writers and editors will tip their caps to Benchley at a free book talk and reading Saturday, July 17, in Beacon Hill. The event begins at 11 a.m. at the Boston Society of the New Jerusalem, the Church on the Hill, 140 Bowdoin Street ( The talk and book signing is free and open to the public. More info here.

This year's Annual Robert Benchley Humor Awards Dinner will be held aboard the Secret Love. This handsome yacht has the charm and amenities that define private yachting. We have chartered the vessel for Saturday evening. There will be a full open-bar for the entirety of the cruise. Boston organizer of this event, Mary DiZazzo-Trumbull, has opted for the most luxurious of the dinner selections offered on the Secret Love, Boiled Maine Lobster Tails with drawn butter and Tenderloin of Beef with creamy horseradish sauce. Tickets for the weekend, which includes the walk, cruise, dinner and open bar, are $225 and all information is here.

August Event: the DPS will hold the 12th annual Parkerfest on Governors Island during the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island, Saturday & Sunday, August 28th & 29th. More info to come later, check the News page.

More Dorothy Parker News

In May when Dorothy Parker Complete Poems was published (read the story about the book here) we ran a little trivia contest to win a free copy of the book, courtesy of Penguin Classics, and signed by editor Marion Meade. The question: "The Passionate Screen Writer To His Love" is expanded with lines missing from the earlier edition. To celebrate, where did Dorothy Parker meet Marilyn Monroe? The correct answer was the American Academy of Arts & Letters (, 633 West 155th Street. We got two copies of the book to give out, and the first two people with the correct answer were Beth Woolley (Long Branch, NJ) and Jason Stoneking (Paris). Congrats!

Dorothy Parker Verse of the Month

Since the DPS is having an event next month with the Robert Benchley Society, here are a few lines that Mrs. Parker wrote to her best friend, Robert Charles Benchley (available in Complete Poems and the 2006 edition of The Portable DP):

For R.C.B.
By Dorothy Parker

Life comes a-hurrying,
Or life lags slow;
But you've got to stop worrying—
Let it go!
Some call it gloomy,
Some call it jake;
They're very little to me—
Let them eat cake!
Some find it fair,
Some think it hooey,
Many people care;
But we don't, do we?


Thanks for reading!

Forward this newsletter to your friends, post it on your blogs, and we hope to see you at a Dorothy Parker Society gathering!

Kevin Fitzpatrick,
The Dorothy Parker Society
AIM - k72ndst
Skype - k72ndst
New! Facebook: Dorothy Parker Society

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Book the Parker House in Boston Through AAA for $123 Per Night

Robert Benchley Society director Gordon Ernst reports that he went through for the hotel for the July 16-18 Annual Gathering and Humor Award Ceremony in Boston and got a prepaid rate of $123 per night at the Parker House.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Benchley Fans from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico Plan Big Weekend in Boston, July 16-18

The Boston, Massachusetts, "We've come for the davenport," Chapter of the Robert Benchley Society has arranged a full weekend, July 16-18, of events in conjunction with the Seventh Anniversary Annual Gathering and Humor Awards Ceremony. This is the first time since 2005 that the Annual Gathering has returned to Boston. RBS Annual Gatherings have been held in the past in New York City and Los Angeles.

So far we have confirmed reservations from delegates from three local chapters in addition to the Boston members:

  • The Ann Arbor, Michigan, "A Moderate State of Preservation," Chapter
  • The Washington State, "We Only Came to See if There Really is an Award," Chapter
  • The New York, New York, "Fascinating Crimes," Chapter

    At-large Members from as far away as Canada and Mexico are also confirmed.

    This year's Annual Humor Awards Dinner will be held aboard the Secret Love.

    This handsome yacht has the charm and amenities that define private yachting. She features luxurious finishes and state-of-the-art electronics, a full galley, and multiple dining layouts. Secret Love has a large and airy salon. For the guests wanting to take in the ocean breezes, the large aft-deck, spacious bow and expansive fly-bridge offer ample seating -- the perfect locations for cocktails under the stars.

    We have chartered the vessel for Saturday evening, which will start with the crew passing hot and cold hors d’oeuvres. There will be a full open-bar for the entirety of the cruise. Boston organizer of this event, Mary DiZazzo-Trumbull, has opted for the most luxurious of the dinner selections offered on the Secret Love, Boiled Maine Lobster Tails with drawn butter and Tenderloin of Beef with creamy horseradish sauce.

