Thursday, January 12, 2012

DC Benchley Roundup Mon. 1/30/12

I am pleased to announce that the DC "Lost Locomotive" will hold a meeting on Mon. Jan. 30, 2012, 7:30 PM, at the Black Squirrel, 2427 18th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20009. The first half-hour will be socialization, followed by a showing of Benchley shorts, and who knows, maybe an Aleck Woollcott short, and if we go completely nuts, maybe a Donald Ogden Stewart short or two. We will discuss the date and time of our next meeting (partly depending on David Trumbull's schedule) and also the subject matter. I sent out a list of possible topics, if you have ideas, send them to me or bring them up at the meeting. Can't wait to get this started!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Sound of Music & Laughter

The hills are alive with the sound of... laughter? The celebration of Christmas includes many traditions in our family, not the least of which is a viewing of The Sound of Music. For better and worse, the music from the film reverberates throughout my cerebral cortex non-stop for weeks well into the new year.

Who can forget the wise and kind Mother Superior (Mother Abbess) belting out the motivational anthem "Climb Every Mountain"? The formidable actress who played the inspirational convent CEO was American stage actress Peggy Wood (February 9, 1892 - March 18,1978). Due to her advanced age, she was dubbed (for singing) by Margery McKay, but still garnered an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress.

More than twenty years before she appeared in The Sound of Music, Peggy starred in the New York premiere of Noel Coward's classic play Blithe Spirit, in which she portrayed Ruth, whose husband Charles is hilariously tormented by the ghost of his deceased first wife Elvira.

But the best fact about Peggy Wood? She was a member of the Algonquin Round Table.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Telegram from Mr. Benchley

David Trumbull has traced the well-known "Street full of water. Advise." telegram anecdote back to the Saturday Evening Post of July 19, 1958, where, on page 13, in an article titled "I'm Always Surprising Myself" by David Niven as told to Dean Jennings, this paragraph appears:
I have even been a travel agent, in an unprofessional sort of way, I recall helping Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. plan a European itinerary for the late humorist Bob Benchley, and making special arrangements for him to visit some friends of mine who were staying in Venice. The day Benchley got there he sent us a cable which read: STREETS FULL OF WATER. ADVISE.

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