    Our daylight departure will afford stunning views of Rowes Wharf Marina, the Boston skyline as best seen -- from the water -- and historic Boston Harbor. The cruise is timed to give us a fabulous view of sunset over Boston and after dark return to spectacular Rowes Wharf and its Venice-like waterside promenade. The Secret Love, at 80 feet, can accommodate up to 65 guests. Our party is expected to be no more than half that number, so there will be ample room to enjoy the amenities of this vessel. As a private charter we will be the only guests on the yacht, so this will truly be an evening to remember with the members of the Robert Benchley Society.

    At this event Ed Tasca of Toronto, Ontario and of Mexico will be presented with the Robert Benchley Award for Humor.

    In addition to Mr. Tasca's first place entry,"Let’s Click Up the Old Gang Sometime", we'll be honoring our medalists in this year's competition, which was judged by Kevin Fitzpatrick.
    They are Brenda Pontiff of Los Angeles, Calif. for "A Teensy Weensy Renaissance", Con Chapman of Weston, Mass. for "Foundations of Western Logic", and B. Elwin Sherman of Bethlehem, N.H. for "A Woman At Home".

    Dress for the private dinner cruise on the Secret Love is optional black tie and/or 1920s-1940s period.

    On Friday, July 16th you'll gather for a private party at Mary and David's poolside cabana at the Clubs at Charles River Park. Bring your swimsuit or work-out clothes to enjoy the fully-equipped gym, operated by Massachusetts General Hospital, and the outdoor and indoor swimming pools with hot tub. David will be pouring the drinks at the cabana tiki bar. Please note: this event is currently scheduled for Friday but may be moved if the weather looks better on one of the other days. Food will be catered from one of Boston's restaurants.

    If there is interest we'll catch Kris Knievil and the Miss-Leading Ladies at the 10:15 p.m. show at Jacques Cabaret. This adult show was quite a hit with some RBS members back in 2005. I understand one member is still being blackmailed over a certain lap-dance photo!

    For breakfast and luncheon on Saturday we take you a little off the usual tourist route to show you where Beacon Hill locals eat at reasonable prices.

    Did Boston roar in the 'twenties? Find out on this walking tour designed to show off buildings and sites in Boston associated with Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, and other note-worthy or notorious characters of the 1920s. A couple of the sites at the beginning of the tour may be familiar to those who went on the 2005 Boston walking tour, but the rest of the route and narrative are completely new and will include things that even most Bostonians are not aware of, such as the Niles Building, out of which Charles Ponzi ran his eponymous scheme. Don't miss this Saturday event!

    Also on Saturday we have arranged for a hall to meet in where any Robert Benchley Society member with a book in print or coming out soon will be able to display, sign, and sell books. Just let us know ahead of time that you need space on the program to promote your book.

    On Sunday, July 18th beginning at 1:00 p.m. we'll be in Boston's North End, the "Little Italy" of the hub city, for the Processione San Rocco. Even if you've been to other Italian feasts, you will be in for a treat. Those of you who have never been to an outdoor Italian festival don't know what you've been missing. Boston is world-famous for our Italian feasts. Your local hosts, Mary DiZazzo-Trumbull and David Trumbull, both write for the North End's Italian-American newspaper, the Post-Gazette, and can offer suggestions for things to do and see in Boston's oldest neighborhood. For a glimpse of what's in store for you at this fabulous outing, view this Youtube video of last year's procession. Dress is casual and be sure to bring dollar bills to pin on the San Rocco!

    For those who are interested, brunch in an Italian cafe on the North End's Hanover Street can be arranged.

    For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.
  • Monday, June 7, 2010

    July 11th Deadline to Enter 2010 Robert Benchley Society Humor Award Competition

    2005 RBS Humor Award Winner HORACE DIGBY
    The Robert Benchley announces the 2010 Robert Benchley Humor Award Competition. Entries are due no later than July 11th. The winner will be announced October 31st.

    For contest rules or to enter see

    For more information on the competition see, which also has a link to the page for submitting entries.

    Robert Benchley Society

    For more information about the Robert Benchley Society, local chapters near you, our annual Award for Humor, and our Annual Gathering, visit The RBS Website